Tuesday, September 25, 2012

BC Conservative Finances

Updated at 7:25 pm - now that I have seen more, things are not as dire as I thought it appeared earlier.  I would like it if it were the law that political parties had provide detailed accounting to the public monthly.   If the public is going to fund political parties, we have a right to know a lot more about them, they are not private clubs, they are public funded entities.

Photo taken by Jordan Bateman at the BCCP AGM
In 2011 the BC Conservatives raised $212,797l, spent $101,726  and finished the year with $115,326 available.

According to the paperwork filed around the by-elections this year the BC Conservatives raised $89,563.44 and spend $60,430.76 between January 1st 2012 and April 19th 2012.   This says to me the party should have an extra $29,132.68 in their bank accounts taking their financial resources on April 19th to $144,458.68.

On the weekend at their AGM financial statements were circulated.   From January 1st to August 31st the party had raised $199,879.46 but now had a deficit of $20,194.93 for the year.    That means in the 133  days from April 20th to August 31st the party raised $110,316.02 or $829.44 per day, only marginaly better than the $814.21 they managed in the first 110 days of the year.

With a deficit of $20,194.93 the party should now be at $95,132 in the bank as of August 31st which is enough to allow them to see the party through to the end of the year, but in a year with two by-elections the fundraising is clearly not where it should be.  Yes, political parties take in a lot of their money in December, but that is in a year without an election or a crucial by-election.

When you look above at the numbers there are clearly some major expenses to come in the last four months of the year.   I see another $90,000 more in expenses to come out before year end.   To hold even the party has to raise more money in the last quarter than it did during the by-elections, I am not sure that is realistic.  Even if they have stellar fundraising run, they will still have at more $200,000 to $250,000 in the bank which is not enough to run a major provincial campaign.  It is enough money to run serious campaigns in two to three.

Will the recent problems have an impact on the fundraising?  I suspect so but not as much as some would think.   Given that someone seriously running for MLA will likely spend between $60,000 and $120,000 and they have to raise that money, a fundraising target for a party with 3,000 or so members of only $400,000 is nothing dramatic at all.

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