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The recent reports of the state of party finances filed with Elections Canada are somewhat reflective of the national political climate. There seems to be a clear shift in progress as voters continue to be affected by some of the problems created by the parties in power.
As many of Canada’s political parties prepare for party elections in 2017, the finances show the voters’ levels of satisfaction with or disillusionment from their party leaderships. Going by that rationale, the supporters of the New Democratic Party seem to be most dissatisfied.
What the figures say
According to the statistics presented by The Canadian Press, Canada’s Conservatives emerged as the national leaders in terms of raising the most funds through successful fundraising campaigns. The party managed to rake in an astonishing $5.07 million in funds in the second quarter of 2016. It was a result of contributions from 37,223 donors.
The Liberals weren’t far behind though. With around $4.9 million in donations from 36,080 donors, the Liberals managed to comfortably secure the second position. For the Liberal Party, this represented an increase in both the amount of donations and the number of contributors from 2015 figures.
However, the most disappointing performance, by far, was by the New Democrats who actually went down by about $4 million when it came to funds raised in 2016. The total donations for the NDP just managed to reach up to around $1.08 million contributed by 15,906 donors.
NDP’s staggering disappointment
NDP, it seemed, was on a roll last year. The number of contributors to the party’s funds was more than 48,000 contributing to millions of dollars in total funds. It seemed that the party was destined to do well in the 2015 elections. Even the polls indicated that there was a strong chance NDP could secure the first place, ahead of the other two parties.
But it didn’t.
Instead, it finished a distant third, far behind the Liberals. Led by Justin Trudeau, the Liberals had jumped from the third to the first position, followed by the Conservatives. NDP’s failure in the election was an indication that it was rapidly losing support.
With the current statistics, it seems it has travelled much further on the downward trajectory. Since last year’s elections, it has lost around two-thirds of its financial contributors. But that’s not the only problem the party seems to be facing.
The NDP is finding itself amidst an acute shortage of people willing to lead the party to greater heights. The leadership gap widened even further a few days ago when Cheri DiNovo, the only candidate in the leadership race in the run up to the 2017 elections, dropped out due to health concerns.
No other candidate has formally declared yet.
“We’ve seen the Liberal Party go from third to first in a dramatic way in the last election. There’s no reason we can’t do that too,” DiNovo said in an interview to Huffington Post. “But we have to have the policies that actually ring with people’s needs.”
It’s clear that the party is struggling on that front.