Thursday, May 01, 2008

Wow

Read em and weep:
Stephen Harper's Conservatives have raked in five times as much money from four times as many donors as the Liberal party during the first three months of this year.

Financial returns filed with Elections Canada show that the Tories raised $4.95 million from 44,345 contributors. At the same time, the Liberal party raised only $846,129 from 10,169 contributors.

Once Canada's most efficient political money-raising machine, the Liberals actually brought in less than the New Democratic Party during the first quarter of 2008; the NDP raised $1.1 million from 13,329 donors.

The Bloc Quebecois, which needs far less money since it operates strictly in Quebec, raised $37,006 from 463 donors.

The fledgling Green party brought in $210,962 from 4,731 donors.

By way of comparison, the NDP basically doubled their contributions from the last quarter, the Liberals less than half of their 4th quarter 2007 tally. I suppose an optimist would argue that the Liberals have doubled their haul from the same period last year, but that was after the leadership contest, hardly a fair comparison.

Nevermind the disturbing gap from the Conservatives, the NDP has more contributors, raised more money than the Liberals? I see this as directly attributable to what has been going in Ottawa. You can argue about the average Canadian taking notice, but there is no doubt party members, people who donate, know the landscape well. One party fights, one abstains, you do the math, or more correctly, look at the math.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

We're still paying off leadership race debts right?

How much went to that purpose?

Steve V said...

anon

No doubt that was a factor, but I think that's only part of the picture.

Steve V said...

To be fair, I should point out that NDP contributions are actually down slightly year to year. For the first quarter of 2007, there was 1 237 972 from 14 872 contributors.

northwestern_lad said...

Yippee.... No more KD for us at meetings.. Cold-cuts and cheese, here we come ;)

On a serious note, I'm impressed and now the NDP actually raised more money that the Liberals in this quarter. For the past year year, the NDP has been beating the Liberals in the "Most Donors" field, but the "Most Money" was back and forth. To see them be ahead in both sure is striking. I'd be curious to see a regional breakdown of those donations to see where the growth is coming from.

Steve V said...

Some quick, math it looks like about 200 000 more for leadership candidates.

Green Assassin Brigade said...

It's also interesting to see the average donations, the Cons also get more per donation than any other party and apparently Greens are cheap. $110 vs $45, the others range between.

I know this is just part of the mechanics of party life, few of us are long time politicos so we are neither use to giving to a political party nor yet comfortable asking people for cash. I do know one Lib who has stated he's not giving until they start doing their job! ,people are not pleased with the absention party of Canada.

Steve V said...

"I do know one Lib who has stated he's not giving until they start doing their job! ,people are not pleased with the absention party of Canada.'

There is an inverse relationship between preparing for an election and not doing much in the mean time. I gave this quarter, but to say some of the grassroots aren't turned off by this strategy is an understatement.

J said...

I think that progressives who have voted for LPC in the past are not happy with the party. I know from friends who have voted LPC that they had some hope that the party was finally moving toward a truly progressive agenda under Dion.
They hoped for a party that was principled and not focused solely on getting/maintaining power at any cost (growing income gap, EI surplus on the backs of workers, failures on reduction GHG emissions, etc). My friends have been sorely disappointed. Some who are party members are not donating and those who would simply vote liberal don't plan on doing so again.
The LPC can't be a truly progressive party because there isn't a willingness to back principle with action. Talk is cheap.

Koby said...

Who knew that the type of small potatoes grab bag hopelessly diffuse pc special interest liberalism now offered by the Liberals was not a very good sell?

The Liberals need to go back to 1968 and Trudeau's mix of univerality and robust social liberalism.

Anonymous said...

That is a great idea! Let's invoke the name of Trudeau and his mix of social liberalism and experimentation and watch the Conservative contributions triple!

Amazing how all of these so-called scandals against the Cons have killed their support...NOT!

I would donate $500 to see one of the LPC's internal polls...must read like a horror novel.

Ding dong the Libs are dead.

James Curran said...

