According to briefing notes, obtained by The Canadian Press, only 5.6 per cent of Liberal party members have donated so far this year to the party, one of its riding associations or to one of the former leadership candidates, who are struggling to pay off about $3.6 million in cumulative debt.
Only 29 per cent of Liberal MPs have donated to the party and almost none of their staff members. By contrast, 65 per cent of Liberal senators have contributed.
The party will put on a major push this fall to boost donations. Among other things, it will employ former prime minister Jean Chretien and Paul Martin to make email solicitations.
High profile Liberals, including MPs, will be asked to commit to raise anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 each.
And in November the party hopes to simultaneously stage 100 fundraising dinners across the country, each attended by 50 people paying $50 a head. The event is being billed as "One Night, 100 Dinners."
The good news, if the Liberals can ever tap into that other 94.4% of Liberal members, it could translate into a fundraising bonanza ;) How about the 71% of MP's (what would Harper do)? In all seriousness, the lack of donations from hardcore partisans is another indication of something amiss. If you can't motivate the base to donate, seems to me you will have a pretty hard time motivating the general population to support you.
On the plus side, I did recently receive a call from a party worker in Ottawa, saying they were going through the national membership list to solicite donations. On the negative, if the above is any indication, I wouldn't expect a great third quarter in fundraising, which will fuel the negative flames. That fact might explain the mass email I received from the Party President yesterday, which started ominously:
It wasn't our first setback and likely won't be our last.
BTW, I have donated, not to mention the two cents spewed daily :)