For their part, the Conservatives say a fundraising campaign in which they criticized the CBC drove a significant number of donations into their coffers.
“It was overwhelmingly our single biggest fundraising initiative,” said a Tory official.
Late last year, party campaign director Doug Finley sent out a letter asking for money after reports that a CBC reporter supplied questions to a Liberal MP during a committee hearing.
“It demonstrates a huge level of suspicion amongst grassroots Canadians about the Liberal Party and the CBC,” the official said.
One of the main reasons the Conservatives are successful, their fundraising is predicated on creating an enemy, and with that a sense of victimization. Forces working against the Conservatives, the party needs money to fight the “foe”. It’s all bunk of course, the CBC is completely mainstream, if there is a perception that Conservatives get a raw deal on that network, it probably stems from the fact that their narrow perspective isn’t representative of Canada as a whole. As I’ve argued before, pretty nonsensical to claim an anti-Conservative bias on the CBC, when their signature political “At Issue” panel consists of a former Conservative employee, a former National Post senior writer and a francophone woman who hates the Liberals and Dion- if that doesn’t say left-wing conspiracy, I don’t know what does.
However, the objective truth is really irrelevant, when it comes to the Conservative fundraising, all that matters is projecting a sense of “wronged”, an urgent plea to counter the perceived threat. The CBC serves as an easy target, and I don’t doubt it was effective, given the venom directed at our public broadcaster from online Conservatives. There is a siege mentality within the Conservative ranks that lends itself to fundraising drives. Us vs them seems to be the central thesis, that weaves itself into every discussion. Money is a way to counter the perceived disadvantage.
The Liberals can’t motivate, using manufactured paranoia to solicite money. The Liberals must use issues, and the trick now- how to demand money to fight, when the perception is it doesn’t matter, we will acquiesce in the end? Any online Liberal has surely received the emails asking for money, to fight this or that, but what is lacking is the conviction that the fight will translate to action in the end. You are left with the abstract, one day we stand up and right all these wrongs, that is a hard sell, there is no immediacy in that tactic. Fundraising won’t improve until there is something to stand on, maybe that comes from more policy development, but maybe that comes when the stakes are raised and people are faced with another Harper government. Whatever, the Liberals don’t have the same luxury as the Conservatives, they don’t have a persecution complex that feeds the coffers, they don’t have a “out to get me” mentality, a cause, and that simple fact explains a lot, as to why the Conservatives are able to generate oodles of money.