Sunday, November 02, 2008

Ground Zero

The latest Liberal fundraising numbers for the 3rd quarter are depressing on one level, but they serve a valuable purpose moving forward. The fact the Liberal Party lags slightly behind the NDP, light years back of the Conservatives, should keep people focused on the number one issue moving forward, MONEY. It's fine to talk about this and that, differing strategies, but it's all really wishful thinking if you don't have fuel for the engine, every brilliant idea needs cold hard cash, which should put the impetus on the central problem.

The 3rd quarter fundraising totals are as follows:
Conservatives 6,367,676.44 (47,315)

NDP 1,889,805.02 (18,630)

Liberals 1,855,252.99 (15,027)

This last quarter is a really good gauge of where the parties stand, because it occurs leading up to, and including the election. This is the period when people are more inclined to give, better engaged, where you can maximize your fundraising. All the parties record a noticeable uptick, if you're motivated to donate, this is your period. Within that reality, another huge red flag for the Liberal brand, the NDP with a clear advantage on the donor side. It's the same story we've seen for the last two years, and that is the concerning part, the "same story". No evidence of progress, no sense of a coherent strategy, just more talk of getting it right in the future, a sentiment we hear every quarter.

The Conservatives are ROLLING in dough, and we see how that translates to affecting the political reality. All the potential leadership candidates had better embrace a bold and innovative strategy to ramp up fundraising, beyond easy platitudes, because whomever wins will be crippled by a Conservative monetary barrage, with little in the Liberal quiver for counter. It is in the candidate's self interest to focus on fundraising, because he/she's chance for ultimate success is dependent on making the Liberal brand competitive.

This leadership race begins at ground zero, let's see who develops a plan to bring passive Liberals (apparently 95% of us) to the table, as well as new people, with wallets agape. Money isn't sexy, it's not lofty policy or ideals, but it's the essential ingredient, from which everything else depends.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting!
May I ask where did you get these figures? Thanks

Steve V said...

Here :)

Mushroom said...

Note also that the 3rd quarter was the crucial pre-writ period. The Green Shift was the thing that was going to get the Grit war effort rolling. The feeling that "we can't abstain or sit on our hands anymore" means that the Victory Fund needs to be galvanized.

We finished third behind the NDP in BOTH money and number of donors.

The question asked is this. Do the Grit party deserve your donations? To this day, the answer is still "no".

Have you wondered why Layton and Lizzie May is successful having these small victories? The Grits can't be swinging for the fences when we aren't even good at batting practice. Recycling failed leadership candidates after Stephane Dion shows one thing. The Grits are desperate for victory, but only one in which the victor gets all the spoils. A leadership race makes for excellent political theatre, but in the end it means little to the progressives who can't be at the convention or need to be convinced about the Liberal brand.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how optimistic I'd be about Q4 prospects, frankly, even if these will include the last half of the campaign. How many more people, when you consider the hundreds of thousands of Liberal voters who stayed home, are going to queueing up to donate, when they haven't been doing so for 4 years. I don't know that a historic low in popular vote galvanizes the average Canadian to cut her $50 cheque.

There are many, many factors behind this meltdown, but it is itself a symptom of something the LPC seems still not to get and the MSM are just waking up to. M CHretien's bizarre decision to kneecap his own team by banning the grand tradition o the $5 K dinner table has, in its consequences, shown how very little of the country the LPC can now call on for votes or dollars. This has, as Mme Hebert has chronicled, been a long time coming but a dysfunctional right allowed the party to ignore it; but the LPC continues to do so, and this form of denial now risks dooming the party to perennial opposition, and conceivably in the lower case.

Let's look at the facts: the Liberal Party of Canada now holds (provided Mr U. Dosangh survives) 8 seats west of North Bay... 8: NO seats in Northwestern Ontario, one seat in all of Manitoba, one in SK, my province, which is in act a Goodale seat, and not one the Party can rely on, zip in Alberta and the former NWT, 4-5 in all of British Columbia. In addition, the party is nowhere outside of the Island of Montreal in la belle province.

This is but an extreme version o what has been the norm for a generation now, and o a airly absolute sort. In SK, it's not just that Ralph (not the LPC) holds but one seat, it's that the Party isn't even a factor IN ANY OTHER RIDING. THEY ARE NOWHERE. Such is even more emphatically the case in Alberta, but this is now true of all of Manitoba beyond certain tracts of Winnipeg, and increasing geographical swaths of BC.When you just cease to be a factor west of Barrie, when more than a third o your caucus comes from TO, then where are all your donors going to come from.

