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

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Voting with their wallets (I)

This graph shows how the NS and NL provincial political donations discussed in yesterday's post are distributed according to the size of individual donations.
In Nova Scotia, between 2005 and 2010, nearly 60% (by number, not dollar value) of all personal contributions over $99.99 to central party coffers* came in the form of contributions of $100 to $199.99.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, that share was less than 40%.

Political parties in NL depended more than there NS counterparts on contributions in the $200+ and subsequent brackets. The $400+ and $500+ brackets were particularly higher in NL than in NS, accounting for 8.6% and 7.7% of all contributions in Dannystan, vs. 4.7% and 2.0% in Nova Scotia.

So not only does the party financing system in Newfoundland and Labrador depend heavily on St. John's area donors, to a degree that Nova Scotia does not depend on metro Halifax, the NL party system depends much more on well-heeled donors who can contribute multiple hundred dollar-bills at a go, rather than the NS party financing system, which skews more towards the smaller donor.

Note carefully that these figures only take into account contributions $100 and over, in order to adjust for differences in both the disclosure reporting requirements, and actual reporting practices, in the two provinces. However, the total number of contributions under $100 is shown in pale colours in the above graph, expressed as a percentage of the contributions over $100, in order to provide an apples:apples comparison. Given the vagaries of reporting practice, the <$100 figures should be taken with a hefty grain of salt.

* Corporate, union, and other contributions, and inter-party transfers, excluded. This data also only includes contributions to provincially registered parties, not election candidates or Nova Scotia electoral district associations.

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