I guess the small consolation for the Liberals is that apparently we are up 60% for donations over Q1 last year and up 150% for #s of donors over last year's Q1. And, almost a quarter million has been chipped in by Liberals for their favourite leadership candidates. The #s also suggest that the NDP is down 10% over last year's Q1 and the Cons are down 4.5% over last year's Q1.

Feel free to correct me as I'm observing on the fly.

Steve V said...

"Amazing how all of these so-called scandals against the Cons have killed their support...NOT!

I would donate $500 to see one of the LPC's internal polls...must read like a horror novel.

Ding dong the Libs are dead."



Um, let's see if this can penetrate your thickness. Donations by the loyal minions doesn't translate to support with Canadians. Unless of course, 44345 people will win an election.

Face it, fundraising aside, you're down in the polls, women are running from you in DROVES, you'd lose seats in Ontario and nobody likes Harper. I suspect the internals mirror what we see, but people seem to want to wait until we are ahead.

I'm concerned about the fundraising, but the last thing I am is intimidated by the Conservative machine- have you seen how these asshats react on the fly, it's a gong show of biblical proportions? Oh, and BTW, most voters wanted "change" last election, I believe the Conservative "plan" was fourth on the list. The Cons win a fragile minority in the environment they found themselves in is about as impressive as Ralph Klein's ability to balance the books in Alberta.

Ti-Guy said...

Shorter Steve V: Panic, people, panic! Don't you know money=democratic power? Don't you know that I die a little every time something frown-inducing happens with the Liberals.

Seriously, when did you become so unhinged?

Steve V said...

james

You are right, both those parties are actually down over last year. As I said in the post, I don't take much solace in comparing from last year for the Libs, it was just after the convention, complete donor fatigue.

Steve V said...

ti-guy

"Unhinged", are you for real? These aren't great numbers, calling a spade a spade doesn't translate to the sky is falling (not sure where I said that). I'd rather be honest than pretend, like yourself.

Koby said...

"That is a great idea! Let's invoke the name of Trudeau and his mix of social liberalism and experimentation and watch the Conservative contributions triple!"

Go back to 45.4% in the polls, an a leader that inspired generations and phenomena known as Trudeaumania.

Anyway, the issue has had is the horrible Liberal fund raising numbers.

Ti-Guy said...

I'd rather be honest than pretend, like yourself.

Hmmm...empty the bank account or vote Liberal? What's a democrat who's familiar with a record of peace, order and good government and faced with no viable alternative (a bunch of morally-corrupt and failing rightwing ideologues, a fringe of untried social democrats and Le Bloc) going to do?

Dilemas, dilemas...

Steve V said...

ti-guy

I hate to break it too you, but fundraising and party membership is indicative of a energized grassroots. Seems to me those early attack ads on Dion had quite an effect. Hmmm, now where or where did they get the money? Anyways, in your world, you can't discuss anything that isn't glowing, it's somehow hysteria, rather than a simple talking point. Carry on.

liberazzi said...

All this doesn't matter, Dion is letting the %$*&ers off the hook again. That way Canadians will have time to forget all the Cons evil deeds by the time they return in the fall. Then they'll pull the plug in the fall. Ya right. Dion is absolutely freaking delusional!

Melanie said...

I won't give the party a dime until I see a party I can be proud of.

Ti-Guy said...

Anyways, in your world, you can't discuss anything that isn't glowing, it's somehow hysteria, rather than a simple talking point. Carry on.

Not true. I'm just advising a little caution and temperance. Don't you remember how exuberant and "flush with grassroots dollars" the Conservatives were in late 2006-early-2007? How about mid 2007? Late 2007? Early 2008?

How has that helped them? 100,000$ more doled out to some twitty PR firm? 200,000$ doled out to some pathetic ad company?

Those things have nothing to do with peace, order and good government and Canadians know that.

tori said...

I'm guessing that there is a fairly good correlation between donations and committed support...there's no chance that those who gave to the LPC are going to vote for anyone other than the LPC.

