Friday, May 02, 2008

On motivating factors

Jane Taber's column on the first quarter fund-raising numbers adds a bit more information about. And what's particularly noteworthy is the type of appeal which seems to work best for the NDP compared to the Cons.

Remember this post from last week, where the NDP mentioned which fund-raising appeal had helped bring in the most contributions:
An NDP fundraising appeal that asked, "Who will stand up to Stephen Harper's agenda?" proved a winner for the party.

"We'll stand in our places and vote against him – and face him in an election if we have to," the email read.

That effort won the party donations that totalled five figures, twice as much as other recent fundraising missives.
In contrast, here's what spurred the Cons' base into the most action:
For their part, the Conservatives say a fundraising campaign in which they criticized the CBC drove a significant number of donations into their coffers.

"It was overwhelmingly our single biggest fundraising initiative," said a Tory official. Late last year, party campaign director Doug Finley sent out a letter asking for money after reports that a CBC reporter supplied questions to a Liberal MP during a committee hearing.

"It demonstrates a huge level of suspicion amongst grassroots Canadians about the Liberal Party and the CBC," the official said.
Now, it's striking enough that the Cons' base was most motivated by a narrow gripe about the CBC rather than any agreement or disagreement as to any party's policies. Needless to say, that's in stark contrast to the NDP's appeal based on opposing Harper's broad agenda.

But what's even more significant is the continued gap between the will of the grassroots as expressed in their fund-raising response, and the public face put on by Deceivin' Stephen.

After all, Harper and his inner circle largely stayed out of the public fray in the CBC dispute - presumably in large part because for all the money their party brings in by bashing the CBC, they can't afford to do so personally due to the impact that would have on voters. That disconnect between what the Cons' base wants to see from the party and what the Cons pretend to be in public hints at best at some serious tension within the party, and at worst at what Canadians can expect if the Cons ever win a majority.

In contrast, the message which achieved the most fund-raising success for the NDP is the same one which the party has gladly presented to the public as its central theme ever since the Libs starting propping up the Harper government. Which means that unlike the Cons, the NDP doesn't face a fundamental conflict between its base and the voters it's trying to reach out to. And that can only help the NDP's cause in both raising funds and winning new voters going forward.

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