Friday, November 28, 2008

Is Conrad Black on the list too?

Over all, this Canwest piece about how the proposed public financing cancellation would cripple the Opposition is unobjectionable aside from the palpable glee at the prospect. The measure is a nakedly partisan attempt to knee-cap political opposition. It would be appalling in a majority government - in a minority it can only be considered a deliberate poison pill.

But the article hits a wall with the jaw-dropping assertion that Gwyn Morgan was until recently a contributor of the yearly maximum political donation to the Liberal Party and only in recent years had switched that allegiance to the Conservatives.

Fast forward to 2008. The Liberal party is financially devastated, burdened with election debt and flagging contributions.

Symbolically, of the 305-member list of top donors from 2005, a mere dozen have contributed the maximum amount to the Liberals this year, even though the limit is far lower.

Some of these high-profile donors are giving instead to the Conservatives. Among them is Peter Munk, head of the gold company American Barrick, who gave the Liberals the maximum $5,000 in 2005.

This year, he gave to the Tories. So did former Liberal donors Nezhat Khosrowshahi, of the company that owned Future Shop, and Gwyn Morgan, former chief executive of EnCana Energy. As the power donors went, the smaller donors followed. Contributions to the Liberals fell from $8.3 million in 2005 to $4.5 million last year.

If you know anything about Gwyn Morgan, you know that's just all kinds of crazy.


A reader said...

Cliff, Glen McGregor who wrote that story is one of the good guys in the media. He wrote the story on the "De Facto Majority" the Liberals gave Harper in the last parliament based on their (non-)voting record. His research is solid.

Cliff said...

He may well be. However the suggestion that Gwyn Morgan has ever been anything but a right wing Conservative - a legal maximum Liberal donor no less - is flatly, unambiguously absurd and undermines the whole article.

A reader said...

You don't think Gwyn Morgan gave money to the Liberals under Paul Martin? In fact most of those folks probably sent money to both parties as a cost of doing business. It's a factual point, and does not undermine the whole article.

Cliff said...

A right wing Calgary energy executive might have donated to the Liberals in the past (And neither you nor the original article cite any evidence or reference to such donations in any way.) even just as a calculated act of political expediency, and you suggest it is 'factual' to present his long term status as a major booster, activist and donor for the Conservative party as evidence of well heeled donors abandoning the Liberal party.

How Orwellian.

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