Saturday, May 02, 2009

Video: Senator David Smith on election readiness

Along with some of my fellow convention bloggers, I had the opportunity this morning to sit down with Liberal Senator David Smith. David was one of the national campaign co-chairs for the last election campaign, and he holds the same title for the upcoming campaign, whenever that may me.

With my little camera rolling, I asked the Senator if we're ready to answer Jean Chretien's call for an election now, if Michael Ignatieff will use appointments to meet his commitment of upholding Stephane Dion's 33% female candidates target. And I asked him why we didn't spend the limit in the last campaign, and if we'll be able to do so next time.

Here's the interview:

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3 comments:

The Rat said...

So, if I hear that correctly, the Libs are now "debt free" (if you don't count leadership debt) but don't have money in the bank. The CPC has a bill that would limit loans to the major banks, and put forward the idea that they want to eliminate the subsidy. Do you see a pattern here? Banks only make loans that can be re-paid (unlike others who write them off for altruistic reasons, with no expectations of quid pro quo :-). If the CPC were to win a majority I bet the subsidy would be gone, making it difficult for certain parties to repay their loans. Do you think banks might be reluctant to make $18,000,000 in loans (or ANY loans, really) if there is a prospect they won't get repaid? Especially in this economy?

A BCer in Toronto said...

They put the loan bill forward in the Senate, not the House, which suggests this is about gamesmanship and grandstanding. If they were serious, they'd have introduced it in the HoC. And I won't bother commenting on the fantasy of a CPC majority.

But I will make a few serious points.

WhileI don't have the LPC's balance sheets, I think it's a mistake to assume they don't have cash in the bank. You can pay down debt and save at the same time. If you're a homeowner, you have a mortage. That doesn't mean you don't have any money in the bank.

The $ the LPC gets from the per vote subsidy is divided (the exect percentages escape me) between the PTAs, the national party and the national campaign fund. Then, of course, there's fundraising, which has been picking up.

So the party has been building a war chest while it has been paying down debt. How big? I don't know. Probably not overly at this point. But with money in the bank, no debt, and improving fundraising numbers, I really don't think a legitimate bank loan for the LPC would be out of reach. And if the NDP and BQ decide to prop up the CPC for awhile, that's more time to build-up the bank balance.

Obviously, yes, the LPC does have a long ways to go in the fundraising department. Clearly, though, the hard work has begun. As for what shenanigans the CPC may pull in the future, we'll cross that bridge etc.

The Rat said...

They put the loan bill forward in the Senate, not the House, which suggests this is about gamesmanship and grandstanding. If they were serious, they'd have introduced it in the HoC. And I won't bother commenting on the fantasy of a CPC majority.I agree it's grandstanding for now but it sends a signal to the banks. Fantasy or not, a CPC majority could happen, not that I'm sure I care anymore, but I believe that the grandstanding is a signal to the banks that the collateral on any loan they make just might not be there.

So what I'm getting at is that your question on how much the Liberals spent on the last election and might on the next was answered a little evasively and I think the reason is that the Liberals don't have 18 million in the bank, neither do the NDP for that matter, and I think that any statements about an early election from Ignatieff are also just grandstanding.