A new leader doesn't square this circle, especially i the leader and Party remain obsessed only with the prospect of squeaking back into power in 2 years. There needs to be global, ground-up restructuring and rethinking here, or the shrinkage will continue... and even Danny Williams won't stem the tide!

Robert McClelland said...

So Steve, how much have you given to the Liberal Party this year?

The Right is Where it's At said...

Two things that will play against the Liberals financing problems.
First they will receive a whole lot less cash from tax payers,because they've received a much lower vote total than 2006.Secondly with the economy the way it is today and the disappointment results last October 14 in my humble opinion will turn off many people from donating their hard earned cash.

Also don't be surprised if the newly elected Conservatives will want to reform the election law.Example they could reform it in such a way that the next election campaign whenever that will be they could eliminate the cap for how much the parties can spend during a campaign. Now you may say that it wont be able to pass in parliament,because the opposition will not agree to this since the Conservatives need at least one of the opposition parties to go along with it if they want it passed. But here is the problem if the conservatives would make it a confidence issue this fall it would then pass with flying colors. The Liberals will not be able to afford another election anytime soon this is a fact.

Steve V said...

"So Steve, how much have you given to the Liberal Party this year?"

I bet more than you've given to the NDP you self-righteous a-hole :)

I'm a VF contributor to boot.

sharonapple88 said...

Have you wondered why Layton and Lizzie May is successful having these small victories?

I always get the feeling that it's easier for underdogs to raise money -- people really need to feel as though their party needs the cash (and these smaller parties generally do).

Even the Conservatives appear to play this underdog card (without your support, we can't survive.)

From the letter:

"Running as a Conservative in Canada is never easy.

"The Liberals have long benefited from the support of the country's most powerful vested interests. And the NDP has always been backed by the country's loudest vocal interests."

Why not try this for the Liberals:

The party does need money.

What are we up against?

The Conservatives can afford a 1,500 square meter election office all year round.

The Conservatives produced a minimum of five negative ad campaigns against Dion.

The Liberal's response -- a youtube ads.

Sick of seeing the Liberals take a knife to a gun fight?

Take a moment, and if you can afford a $1 or $2, please donate.

(Damn, now I've conviced myself to write another check.)

Steve V said...

"I don't know how optimistic I'd be about Q4 prospects"

I'm not optimistic at all, they will probably be dreadful, especially with election fatigue, as well as a leadership race.

This is a long term project, but we must get some sense of progress.

sharonapple88 said...

But here is the problem if the conservatives would make it a confidence issue this fall it would then pass with flying colors. The Liberals will not be able to afford another election anytime soon this is a fact.

I think the parties wouldn't mind making it an election issue. The Conservatives would be called arrogant to try and pass a bill that would basically benefit themselves, and worse, make it something to run an election on.

Basically, it costs $300 million of taxpayers' money to pay for an election, especially for a government that is expected to post a deficit next year... it would look rather (dare I say) arrogant?

Anonymous said...

If 47,315 people all paid
$1100.00, the limit I understand one can legally contribute to any party,does that compute to the figure of $6,367,676.44?

The Right is Where it's At said...

Sharonapple88:

"I think the parties wouldn't mind making it an election issue. The Conservatives would be called arrogant to try and pass a bill that would basically benefit themselves, and worse, make it something to run an election on."

Do you mean that the Liberals would go into another election so soon with no money left and no leader? It's the best way for them to go bankrupt. The Liberals can't afford another election this is a fact. Especially with the Liberal infighting that will result during the party leadership campaign.

Robert McClelland said...

I've never given money to a political party. But that doesn't answer my question. How much have you given to the Liberal Party this year?

Steve V said...

anon

That would give you a total of 52 046 500, so YES ;)

Steve V said...

"I've never given money to a political party."

LOL, all talk no action.

Let's just say I give more than the average for VF, but I see no reason to validate myself to YOU.

Hey, don't you have some anti-semetic drivel to pen or something?

sharonapple88 said...

Do you mean that the Liberals would go into another election so soon with no money left and no leader? It's the best way for them to go bankrupt. The Liberals can't afford another election this is a fact. Especially with the Liberal infighting that will result during the party leadership campaign.

No, it would mean that the Conservatives would have to back down from making everything a confidence vote or else face having to sell an election ($300 million dollar bill to taxpayers while also running several billions in deficit) on an issue that benefits only the Conservative party.

Why is it that when the Conservatives make everything a confidence vote, it's up to the other parties to stop them. When you're working with other people, you don't hold a gun up to your head and then tell them that if you don't get what you want, you'll kill yourself. It's manipulative since it's a form of extortion.

