Wednesday, August 01, 2007

On fundraising and what not

I won't devote much virtual ink to the Globe’s report that not many Conservative MPs, and an astounding 18 cabinet ministers, either didn’t donate to their party last year or donated less than $200.

I won’t comment on what that seems to say about their belief in their party, or any contradiction about sending-out fundraising solicitations without giving themselves. I won’t even dig out the comments made by Conservative bloggers a year ago, when similar stories were written about Liberal MPs, stories Conservative bloggers and MPs took great glee in trumpeting.

That would all be just a little too easy. Instead, let me just pick up on Deceivin’ Steven’s old accountability meme. What does accountability mean to the CPC? Apparently it means dodging media questions:

The Globe sent an e-mail to all Conservative MPs who did not appear to have made donations in 2006, either to correct the record or allow them to provide an explanation.

Conservative Party officials urged MPs not to reply to The Globe if they did not give more than $200 or to point out that they donate to many charities and organizations every year.

Accountability indeed. Anyway, I thought this line was amusing:

While party officials point out that donations are personal matters, they also note they have expectations for MPs.

"As a grassroots party that receives donations from Canadians all over the country, we'd like to receive donations from all kinds of Canadians," a Conservative official said.

The official added the party has a "good idea of who gives and who doesn't."

Deceivin’ Steven is making his list and checking it twice. He’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice. Cabinet Claus is coming, to town…

Lastly, this was yet another political story in which the Globe granted anonymity, this time to a CPC party official who gave the above quote. Any reason why he/she had to be unnamed? And because CPC MPs would be mad at him/her for publicly calling them out for not donating isn’t a good enough reason to not give their name.

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Olaf said...


I think the "Deceivin' Stephen" nickname, like the "Libranos" and "Fiberals" before it, has reached the point of epic redundancy and overuse, and has long since passed from modestly clever to just plain annoying.

That's just my opinion though, because I personally start to get bored of a joke after I hear it 10,000 times. Maybe I don't get just how funny it is.

Jeff said...

Not until its on the cover of the Economist Olaf...

Olaf said...


That's a fair enough standard. Tit for tat, as it were. Carry on, then.

Gauntlet said...

If anonymous sources are bad, isn't it because the information lacks credibility? So aren't you undermining the credibility of the arguments you're making against the Conservatives by basing those arguments on the comments of anonymous sources?

The issue is not whether or not Stephen Harper has a naughty or nice list. The issue is that the CPC will not speak on the record to the press in situations where they can't control the message.

Jason Hickman said...

Hey, as long as the Tories are receiving about 3 times as much money, from >3 times as many individual Canadians, than our main opponents [according to the same story you linked to], I'm not gonna complain about a few MPs being slow to take out the chequebooks.

That dig aside, I would be mildly interested to know how many MPs from each caucus donate to their respective [and I'm kind of curious to see if Bob Rae is still giving any dough to New Democrats...], or is it just the Tory MPs who are being parsimonious.

(Actually, I expect that most if not all Liberal MPs probably did "donate" last year, assuming that delegate fees and/or donations to leadership candidates count as donations.)

Jeff said...

Depends on the circumstance Jason. Credibility is often a problem with anon sources, yes. In the case of "official" or "authorized" leaks the issue isn't as much one of credibility, I'm sure they're very much on the level. Whether we know who it is or not, we know they are clearly speaking for the CPC. The question instead, as you say, is the CPC's penchant for media control, and why the media is willing to go along with it by granting anonymity when it is quite unnecessary.

The issue instead is why the anonymity is necessary. Is the public better served,

Jeff said...

And Jason H, I think you're probably right on the Lib numbers. Were it not for the convention fees, I suspect the figures would be similar to those for the CPC caucus.

They certainly were last summer when the media wrote this same story a few times, only then it was about Liberal MPs with no mention of Con caucus donation numbers. I recall Con bloggers had much fun with it.

Why can't the media, say, examine all the parties in one story? Beats me, but it would seem to make more sense I'd think.