Thursday, July 26, 2007

Give 'till it hurts

Kady O'Malley's new blog drew my attention to this article about senior ministry staff being solicited for $1,000 donations to the Conservative Party. One of the key points in her post, with which I concur, is that the willingness of people to talk to reporters about the issue is a sign that folks at Canada's New Government™ are starting to buck at the harness (extra points to Kady for her description of PMO 'communications directrix' Sandra Buckler – perhaps we can draw The Frog Lady out of her hiatus to produce some art). As the Globe article points out, the Liberal Party made a similar request when it was in government, which, in my memory, didn't result in staffers hitting speed-dial to the Ottawa bureau chiefs.

That said, I think the CPC is completely justified (as are all political parties) in expecting its staff to contribute as much as they can afford. Senior ministerial staff make six figures. They should have no trouble scraping 1,000 bucks together, especially when you consider that they'll get up to half of it back at tax time.

And even more importantly, political staff should know better than anyone that political success is driven by money. Everyone who's cares about the outcome of elections needs to contribute what they can, in terms of time and money.

Lastly, a point of clarification: the Globe article indicates that the maximum allowable contribution is $1,000 to the party or individual candidate(s). In fact, under the FAA (also known as An Act to Screw the Liberals With Their Pants On), there are separate donation limits for these two categories of donations. One can donate the maximum amount ($1,100 actually, if one wants to split hairs) to the party, and the same amount again to a candidate or candidates (if giving to multiple candidates, the aggregated total cannot exceed $1,100).

And there's a third category of donation, again with its own $1,100 limit: leadership contests. This doesn't apply to the CPC right now, of course, but the Liberal Party is still collecting donations toward retiring the campaign debt of the 11 men and women who were so instrumental in revitalizing our party last year. Click here and please be as generous as you can.

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