Liberal party president Alf Apps has delivered his report to the party membership. The key portion would seem to concern fundraising.
Notwithstanding the improved financial position in which the Party finds itself today, its ability to compete politically between elections at the national level continues to be crippled by the fact that its basic fundraising capability is dwarfed by those of its principal opponent. As figure 2 shows, the Conservatives raised a total of $80 million in donations over the period from January 1, 2008 to September 30, 2011 and are projected to raise more than $24 million this year alone. Our Party raised only $32 million nationally over the same period, or about 40% of the amount they raised, and approximately $9.4 million for the 2011 year. Our donor base has been growing steadily over that period but, at only about 40,000 donors today, is estimated to be about on-third the size of our opponent’s. More troubling, the gap is continuing to widen. Perhaps most troubling, fewer than 30% of Party members today are also Party donors. While progress is being made on this front, it has been far too slow. The Party is still a long way from achieving an organizational culture where ‘membership’ translates into ‘donorship’.
In the context of the ‘permanent campaign’ environment which has persisted since well before the 2006 election to the present day, the Party simply has not had adequate resources to fund a modern and technologically-enabled political outreach infrastructure to communicate effectively with Canadians and activate their support.