POL101Y1 Lecture Notes - Financial Statement, Without Limits, Karlheinz Schreiber
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Money and parties
•History of party finance
•Courts and third party advertising
•The 2003 law
PC Fund of Canada – fundraising firm for the PCs
The new Cons might be using the same PR firm
Consider the Hill Times
The articles that we were to have read for class today – since they have been written, the
laws have changed again.
It’s a very dynamic environment.
History of part financing in Canada
The reason the MacDonald govt fell was because of the Pacific Finance Scandal (CPR in
the west). It became public, and the Liberals came in without an election. There have
been money scandals throughout history. They tarnish parties and the images of leaders.
Over time, whereas MacDonald was directly involved, party leaders and parties have
created an arms’ length group that raises money on their behalf. Generally, the leaders
get to pick the people who run this. The Cons, in this case, also put them into the Senate.
They are never an MP, though.
They are Bag Men. It’s a racketeer assigned to collect and distribute pay off money.
After WWII and until 2004, the Liberals and the Cons parties were heavily dependent on
corporate contributions, esp. in Toronto and Montreal and esp. on oil and fuel companies
in places like Alberta. There were also more direct mail campaigns.
All this money was raised by relatively autonomous fundraising committees that were
separated from the parties themselves. Often the leaders of these things are appointed to
the senate (but they are selected by the leaders in the first place).
Since 1874, you have to have an agent if you’re running, but there were always still
improprities. You didn’t have to disclose where you got your money from. And you
didn’t have to disclose wherehter it was in exchange for a favour. It didn’t refer to
political parites – they didn’t exist legally – they were voluntary organisations. By law,
there were only candidates.
There were also no verifications of reports by agents. There were no sanctions imposed
and the law was not enforced if there was an issue.
Between 1965 and 1974 there were 4 elections. 26% did not report their finances. This
was illegal. Some were elected, but no one was prosecuted.
In the 19th century, 1891, the dominion elections act was modified because of another
scandal. It was now illegal to promise favours and appointments in exchange for funds,
but it was a useless law because nothing changed.
The Beauharn Weau Scandal – Mackenzie King nearly lost PMship and leaving
disgraced. Afterwards, he wanted to protect himself by raising money but purposely not
knowing anything abou tit. They are now autonomous. It’s THEIR job to comply with
The dominion elections act is now the Canada elections act – it has been amended several
In 1908, American influence, therefore now says corporations can’t contribute to the
elections. By 1920: in 1919 there were labour strikes. Now the law changed to prevent
unions also from giving money. No one was prosecuted, but there were under the table
In 1930 – legislation changed so that unions could now contribute, as well as
corporations. Therefore the Beauhorn Wow scandal broke out.
There are many bills that die in parliament.
Money is the mother’s milk of politics – Chretien. It’s like grease – lubricating oil – it
will give after putting it on a rusty screw. You may not notice it at first, but eventually it
gets through. We keep changing the law, but the money gets through always, no matter
what you change the law to. There are too many loopholes.
There were failed attempts in the 30s and 40s. Then in the 40s 50s and 60s,
__________. In the 60s the sentiment for reform grew a lot – form the party organisers
themselves. We had 5 elections, and we also were in a TV period – they wanted changes
that would allow them to raise enough money. There was also a corrupt Duplessis
regime – it wanted kick backs. Quebec was the first govt in Canada, via the Quiet
Revolution, to completely overhaul the system.
It limited financing and also gave reimbursement to candidates; also gave legal status to
parties (the Quiet Reform). Barbeau Commission (Lib 1964-66); they had the most
elaborate study of election finance ever done until the Lortie Commission.
1966 recommendations, but nothing happened until 1974. legally recognised, registered,
responsible for financial activity, financial equality for candidates and parties, permitted
Money and parties: history of party finance, recent data, courts and third party advertising, the 2003 law, loopholes. Pc fund of canada fundraising firm for the pcs. The new cons might be using the same pr firm. The articles that we were to have read for class today since they have been written, the laws have changed again. The reason the macdonald govt fell was because of the pacific finance scandal (cpr in the west). It became public, and the liberals came in without an election. They tarnish parties and the images of leaders. Over time, whereas macdonald was directly involved, party leaders and parties have created an arms" length group that raises money on their behalf. Generally, the leaders get to pick the people who run this. The cons, in this case, also put them into the senate. It"s a racketeer assigned to collect and distribute pay off money.