Friday, August 1, 2014

Liberals Doomed! Ahhhhhh!

The headlines today are quite amusing:

Liberal fundraising slides to ‘scary’ numbers, says party official -
'Scary' Fundraising Numbers Show Stall In Trudeau's Momentum - HuffPo
Liberal fundraising momentum stalls - Toronto Insider

These are just small outfits too, I can't wait until the big three editorials - Globe, NatPost, and the Star - pick this up, not to mention the Sun newtork. The headlines then will be hilarious I'm sure.

 Now, I know the above articles say that it was the party's top fundraising official - in this case, Christina Topp - was the one being quoted as this being "scary." I received that e-mail to, and I know the purpose behind it is to put the fear into our quaking Liberal boots that we're going to lose all of the momentum we gained since Trudeau became leader.

I personally find this sort of tactic to be pretty silly and not at all effective, as it drives the narrative away from the Liberals - but hey, that's why I write a small blog and not work in the hallowed halls of the third party's headquarters. Clearly the decisions made there are superior, blah blah.

My only answer to this is the below chart, farmed from data organized by Pundit's Guide:

Since 2008, our numbers have steadily improved, helped by various pushes for elections. Our $2.8-million this quarter (2014 Q2) is not the best second quarter we've ever had, but that's because of exigent circumstances - 2009 Q2 featured our election-that-never-was push by Ignatieff, and 2011 Q2 was the May 2011 federal election. 2013's Q2, marginally better than our current quarter, was the leadership race.

In other words, $2.8-million raised without a big event and just after an amazing push by the party to earn millions... yeah I'm not concerned the sky is falling around us, guys. Maybe we should note this great success rather than trying to scare everyone next time.


  1. I looked into the fundraising data on Pundit's Guide - I'm a little amused that the Liberals were the cause of their own problems when they outlawed corporate donations and reformed the fundraising system.

    The Liberals relied very heavily on corporate donations during the Chretien era. The vast majority of corporate dollars when the Liberals, while a little bit went to the PCs and Reform/Alliance. The Liberals were rather weak with garnering individual donations, coming 2nd to the Alliance in 2000 and 3rd to the Alliance and pre-Layton NDP in 2002.

    The Canadian Alliance was very good at getting individual donations, and this continued with the unified Conservatives. These guys are always on top of their game. Whether it is small donations of under $200 or large $1000+ cheques. Since then, the Liberals were never close - usually a distant second.

    I think the Liberal problem on the federal level was that their support was "a mile wide but an inch deep" during the Chretien/Martin era. They relied too much on a fractured opposition and did put much effort in cultivating a base or coalition. Ideologically rigid parties like the Reform/Alliance/Conservatives and NDP are able to fire up supporters more than an ideologically confused Liberal Party during the Chretien/Martin years.

    I think the Liberals have been doing well with fundraising under both Rae and now Trudeau considering their circumstances. They Liberals are also competing with the NDP for progressive dollars. Both the Liberals and NDP are doing better with individual donations than they were historically.

    The Conservatives will go into the next election with a bigger war chest and better organization (but all parties have their election spending limits). They have a solid base that will stand by them no matter what. But their support is clearly waning with moderates.

  2. Q2 was not bad but, the Tories raised nearly 2 million more- $4.7 million. The reality is the Tories have out fund raised the Liberals for years and will likely be able to outspend them 2:1 at the next election. The Liberals consolation is that the Dippers only raised about $1.5 million in Q2. Overall these numbers indicate Conservative supporters are much more engaged and supportive of their party than NDPers or Grits. This could spell trouble in the future and makes me question how solid Justin's lead in the polls are?

    1. The Conservatives cannot outspend the Liberals 2:1 at an election, there is a spending cap on all parties, probably in the range of $20-25 million. Our fundraising levels would have to be extremely anemic to fail at that kind of level.

      That isn't to say you're wrong, of course. The Conservative fundraising advantage is pretty overwhelming in many respects, and that leads to problems for us on many levels. The first being pre-election advertising, as well as how much we can transfer between the national and local parties, and some other things. Its a serious issue that needs to be addressed... but the fact is that it is being addressed, which is the point. We're not going to match the systemic advantage of the Conservatives overnight, built up as Jay pointed out - but we're getting closer and closer, which is praiseworthy for a third party.

      I also would not equate fundraising levels to political support. We're talking about tens of thousands of loyal partisans compared to millions of voters - some bases are just bigger than others, especially when you have the kind of base and operation the Conservatives do. But if you insist, I would point out though that the Liberals have not caught up in the amount of donations, they are quickly catching up in the amount of donators.

    2. Kyle,

      Yes, a spending cap will be in place I would think it would be on the higher end of your estimate. Pre-election is the big problem for the Liberals and in the time of fixed election dates (an interesting topic on its own) the campaign for all intents and purposes begins Jan. 1. 2015. In BC where fixed election dates have existed since 2005 the Liberals have been very successful in saturating the media months before the writs are dropped.

    3. Of course, all parties will play by Election Canada's rules and regulations. But what if not all parties, and their ethical operations, weren't equal?
      As to the constant incredible fundraising amount that the Conservatives boast, I can only presume that it is proof that there are more Canadians than we believe who don't care that our soldiers are suffering, some to the brink of suicide, from government's cold treatment, that don't think environment is a key to both economical and physical health, and that also feel its best that Canadians in general are kept in the dark at how our economic is managed. Or that the most corrupt, ethically challenged political party is accessing illegal donations, such as corporations pipelining donations through unassuming or pliant employees. This theory has been well documented, and alas remains just a theory. Mike Duffy may be able to add something.

    4. rockfish,

      There is absolutely no proof that any political party is "accessing illegal donations". Political parties revenues' are released on a quarterly basis and are audited then, scrutinized by Elections Canada. I presume the reason you made the statement ambiguous is because you have no evidence. You admit as much by saying it remains a "theory". By definition a theory is an idea that has not been proven and I very much doubt it has been "well documented", where is the documentation? If you have evidence you hold a moral obligation to go and present your evidence to the appropriate authorities, otherwise your written statement is slanderous statement. Indeed, the truth behind it is telling by the lack of evidence you bring forth-accusations are not proof and frankly you do the owners of this site a disservice with you slander as they are the ones' who are liable.

      As for political parties with ethical problems we can all bring up skeletons from the Liberal, NDP and Conservative closets-at least with Duffy will go to court and justice will be done- unlike some Liberal scandals I could mention.

      Harper's government has spent more on the military than any government of the last 50 years. The Armed forces were continually underfunded by both Liberal and Conservative governments until Harper came to power. The US also has a problem with military suicides and they spend many tens of billions on veterans. It is not an easy problem to solve but, to accuse Canadians who support the Conservative of being uncaring towards veterans is insulting. Anyone who has dealt with mental health issues knows money alone will not solve the problem. Throughout the history of modern warfare psychological damage affects former soldiers for years afterwards regardless of compensation packages, or veteran services or the political party in power.

      rockfish, Insults are the last refuge of the outargued. Your statement of Aug 3. proves this old adage.