The release of the preliminary contributors list for BC Liberal leadership candidates makes for an interesting read, but the most intriguing part goes well beyond the totals.
Naturally, most of the media highlighted who has so far taken in the most: Kevin Flacon $708,000; Christy Clark $519,000; George Abbott $427,000; and, Mike De Jong $266,000.
But I find something else much more interesting and possibly more telling is, where the BIG money is going? Yes, Falcon has so far raised the most, but if you print out the lists of contributors as listed on the CBC.ca website, Falcon’s runs seven pages (330 contributions). And among those, there are twelve who contributed $10,000 or more.
Christy Clark’s list of contributors runs only three pages (only 150 contributions). But there are seventeen who contributed $10,000 or more. More big spenders are clearly leaning towards Clark (I’ll leave it to the MSM to do the analysis for Abbott and De Jong…I’m retired!).
Our democratic process, of course, depends on donations from community-minded citizens to support/finance the political system, and people who give should be lauded for doing so. And for those who can afford it, there is also nothing wrong with giving generously.
However, to me personally, individual generous giving to politicians means $1,000, or $2,000 or maybe $5,000.
When people, as individuals or corporate entities or community organizations or unions, give $10,000 or $20,000 or $30,000 or more, I cannot help but wonder whether the gift is for favors received in the past of expected in the future. Or maybe they are truly enthusiastic about our democratic process!
And if I was a politician, I sure would worry if someone or group poured $25,000 or even more into my campaign.
And that’s just another reason I could never run for office.
Harv Oberfeld is a retired journalist and blogger. This column originally appeared in his blog, Keeping it Real. Reprinted with Mr. Oberfeld's kind permission.