For years, the federal Conservatives have dominated federal fundraising, often raising more money in any quarter than all other parties combined — sometimes twice as much as all other parties combined. Ask a Conservative and they will tell you that without that fundraising advantage, we would be celebrating Paul Martin’s 10th years as PM next summer.
But that fundraising advantage is in jeopardy.
In the last quarter, the one ending on Sept. 30, more Canadians wrote a cheque to Justin Trudeau’s Liberals than to Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. It’s been a long time since Harper took a back seat to any Liberal leader in that category. Mind you, the Liberals still trailed the Conservatives in terms of overall money raised. But the race is definitely on.
Today, CP’s Joan Bryden reported that the Liberals believe they raised $1 million in a recent 12-day period, meeting a goal the party had set.
Shortely after the Liberals had announced that goal, the Conservatives announced to their members that they had launched the “Seize the Moment” campaign to raise $2 million by month (and year) end.
A source at Conservative Party HQ told me today the party will definitely hit that mark.
Sources in both Liberal and Conservative parties say fundraising numbers are much more an indicator of party fortunes than any poll or favour found with this pundit or that pundit. In an age when neither corporations nor unions can underwrite political activity, you know your political program is striking the right chord when tens of thousands of Canadians agree to part with a $100 a year or so to support it.
And so, tonight, in the e-mail inbox of Conservatives everywhere, party president John Walsh had this interim fundraising report [my emphasis] and exhortation.
When we launched the Seize the Moment campaign, we weren’t sure what to expect.
We knew we could count on our donors to chip in – but we were blown away by the results.
This month, we’ve received over 10,000 donations for $1,289,234 – thank you to everyone for your incredible generosity.
But we still have a lot of work to do to reach our final goal of $2 million by December 31, and we’re counting on your support.
Will you chip in $25 – or whatever you can afford – today and help us reach our goal?
Please keep in mind that your donations are eligible for a tax credit of up to 75% – meaning your $25 donation would actually only cost you $6.25!
We need to meet our goal by December 31 and maintain our fundraising edge – our success in the next election depends on it.
Chip in $25 or more today – we’re counting on you.
President, Conservative Party of Canada