"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The amazing atrophying democracy

Bondpapers comes up with an amazing statistic:
Construction, design and engineering companies gave the provincial Conservatives $239,725 in political donations in 2010, according to figures from the province’s chief electoral office.

Companies in the design, engineering and construction field gave a mere $3, 950 to the Liberal Party and none to the New Democrats.
This observation is a subset a figure which yours truly twoot yesterday, namely, that nearly three-quarters — 74% and change — of all contributions to all provincial political parties in 2010 came in the form of corporate contributions to the governing Progressive Conservatives.

All other contributions, personal, union, or RNC, and to all registered provincial parties, made up the other 26%. Contributions from private inviduals constituted less than 20% of the entire total of reportable political donations.

Not only is it staggering how anemic the provincial party financing system is, it is concentrated very heavily in and around Capital City. Now, this overly-urban concentration of political money is a feature of fiscal democracy for just about every party in every jurisdiction in North America. But, at least at first glance, the situation in Newfoundland and Labrador seems to take it to the extreme.

This map shows where the money came from in general party contributions, to all parties, made between 2008 and 2010 inclusive. (Contributions to by-election candidates are not included.) The totals were summed by municipality as listed in the Elections NL disclosures, then allocated to the electoral district where that municipality is located. Where a municipality is split into two or more electoral districts, the total for that town or city was, somewhat arbitrarily, re-allocated to its constituent districts roughly in proportion to the number of the municipality's regular polling divisions contained in that district. (See legend at bottom right.)

There are a large number of districts where there are few recent personal donations on file for the 2008-10 period under consideration, and one (Grand Bank) where there are none at all.

However, a large proportion of personal donations — upwards of 25% — come directly from elected officials themselves. Exclud those donations made by sitting MHAs, MPs, and a Senator, and the map colours become even paler. There are fully 18 out of 48 districts in which private individuals have donated a combined total of less than $1000 to all registered parties over the course of three years... and five where there have been none at all.



At 8:55 PM, September 11, 2011 , Blogger Edward Hollett said...

Always fascinating the posts that don't attract comments from the assorted gadflys who like to take potshots at you every once in a while.

Here's one they could easily find something about which to discuss and yet there's nothing but the noise of the computer humming away.

At 10:42 PM, September 11, 2011 , Blogger Wm. Murphy said...

at least this comment section is open for all Gadflys


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