Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Rossi's Challenge

The 2008 fundraising numbers are out:

CPC: 21,190,928.22 (up 25%)
Lib: 5,900,511.89 (up 30%)
NDP: 5,466,434.84 (up 37%)
Green: 1,631,293.79 (up 66%)
Bloc: 713,415.22 (up 66%)

On the bright side, Liberal numbers were up 23% in Q4 while most other parties only matched their Q3 numbers, but this may have been due to the leadership "race". Either way, the Tories' 6.3 million to 2.3 million Q4 edge shows that Rocco Rossi and friends have a lot of challenges ahead of them.

But just how bad is it? Well, if you add in the public finance numbers, these are the 2008 totals:

CPC: 31.6 million (67% from donations)
Lib: 14.6 million (40% from donations)
NDP: 10.5 million (52% from donations)
Bloc: 3.7 million (19% from donations)
Green: 2.9 million (56% from donations)

So, no matter how you slice it, the Conservatives had a 17 million dollar advantage in 2008, and the Liberals are still hopelessly addicted to public party financing - which, for them, will be dropping by 1.6 million in 2009, due to low vote numbers last election. If donations stay the same in 2009, here's what the different parties can expect to rake in:

CPC: 31.3 million (68% from donations)
Lib: 13.0 million (45% from donations)
NDP: 10.4 million (53% from donations)
Green: 3.5 million (47% from donations)
Bloc: 3.4 million (21% from donations)

It may not be a sexy topic but, when you look at these numbers, it's clear that increasing party fundraising numbers should be priority number 1 for the LPC right now.

Labels: ,

15 Comments:

  • I think a better question is, with 3.5M will the Greens finally be able to clinch a seat?

    By Blogger Ian, at 6:51 PM  

  • I will take a - probably iconoclastic - position here and argue that fundraising actually shouldn't be a priority for the Liberal Party. Why?

    The party can always borrow money come the next election (20 million if need be). They can borrow money for pre-campaign attack ads as well.

    That is particularly true, where all the parties are aligned against the Conservatives. The Liberals spent up to the 20 million limit on anti-Tory ads, the NDP spent up to the limit too, and while the Bloc and Greens didn't, they also spent a fair chunk of change doing the same. Indeed, despite poor fundraising by the Liberals, they emerged from the last election only 2 million in debt. Moreover, it is not clear from this that the advantage lies with the Tories - who faced tens of millions in negative ads aimed at them.

    So if the advantages of money are capped by law (such that even the piss-poor 2008 results produce a mostly self-sufficient party), what is the real problem - the real problem is that the Liberals have become organizationally weak. The problem is GOTV (and bad fundraising may also result from that), more than it is a lack of money.

    One possible way to show this is the difference between late-election (from a few days before election) polling and election results. Lets compare recent elections:

    2008
    Result: 26.2% (-.4%)
    Polling Average: 26.62%
    Ekos: 26.4
    Angus-Reid: 27%
    SES: 26.7%
    Harris-Decima: 25%
    Strategic Counsel: 28%

    2006
    Result: 30.2% (+2.7%)
    Polling average: 27.53%
    SES: 30.1%
    Ekos: 27%
    Strategic Counsel: 27%
    Ipsos-Reid: 26%

    2004
    Result: 36% (+3%)
    Polling average: 33%
    Ipsos: 32%
    Environics: 33%
    SES: 34%

    2000
    Result: 41%
    Ipsos: 39%
    (I wish I could find more polls)

    Is it possible this result comes from polling error? Maybe. As well, it may not be the result of Liberals getting worse at GOTV, but rather Conservatives getting better.

    How do the Liberals fix this? I'm not sure. As a party of the center it is always hard to rally people to your ideas - since the Liberal party really only has one central idea ("be pragmatic"). When the party was in power it was another story - helping the party offered the ambitious tangible rewards.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 7:30 PM  

  • I agree with Hoser...why bother worrying about fundraising? You can always borrow and put your party further into debt! This way, you can keep borrowing until no one will lend you any more money! ( After all, they are only $2MM in debt.../??) Perhaps your leaders can keep borrowing for their leadership campaigns, without any hope of paying it back. ( I am sure ol Frank @ Magna will cut a check or two to help clear that up...) Sounds good to me!

    Signed,

    Shane
    A Wishful Conservative

    By Anonymous Calgary Rants, at 7:38 PM  

  • Calgary Rants has a solid point.

    The absolute best way for the Liberals to kill themselves is to borrow even more and lose the next election.

    The Liberals need to reinvent themselves and realize they need their grassroots to donate if they are going to survive a few election cycles.

    By Blogger MrvnMouse, at 8:10 PM  

  • The numbers make it clear that the real solution is fund raising from individuals, not corporations, not unions, not government! Abolish all government funding - the $1.95/vote, the tax deductible donations and the reimbursement of election expenses. And, to avoid limiting free speech of Canadians, remove all limits on political spending provided the funds are raised as stated. Let Canadians hear the politicians they are prepared to pay the bills for. Let the rest disappear i.e the Bloc

    By Anonymous Gary, at 11:55 PM  

  • ..maybe a good start would be getting a donation from your leader, Michael Ignatieff, who contributed nothing to his own party last year :)

    By Blogger roblaw, at 1:00 AM  

  • RE: Gary

    "Abolish all government funding - the $1.95/vote, the tax deductible donations and the reimbursement of election expenses. And, to avoid limiting free speech of Canadians, remove all limits on political spending provided the funds are raised as stated."

    I really like the $1.95 / vote... what says support more than a vote?

    Also... people who can't afford to donate anything to a party get at least some say in the process.

    It would be nice to see a ban on political advertising between elections... I'm more than a little tired of the constant Conservative party ads in the GTA.

    By Blogger MERBOY, at 10:39 AM  

  • I can't believe Ignatieff didn't give to the party last year. Way to walk the walk bud.

    By Anonymous Deb, at 11:05 AM  

  • "I can't believe Ignatieff didn't give to the party last year. Way to walk the walk bud."

    I think it shows commendable fiscal prudence, to avoid investing in a doomed enterprise.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 1:22 PM  

  • Priority 1 right now seems to be listening to Danny Williams.

    By Blogger Fred, at 2:28 PM  

  • Also... people who can't afford to donate anything to a party get at least some say in the process.


    Everybody can afford to donate to a political party. Even me. Only people who really don't care can't afford $20.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:43 PM  

  • RE: Anonymous @ 2:43pm

    "Everybody can afford to donate to a political party. Even me. Only people who really don't care can't afford $20."

    So people that can barely afford the necessities just don't care then... it's not because they'd rather spend that $20 on groceries?

    Depending on what definition of poverty is used, between 10 and 20% of the Canadian population are considered to be impoverished... maybe you think that such an insignificant number of people should have no say in our political system?

    By Blogger MERBOY, at 2:56 PM  

  • Just an excuse

    if you care so much about issues that your passionate about and you really cant come up with 20 bucks then guess what you DONT really care you just think other people should care for your causes

    end of story

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:31 PM  

  • RE: Anonymous @ 5:31pm

    I'm sorry living below the poverty line is "just an excuse" for not spending on stuff that isn't required for living?

    What planet do you live on?

    By Blogger MERBOY, at 6:52 PM  

  • Uh, the problem with this theory is that Iggy did donate last year. As a Laurier Club member, your $1000 fee counts as a donation. Not sure why LC members are not showing up on the EC site though.

    By Blogger Ted, at 1:42 PM  

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