Monday, July 16, 2007

Party Donations

I know I'm a little behind on this story, but I thought I would offer some commentary.

CBC Political Bytes : Party Donations
New Elections Canada figures show the federal Liberals are trailing the Conservatives two to one in party donations.

The Conservative Party of Canada raised $18.6 million in 2006 — slightly more than twice what the Liberals brought in, $9.1 million

In particular, I want to draw attention to this:

The Conservatives have a long tradition of small individual donations, whereas the Liberals have relied largely over the years on large corporate contributions.

Back at the end of June, I mentioned I attended a Liberal town hall in Whitby, Ontario.

I actually had a first impression post up just after the town hall where I said:

It's entirely different than a Conservative event.

I didn't entirely explain in the follow-up what I meant by this.

One of the key differences was the amount of harassment for donations. In the span of the 2 hours I was at the town hall, the Liberal organizers and MP's mentioned needing money I think exactly 3 times. The MP's mentioned it, I think twice - once in passing and once in response to a question about negative ads. The president of the Whitby-Oshawa Liberal association mentioned at the end that, if we wanted to, we could donate at the back of the room.

That was it. I was more interested in deciding whether I should ask Mr. Dryden for an autograph (I deemed it inappropriate, by the way, so I didn't make the attempt) than I was in writing a cheque to the Liberal Party, even in my moment of temporary weakness.

In most Conservative events of similar length, I would have heard about needing money about 10 or 15 times. I would have also received a follow-up call to ask if I had enjoyed the event, and if I would like to make a donation (tax deductible, of course). I would have also received a letter in the mail saying how my support is greatly appreciated, I would have been thanked for attending the event, and if I would like to make a donation (tax deductible, of course).

I know some Liberals don't believe they should be actively fundraising to the point of telemarketing - especially among the party faithful - but they are going to need to get over that hump and over it quickly.

Or not. Works either way for me.

1 comment:

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