Hill Times: Experts say Tories ‘extraordinarily successful’ at fundraising on wedge issues, hope and fear

November 22, 2010
By BEA VONGDOUANGCHANH, KRISTEN SHANE
Published November 22, 2010

The federal Conservatives raised more than $4-million between July 1 and Sept. 30, out-fundraising the Liberals, Bloc Québécois, and NDP combined, through the use of two emotions, say some political observers: hope and fear.

“The more emotional intensity, the more money you can raise,” conservative political pundit Gerry Nicholls told The Hill Times last week.

So far this year, the Conservatives have raised $12,210,386, almost triple that of the Liberal Party, which has raised $4,720,611.20. Meanwhile, the NDP has raised $2,782,542.72 and the Bloc has raised $318,840.

Last year, the Conservatives raised $17.7-million compared to the second place Liberals, who raised $12.58-million. The NDP raised $7.4-million while the Bloc raised $889,763.24. The Conservatives had 101,385 donors, according to its 2009 financial report. The Liberals had donations from 37,876 people and the NDP received donations from 23,704 people. The Bloc received donations from 6,052 people.

When it comes to “hope,” Mr. Nicholls said an example is “We are so close to winning a majority … with your help we can do it! Send money!” An example of fear, he said, is ” ‘The Liberals and the NDP are planning a left-wing coalition to impose socialism in Canada. Only your support will stop them! Send us money.’ ”

Mr. Nicholls, who is a former vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition, also noted, however, that the emotional issues are only directed to the Conservative base. “This means good fundraising does not necessarily translate into more votes from the general public,” he said. “They have a much broader grassroots support base to tap for funds, an important legacy from the Reform/Canadian Alliance days.”

David Coletto, president and CEO of Abacus Data, who is an expert in political fundraising, agreed that those were two of the advantages that the Conservatives have over the other parties.

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