Monday, February 04, 2008

Margaret Atwood, Jim Balsillie, and other interesting political contributors

I thought it'd be interesting to take a look through the Elections Canada database for donations to political parties in the last quarter of 2007, and see what names popped-out.

To refresh everyone on the overall numbers, the results for the fourth quarter of 2007 were as follows:

44,324 contributors for $4,892,921.6

13,618 contributors for $1,

15,698 contributors for $1,424,524.23

3390 contributors for $414,274.84


3,888 contributors for $336,3

Continued gradual improvement for the Liberals. Sure, we still lag way, way, way behind the Conservatives. But we also don't have the CBC to pick on, so it's a tad more challenging. Still, while it's a work in progress, there is progress.

That's another story though. As I said I was more interested in talking a gander at some of the names donating to the various parties. I kept my browsing to donations of $500 and above, because otherwise I'd be scrolling forever and I don't have that kind of patience. Here's a few names from each party that jumped-out:


Naturally, as a Liberal a few more names here were recognizable to me, such as:

Gordon Ashworth, the LPC's National Campaign Director.

This name was a surprise, author Margaret Atwood.

As was Research in Motion founder Jim Balsillie.

Raymond Chretien is a our former ambassador to the U.S., and is Jean Chretien's newphew.

Former Liberal MP and minister Anne McLellan.

Former Liberal MP and minister Pierre Pettigrew.

I believe this Gordon Wilson of Powell River, BC must be the same Gordon Wilson that was a leader of the BC Liberal Party, then former the Progressive Democratic Alliance, and then became a BC NDP cabinet minister. Interesting.

Among current parliamentarians, I noticed MP Navdeep Bains ($500), Senator Larry Campbell ($500), Senator Jerry Grafstein ($1000), Albina Guarnieri ($1000 to Michael Ignatieff's campaign), and Senator Serge Joyal ($500).

Less names naturally popped-out at me from the other parties' donor lists, but here's a few that did.

Conservative Party

You'll remember Jim Dinning as the entertaining but failed wannabe successor to Ralph Klien as leader of the Alberta PCs. (Off topic, but go to his Web site and you're told "You have reached this page accidentally12a.". I guess so Jim, I guess so.)

Tim Powers is a lobbyist and regular Conservative commentator on the pundit circuit.

John Reynolds is a lobbyist, Conservative insider, former Conservative MP and election campaign co-chair. Yvonne is his spouse.

Don Mazankowski was a Mulroney-era cabinet minister. Lorraine is his spouse.


Marion Dewar was a long-time mayor of Ottawa and was briefly an NDP MP.

Howard Hampton, of course, is the current leader of the Ontario NDP.

Green Party

It's author Margaret Atwood once again, this time donating to the Greens. I double checked, and she didn't donate to the NDP, at least not this quarter.

And media pioneer and CityTV founder Moses Znaimer was another interesting Green contributor.

And being an anglophone from the west, while I skimmed the BQ contributors list I can say I recognized any.

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RP. said...

Isn't Atwood breaking the rules by donating the max to two different parties in the same month?

Jeff said...


Not necessarily. There are up to three different allowances: to a leadership candidate, a party, and a riding association. So in theory, you could donate the maxX3.

Neither of Margaret's donations were to a leadership candidate, as that would show-up on the listing, but I can't tell if one might have gone to a riding association.

Also, I'm not sure if someone could donate the max to say, each party, as that's not something I've come across before. I don't have time to research it at the moment, perhaps someone more expert in election financing law could chime in.

Jeff said...

I should add during a writ period as well, someone can also donate the max to an election candidate over and above their other limits.

Ti-Guy said...

But we also don't have the CBC to pick on, so it's a tad more challenging.

I'll say it's challenging. The Liberals don't have the Israel-Lebanon war of 2006 to exploit either (if you remember, the CPC sent out a fundraising request highlighting Harper's 'moral clarity' on that issue), which, in the context of the recent Winograd report, seems appallingly self-serving now.

RuralSandi said...

Margaret Atwood doesn't surprise me at all. The CPC have no interest in the "arts". It's guns, military and hockey for them.

The CPC talk about family values - what about those children that don't play hockey but are talented in art, writing, playing piano, etc. The CPC aren't interested in encouraging a future for them.