Steve V said...

sharon

You make the relevant point. NOBODY wants another election in the next year, at minimum, which means, should the Cons push the Libs into a corner, they would face the wrath of the voters. Everyone knows the Libs are in no position to fight another election, which means, should they vote against the government, it would be a statement on Harper's iron fist mentality. I've said this before, but the Libs don't have to cower in the corner, everyone knows the predicament, the onus is on Harper to work with others, he has the most to lose.

Gayle said...

Right - you keep saying this. If the CPC do what you suggest, they are the party that puts us into another election.

Do you really think they are prepared to call another election, simply because they think they should be able to spend more during election campaigns?

If they do, I suggest to you all the opposition parties will oppose, as they would prefer to go to an election on borrowed cash rather than allow the CPC to pass such self-serving legislation. I also suggest it will be the CPC who pay the price at the polls. They are the ones who are going to have to explain to people why it is so important they get to remove the spending limits that it is worth costing the taxpayers another 300 billion.

sharonapple88 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gayle said...

Doh - make that 300 million.

And I would also add that Harper has already signalled he is going to break his promise and run a deficit. I somehow doubt he wants an election within months of doing that...

Gayle said...

The question about how much you donate is personal, but there is some value in canvassing people about why they do or do not donate.

I have said here many times that I hold my nose when I donate as I am tired of all these backstabbers who insult donors by trying to screw this party. I am now withholding my monthly contribution until I see what comes out of this leadership race.

Steve V said...

No cats, just a black lab :)

Sharon, Robert is just being a tool, per usual. I must say though, it is simply mind boggling, that some smuck who doesn't donate ZIP, has the audacity to posit the question to someone who actually does walk the walk. Further proof, nothing but HOT AIR.

sharonapple88 said...

How much have you given to the Liberal Party this year?

Isn't that a rather personal quesiton. Why not ask him how much money he makes, the quality of the food he feeds to his cat (if he owns a cat)....

(Deleted and reposted because I said "foot" instead of "food.")

Steve V said...

sharon

I clip his nails too ;)

The Right is Where it's At said...

Sharonaplle88

"No, it would mean that the Conservatives would have to back down from making everything a confidence vote or else face having to sell an election ($300 million dollar bill to taxpayers while also running several billions in deficit) on an issue that benefits only the Conservative party."

The Conservatives made everything a confidence vote the last time.Just look where it got the Liberals today. There is one piece of legislation where Mr.Harper said it would make it one. That is the youth crime bill. Lets where that leads. My guess is it will pass.

You also said:

"Why is it that when the Conservatives make everything a confidence vote, it's up to the other parties to stop them. When you're working with other people, you don't hold a gun up to your head and then tell them that if you don't get what you want, you'll kill yourself. It's manipulative since it's a form of extortion."

It's because they are the ones who could stop an election from happening.About working with others I'm all for that,but if the others don't want to change the law what is the next step? Make it a confidence vote. If the Liberals would put forward a bill to eliminate the cap then there is no problem.

Let me make a prediction here the Bloc,NDP will vote against the throne speech,and the Liberals will vote for it. Than guess what will happen the Liberals will criticize the same speech they say isn't good enough mark my words.

sharonapple88 said...

I've said this before, but the Libs don't have to cower in the corner, everyone knows the predicament, the onus is on Harper to work with others, he has the most to lose.

Hopefully, the Liberals take this to heart and hopefully Harper realizes this as well.

(What party, other than the Conservatives, have the funds to run an election. It will be interesting to see if any of the other parties decide to prop up the Conservatives if the Liberals decide not to on a confidence vote.)

And I would also add that Harper has already signalled he is going to break his promise and run a deficit. I somehow doubt he wants an election within months of doing that...

Good point Gayle.

Bad economic times ahead... those are usually poor times to call an election.

sharonapple88 said...

No cats, just a black lab :)

I clip his nails too ;)


I hope your brush his teeth too. ;)

Mushroom said...

"The Conservatives can afford a 1,500 square meter election office all year round."

The sad thing is that even the NDP have managed to buy a 1500 square meter election office all year round in Ottawa. They even rented the bottom floor to Shoppers Drug Mart so there is a steady cash flow. So much for Layton as the underdog.

"Sick of seeing the Liberals take a knife to a gun fight?"

I am sorry to say that I am not. The Air Inuit 737 rental showed how sick the party is. We are now reduced to using butter knives.

sharonapple88 said...

It's because they are the ones who could stop an election from happening.About working with others I'm all for that,but if the others don't want to change the law what is the next step? Make it a confidence vote.

