[ Donation and Membership Numbers in a Free Fall]
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It would seem that finally Justin Trudeau’s political honeymoon has ended and the results are showing up where it hurts the party the most: right in the pocket book.
Liberal party insiders are now setting off alarms that monthly donations that are used to fuel those hammy Justin television advertisements have begun a full scale tail spin. In a plea for funds that I recently opened a letter from Christina Topp ( the Liberals’ senior fundraising director)that said her “ party’s numbers are troubling”.
At the root of her comments, are not only a tail spin in total dollars rolling into the national headquarters on a month-to-month basis but also a sharp decline in the numbers of donors.
As you may recall, the Liberals under young Trudeau made a number of changes in the hope of creating a sexy image for the party. To a very effect, two of those changes created an earlier “spurt” association “quasi-memberships” and monthly donation pledges.
Although the “party” insinuated that this new format initiated an infusion of youth into the party, observations at the last full scale Liberal convention told a contradictory story. Much of the infusion of young folks was in the age group that is too young to vote and mainly high school age children. While that group basked in the photo-ops with young Trudeau and had a hand in “pushing” marijuana legalization on to center stage; they did not represent a constituency with the financial where-with-all to keep the party in the black ink. Thus, a sudden decline (almost 20%) in donations and “quasi-memberships” has suddenly appeared.
Subsequently, young Trudeau in a rash move suddenly tossed all the Liberal Members of Canada’s senate out of his party. Those of us who had (in the past) been significantly involved in Grit politics recognized these “old war horses (the Liberal Senators) has among the best of the party’s fundraisers. We once referred to them as the party’s “bag men”.
Over riding Trudeau’s fruitless attempts to make those two radical changes, his own performance as leader are most likely to have been the underlying cause in this sudden change in fortunes for those operating the Liberal war chest. Absent any significant attempt to state policy (except advocating drug use) the public was left to hang on young Trudeau’s every word in the hope of learning more about his vision for Canada.
His many and all too frequent mis-speaks on such things as his love for the Chinese dictatorial style of government and idiotic outbursts as to Russian motivation for military invasion of the Ukraine having to do with the Russian hockey team’s poor showing in the Sochi Olympic games undermined his own credibility as a person ready to assume national leadership.
Similarly, at the grass roots of Liberal riding association trust in his pledge for fully open candidate nomination processes, his own tampering in a number of ridings. In one, Toronto Center, he moved to veto the nomination of long-time Liberal, Christine Innes who has now launched a $1.5-million defamation lawsuit against Justin Trudeau and Liberal Party of Canada. My “best guess” is that this unprovoked attack by Trudeau on Innes’ reputation is likely to result in a judgment by the courts against Trudeau and the national party.
When all is tallied, Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada are way ahead in donations and in donors. Much of that support, by contrast is likely the result of public perception of Tory handling of the “meat and potato” issues that affect Canadian families. It would seem strong leadership throughout the recession easily trumps the desire to legalize dope.
Recently released second quarter numbers show the Tories leading in both month-to-month contributions to the party and number of donors.
At over 36,000 monthly (donors) the Conservative numbers grew from 30, 437 in the previous year while Liberal total donors fell from over 38,000 to just over 30,000 this year and remain in a free-fall. While Grit publicity agents attempt to fob off this increase as having been effected by the recent Ontario provincial election, the New Democrats took in about $1.5 million in the quarter from 21,013 donors as compared to fewer than 19,000 donors in the second quarter of 2013. It may be time for the Liberals to rethink Justin Trudeau as these trends do not auger well for the Liberals headed into the 2015 National Elections.
Many of us will be delighted not to continue being forced fed those self-serving “Justin cares about you “television advertisements. The notion attempted to be delivered in those costly Liberal TV ads is that, somehow young Trudeau believes that he has become the sole focus of Conservative and New Democratic attention while he “alone” remains focused on you – the voter. The message becomes blurred by his all too frequent dumb-ass remarks and his love for pot. Perhaps young Trudeau should take a break from the pot and pay attention to the fact that he is being measured and assessed by voters for much more than his hair-do.
The first vote in any political campaign is that of donations and memberships. Apparently, after a brief honeymoon period, and a number of circus side-show maneuvers, young Trudeau is guiding his party exactly into the same position that Michael Ignatieff left it before Justin Trudeau decided to lead the Liberal Party into the Promised Land.