These are most likly decided voters, and people who are decided and who feel it necessary to go and have their voice heard (ie, vote).

certainly there are a bunch of undecideds who would not donate to any party...but whether they vote or not remains to be seen.

Mushroom said...

"I see this as directly attributable to what has been going in Ottawa."

It is worse than that. The Dippers have benefited from the changes in campaign financing. I will even argue that the strategy for the NDP is the same for the Cons, except the Dippers target a different audience.

Both run very centralized campaigns. The Dippers are known to max out on their local riding free mailings as a means to get the vote out. Jack Layton spends more on office expenses than any MP in Parliament Hill.

Have you noticed that Jack is focusing less on in-and-out and more on a populist attack corporate tax cuts agenda? Harper must be loving this.

Koby said...

Dion is convinced that he will win the next election based on his environmental platform He is delusional and so are his advisors. The Liberal environmental record is not great, the Conservatives have successfully muddied the waters, the small number of people who truly motivated by the environment over any other issue will vote Green and this is simply not the burning issue, pardon the pun, some pundits make it out to be. Dion has put the environment at the forefront of what it means to be Liberal and what has the party to show for it? It has been stalled in polls for nearly 2 years, Dion’s leadership numbers are horrible, the Liberals have not recovered in Quebec, and Liberal fundraising numbers, a tell tale sign that the party’s grassroots is motivated, are horrible. It is time to move onto something else.

Powell lucas said...

Have all you folks who are so diligently tallying up the take and reading the entrails for portents of the future forgotten the first law of politics 101:
Politician + money = corruption!
The Conservatives play fast and loose with campaign finances at the taxpayers expense. The Liberals play fast and loose with government advertising contracts at the taxpayers expense. And I haven't forgotten the supercilious NDP supporters and two recent British Columbia prime ministers.
Personally, I think each party should get $100 a year and not be allowed to raise any other funds or spend anything above that for any reason whatsoever. Maybe then they'd all go away so we wouldn't be constantly subjected to their chidish antics every time we turn on the TV to get some real news.
My old daddy had it right when he told me, "Son, I'd rather have a daughter who was a prostitute than a child who was a politician."

Steve V said...

"I'm guessing that there is a fairly good correlation between donations and committed support..."

Big surprise you think that Tori, it's the Conservative comfort blanket. All it means, there are 45000 committed supporters (about 150 a riding), to extrapolate that to firm support outside is really just wishful thinking. Quite a leap to go from the rabid minions to the general population, from everything I've seen nobody outside of that is particularly motivated and/or inspired by Harper.

ti-guy

I think you leave out the part that fundraising plays with the psychology. We would be in an election right now if people felt the party was on solid footing. I think this sort of edge is intimidating in a way, it feeds the "not ready".

tori said...

steve, there was nothing partisan in those words I said.

I'm guessing that if you chose to give to the LPC (Which I think you said you did), I'm going to guess that you're going to vote liberal, and not conservative, NDP or green...right?

Usually if you feel so strongly about a party to give your hard earned dollars, it's a safe bet you're going to vote for them.

tori said...

I also said that this just paints a picture of the decided vote...undecideds are probably not as likely to donate to a specific party...and they may or may not vote. Who knows how the undecided vote will play out. I don't have a crystal ball.

Steve V said...

"I also said that this just paints a picture of the decided vote"

I just don't agree with that. Like I said earlier, it amounts to about 150 people per riding that are giving, hardly a testament to "decided" vote, it's just the faithful, a very, very small portion of the electorate. I'm not saying they don't have a dedicated base, as a Liberal we envy, but the number of donors tells us nothing about appeal to the general public.

tori said...

steve I never claimed to extrapolate fundraising amounts to the general population. All I'm saying is that there is a good correlation between the people who donated and their voting intention - donate to libs, vote lib.

Those people who donated- well their votes are most likely not going to change..which is why i call them decided voters

Steve V said...

tori

I agree with that for sure.

Gayle said...

I do not think donor support can be correlated to voter support.

