Steve Maher talks to my friend Gerry Nichols about fundraising. The grits are only now taking fundraising seriously. The Tories need to stay on top. I like the idea of fundraising using unions. It is better than trying to raise money because of liberal opposition to the crime bill. Public sector unions are a large cause of federal and provincial deficits. They need to be reigned I and the Tory base would be happy if we were the ones to to just that. Tory headquarters is already dealing with the loss of electoral welfare. They are being fiscally prudent. Things may be a little more difficult for The Tory Fundraising Juggernaut because of the minority government. I personally believe that donation limits should be at least doubled.
That seems unlikely in the short term. Using unions for fundraising seems like a good idea. What about using the grit judiciary , the obstreperous grit civil service and of cours grit infested elections Canada. The letters virtually write themselves.
Gerry Nicholls, who spent years working side by side with Stephen Harper at the National Citizens Coalition, thinks the party now faces an uphill battle, since is has a majority government.
Nicholls, who is no longer on Harper's Christmas card list, raised money for the NCC for 22 years, writing bushels of letters to wring money out of small-c conservatives across Canada, but especially in the interior of British Columbia, southern Alberta and southwestern Ontario.
To get those donors to reach for their chequebooks, he says the Tories will need a new villain, and says public-sector unions "are from central casting."
"My prediction is, if they're serious about doing anything on the deficit, they'll fundraise against public-sector unions," he said. "It makes sense from a tactical point of view. 'We want to cut the deficit but the powerful public sector union bosses try to stop us.'
"The Conservative base hates unions. And the rule of thumb for me when I'm fundraising is, don't try to convince somebody of something. Don't try to explain why something's bad. Take advantage of the prejudice that's already there."
In the federal budget this spring, the Conservatives are seeking about $4 billion in cuts, which will likely mean at least 10,000 public servants will get Pink slips.