Monday, July 03, 2006

Give Til It Hurts, Hurt Til It Gives

Here's why the Conservative Party can afford to be sanguine about giving back leadership convention fees, and the Liberal Party can't:

The Conservative party appears to be doing just fine without the help of corporate donors, raking in nearly $18 million from individual Canadians last year.

That's double the $8.3 million the Liberals collected, according to party documents released by Elections Canada on Saturday.

But there was good news for the Liberals in 2005. The party emerged from being nearly $2 million in debt a year earlier to being in the black by $440,551.

The Conservatives continue to shoulder a considerable debt from the former Progressive Conservative party, and remains in the red by $687,569.

Still, the party is making massive strides in getting rid of that debt. Since its Reform party days, the organization has always been adept at collecting from individuals rather than relying on corporate donors.

It was the second year that political parties had to do without corporate or union donations, and the amount of individual donations was capped at $5,000.

The NDP collected $5.1 million from Canadian individuals in 2005. It was also in debt by $2.2 million, a reflection of a hefty bank loan.

Looks like the Liberals are well behind the curve in adjusting to the fundraising restrictions their prior government imposed on themselves.

These numbers put the Liberals in a bind over the issue of convention fees.

If the Tories decide to take the high road, treat them as donations, and return the excess to the donors, the Liberals will be under political pressure to do the same regardless of the financial pressure it put their party under.

If the Tories don't, then the Liberals look awfully foolish for demanding it in the first place, although such foolishness will be tempered by the financial relief it provides.

Either way, the Liberals have got to figure out how to work with this equation: one $50,000 donor is less than a thousand $50 donors. If they don't, the fundraising gap is only going to widen, and the NDP might just surpass them.

Source: Yahoo


Anonymous said...

But see the Globe's story (sorry, no link), breathlessly reported, concerning how the Libs are 'in the black'...

Anonymous said...

It's the liberals own fault for changing the rules to political parties. They knew this was the CPC
stronghold. But they did it just before the election so that means they had over 12 years of Corporate
Donations. That's twelve years and tens of millions of dollars. Where'd it go?