Financial results to be released later this week are expected to show the Liberal party more than doubled its fundraising take during the first quarter of 2009 over the paltry $850,000 raised during the same period last year. And the party expects to announce during the convention that it's paid off its $2-million debt from last October's election.
Liberal national director Rocco Rossi attributes the improvement to ``the Ignatieff effect.'' ``There's clearly excitement, enthusiasm and you have a leader who's going to every corner of the country, who's reaching out,'' Rossi says.
Final number aside, "more than doubling" our fundraising total in such short order is a serious shot in the arm, beyond reasonable expectation. I expected some significant improvement, but not this trajectory, this soon, before the new team really had a chance to put a its strategy in place. The fact the mega 1 million dollar fundraiser earlier this month counts for the next quarter, not included here, also means we can expect more good news in the future.
It goes without saying, whatever the number, we still lag far behind the Conservatives. However, in a practical sense we're more competitive, and maybe just as important, the narrative of an energized party on the uptick continues.