That's like saying that if you get into a fight with a friend over the movie you'll see that night, the next stop is to stop the car and the turn the car around and deciding to stay home for the night. Or in a dispute in a street hockey game, the next step is to take the puck and go home.

You can't say you're only into working with others only when you get your way.

The next step should be talking to the other parites, hearing their opinions, listening to experts, shoring up your arguments, seeing if there are things you can compromise on, and things they can compromise on as well, shore up alliances...

Of course all of this is more difficult than holding a confidence vote. :P

The Right is Where it's At said...

Sharonapple88

"Bad economic times ahead... those are usually poor times to call an election."

We just had an election during bad economic times.Remember how the stock market collapsed the jobs lost in the auto sector etc..etc..etc. With which money would the Liberal use to fight another election in the fall? Monopoly money! They would scream and yell,but the government would not fall and you know it. But I digress.

Xander said...

What is the motivation for people to donate to the Liberal party?

If you are a member of the conservative party you get to vote on the leadership. I believe you only have to pay like 5 bucks.

If you are a member of the Liberal party, you don't. It's done by delegates.

Jeff Jedras (Bcer in Toronto) said it best when he said : *We need to move to a weighted one-member, one-vote system for future leadership races. Every riding is assigned the same X number of votes, to ensure rural and urban ridings are as important and have the same say. Each riding member votes, and their votes determine how the riding's votes are allocated. Every other party uses some form of OMOV. It's a much fairer system, and much more inexpensive, than delegated leadership conventions, which can cost as much as $2000 per person to attend. And the results better reflect the will of the wider membership.


I really think the Liberal party should move towards a system of "Primaries" to determine their leader.

Though I should warn that this isn't perfect. If you read an article by Ceaser which examines the primary system in the U.S. you will see he is fairly critical of it because :

-a large and inclusive selectorate such as a presidential primary, or the party membership at large – cannot properly judge the
legislative or executive abilities of the various contenders; in this circumstance, charisma
often trumps experience (although not always, as the Liberals’ choice of St├ęphane Dion
demonstrates). If we want a selection system which channels ambition into public service,
rather than demagoguery or image appeals, caucus selection is a better choice than
OMOV.

But then again Ceaser didn't have to content with finance regulations.

RuralSandi said...

I have a friend who says she's got donor fatique. Election 2006, leadership race, election 2008 - and now another leadership race.

Maybe there's something to that.

sharonapple88 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sharonapple88 said...

I am sorry to say that I am not. The Air Inuit 737 rental showed how sick the party is. We are now reduced to using butter knives.

You can still cut things with a butter knife... okay, so what if it's just butter. ;)

sharonapple88 said...

I wonder if people would be interested in a troll fund. Everytime a troll posts a comment (note: I'm not calling anyone a troll), someone could give a dollar or two to a party (it could be for Conservative, NDP, Bloc, Green, etc, whatever you're leaning towards). The troll gets to post whatever he wants, and you've done something... everyone wins. ;)

whopitulia said...

Creativity is the key to expand fundraising prospects for the Liberal Party. Every leadership candidate should reach out to the creatives who emailed them during the election after Harper's elitist gaffe and get their input. Here's my crazy idea. I don't want to give money to anyone's leadership campaign, I would rather give to the party election war chest. If you put a donation button on the Liberal website that said, "Show your support for candidate x by donating money to the party on their behalf, I'd try and scrape up a few bucks more. I hold this same philosophy for charity donations. I won't give to anyone who uses most of the money for administration. Charities that market themselves as all volunteer run, all money goes to the cause, are the ones I give to. It would also be interesting to see which leadership candidate could raise the most money for the party rather than just for themselves.

Steve V said...

"It would also be interesting to see which leadership candidate could raise the most money for the party rather than just for themselves."

What if a candidate came out and said 1/2 of any donation would go to the party war chest? It would actually be a clever way to demonstrate commitment to party renewal, in a practical way. I suspect people would respond to such an initiative, and in that sense, the candidate could benefit as well.

Gayle said...

"There is one piece of legislation where Mr.Harper said it would make it one. That is the youth crime bill. Lets where that leads."

He said that before it blew up in his face in Quebec, and because of that bill, as well as the arts cut, he did not get his majority.

Harper cannot afford to alienate Quebec. He has done as well as he possibly can in the rest of Canada.

Not to mention the fact the country is heading into a recession. Do you really think life sentences for 14 year olds (legislation that will be immediately, and successfully, challenged in the courts) should be Canada's top priority? Are you aware that it will be the provinces who have to pay for this? They may have something to say about that.