The impending federal election will generate more expenses than ever before in Canada, and a campaign triggered sooner than later will multiply the advantage of the Conservatives, whose coffers are already by far the better trimmed.
But then one has made much of the Conservative prowess in funding at national level, the largest impact of a prolonged campaign will be felt by the candidates of the constituencies.
An analysis of the financing at the most local level, conducted by The Canadian Press, shows that the safes Conservative candidates are filled, much more than those of their rivals. In fact, the most recent financial statements filed with Elections Canada show that the candidate of the New Democratic Party (NDP), the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC), the Bloc Québécois (BQ) and other smaller parties have simply not afford to compete with their opponents in the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC).
The 2014 financial reports of each of the 338 constituencies in the country show that the assets of the CPC amounted to over $ 19 million at the end of the year. This is more than the Liberals, NDP, Greens and Bloc together. Liberal ridings associations reported a total of $ 8 million net assets; those of the NDP, over $ 4.4 million; those of the Green Party, nearly $ 1.2 million; and the Bloc Quebecois, $ 410,000.
The law on fixed election dates forward by the Harper government in 2007 provides Canadians go to the polls on 19 October. The law states that a campaign must last at least 37 days, but gives no maximum limit. This is not unimportant: According the new law on the integrity of elections, every day that exceeds the typical five-week campaign, the spending limit for parties and candidates increases 2.7 percent , giving a clear advantage to parties with the best upholstered bank accounts.
A party with a candidate in every riding can spend close to $ 25 million for a 37-day campaign. Each additional day, the limit of national expenditure increases by $ 675,000, and that of a candidate who is entitled to $ 100,000 spending increases $ 2,700. If Stephen Harper calls the election in mid-August, as rumor has it, it would increase the limit of each party of $ 19.6 million and that of each candidate $ 78,300.
In addition to the clear advantage in financing, the Conservative government imposed local new laws on loans, which make it more difficult for underfunded candidates to spend an amount that approaches that of their competitors. The Conservatives have not only the luxury of not needing a loan, they can also transfer money of the richest districts in those poorer or party.
During a recent interview, the Liberal leader, Justin Trudeau, himself admitted that the Liberals reserves would dry after the next elections.
“When the Conservative Party rewrote the electoral laws without asking Elections Canada, the other political parties or voters themselves, they did it with one thing in mind: the interests of the Conservative Party,” said expressed Jeremy Broadhurst, the national director of the PLC.
The national campaign director for the NDP, Anne McGrath, said for his part that his party had a plan to accommodate the possibility of a prolonged campaign. However, she stressed that the Conservatives spent five times more than the NDP in the recent provincial elections in Alberta, and it has not stopped the NDP to take power.
“The truth is that money is very important in the countryside, but it’s not everything,” she said.
The Conservatives do not have an excuse for their financial benefit. “Canadians give more to the Conservative Party because our leader, Stephen Harper, is the obvious choice,” said a spokesman, Cory Hann.