The CPC is a grassroots organazation. They have had almost 20 years to perfect their grassroots fundraising.

The liberals have never depended on grassroots fundraising in the past. Until recently I have never donated to a political party, except for occassional amounts here and there.

I donate now because I follow politics closely and recognize that the liberals need the money, and that the liberals are the only party capable of defeating the CPC nationally. I vote NDP because my local candidate is the one most likely to defeat the CPC candidate.

There are a couple factors here that have to be considered. One is that the governing party will always get more donations, because they are in the ones who have the power to do something for the donors. The second is that many people, myself included, are not interested in funding another liberal leadership convention. It is no surprise to me the donations are lower in the period that saw liberal infighting flare up again. One way to increase grassroot funding might be to respect the grassroot's (or the only thing that comes close to "grassroot") choice for leader of the party.

I do not think the "not a leader" ads were ever as effective at eroding liberal support as the liberal infighting has been.

tori said...

so gayle,

the people who donated to the LPC....you think they are going to vote for someone other than the LPC?

Please.

Of course there is a good correlation between donations and voter intention. If you support a party enough to send them your money, you're more likely to vote for that party.

Also, when polled, people who tend to have faster response times to questions (which party do you support?) tend to follow thru with that intention compared to people who take longer to answer the same question. Interesting research in RT and voter intention out there.

And, no, I'm not gonna link. I'm going to pull a Gayle and say "Find it yourself" :)

Sorry, I couldn't resist :)

Gayle said...

tori - I just posted that I donate to one party and vote for the other.

My point, however, was that traditional liberal voters are not traditional liberal donors. Ergo, few donors does not necessarily mean fewer voters.

Steve V said...

"I do not think the "not a leader" ads were ever as effective at eroding liberal support as the liberal infighting has been."

I don't think they eroded Liberal support, but they sure helped frame Dion before he had a chance to establish himself. The fact we didn't have the money to really counter is a disadvantage.

tori said...

gayle,

that is not unique to the LPC, but of every party. There are people (I'm one of them) who supports a political party and has yet to donate for the past few years.

My arguement is this and only this: the people who are listed in this quarter as donating to a particular political party are less likely to vote for someone other than the one they donated to.

I'm not addressing those people who vote yet do not donate. I can't. I'm not a psychic.

But to say there is little positive correlation between donators and voter support is crazy.

As for the why...why fewer people are donating to the Libs, and with less amounts, I'm sure there are various reasons why...current debts, abstentions, lack of a public platform, etc.

No doubt there are some who follow thru with financial support- look at Iggy's benefit just recently. He was able to get a lot of financial support.

There is the rumour that Chretien changed the donation laws ($1000) to spite Martin, knowing that much of the donations were coming from a few people, but giving large amounts of money. I don't know if there is anything to that.

I do know that based on the numbers, it would seem that conservatives get more donations, but they donate less...which could imply a grassroots...$20 from Joe Blow, for example.

If the grassroots elected Dion as their leader, I'm curious why they are not supporting him more financially.

As with any purchase, you want to make sure you get your money's worth. I do agree with you that the infighting (perceived or otherwise) is hurting fundraising in this regard.

tori said...

"I don't think they eroded Liberal support, but they sure helped frame Dion before he had a chance to establish himself. The fact we didn't have the money to really counter is a disadvantage."

wiser words, steve.

This was done by Chretien to Harper...calling an election before the CPC were ready, and then defining Harper before he could define himself. It worked for Chretien, and now it is working for Harper

Mushroom said...

"I vote NDP because my local candidate is the one most likely to defeat the CPC candidate."

If political donors donate tactically like you are voting, then could this be a cause for our poor fundraising totals?

Steve, also note that in this quarter, fundraising efforts are concentrated on the four by-elections along with the need for the leadership candidates to pay their debts. This may be another reason why money to the central party has been diverted. We don't in-and-out like the
Cons ;)

Anonymous said...

Uhhh...Tori?

Chretien and Harper never went head-to-head in an election.

You're thinking of Stockwell Day.