Prime Minister Paul Martin will host a closed-door meeting next week with about 35 big donors to the Liberal Party at an unpublicized fundraiser in Edmonton, Liberal officials said yesterday.So - just the kickbacks to their corporations that need to be finished, eh?
The meeting is billed as an "appreciation event" involving Liberal donors of $5,000, which is the maximum contribution under the new electoral law.
Mr. Martin has hosted other $5,000 fundraisers in Calgary and Oakville, Ont., and the party is extremely coy about these private events and will not disclose the location of Monday's meeting in Edmonton. The fundraiser is not listed on Mr. Martin's official schedule for the day.
Mr. MacKinnon said the meeting will involve people who have already given to the Liberal Party.
"There won't be a ticket booth at the entrance. They will have made their donations beforehand," he said.
From a Hill Times article earlier this month:
Combining the second quarter donations from the Hill Times article with the first quarter numbers we can see that the Conservatives average $102 per donor while the Liberals get $233 per donor.
Critics of the new financing law, however, said the law doesn't go far enough to weed out the big money donations. "The Conservatives are showing clear evidence that they are the party that is actively supported in terms of donations by far more Canadians than the other parties," said Duff Conacher, coordinator of Democracy Watch. "But $5,000 is still too much money for each individual to give."
Mr. Conacher said that the $5,000 limit is higher than what an average Canadian can afford in a year and should be lowered to $1,000. He added that the limit, as well as the new law in general, is undemocratic because it "facilitates funnelling of donations by corporations, unions and other organizations through executives and employees." Not all of the donor's information, such as employers or major affiliations, is disclosed, Mr. Conacher said, so voters still don't know who is supporting or "bankrolling" the parties.
"Voters have a right to know who's bankrolling the parties, or in other words, who owns the parties, before they go to the polls," Mr. Conacher said.
The Liberal source admitted that the new rules have forced the Liberals to change their fundraising strategy because the party previously "has always depended on about 80 per cent corporate donations for the central party."
Still, the CPC has outraised the Liberal$ by almost $4 million!