Sunday 17 April 2011

Who's donating to who?

This is a phenomenal resource for nosy people:

You can zoom right in and look up your neighbours to see who they're donating to. You can look up your favourite politician or local minor celebrity to see who they're supporting. Or you can randomly click on spots in Tuxedo like I did when I stumbled across Gail Asper:

Gail has donated thousands to the Conservatives, thousands to the Liberals, and even $1500 to the Green Party, but nothing to the NDP. This is only federal of course. I don't doubt that she has tossed some pesos in the hat of the provincial NDP party. From this, a person could infer that Gail is really a Greeney at heart, but gives to the Tories and Libs for strategic reasons.

Not that it's any of my business. Nor is it yours, I don't think. Yet, here it is, in convenient map form with little coloured bubbles, making it ridiculously easy to find. All the data is provided to the public by Elections Canada, so Elections Canada must think that it is our business.

I suppose a case could be made that it is. There should be a way to find out if the government is being 'bought'. If contracts are being awarded to people who have monetarily supported a party for instance. Or, to borrow a phrase from Marty Gold, if governments are supporting the pet projects of millionaires who happen to donate thousands of dollars to them. But it just seems really odd to me that I can have such easy access to the political donations of random private individuals.

I love this stuff though. I like maps and I like data, so interactive maps with data embedded in them is like cat nip. It's also awesome how Wolseley is so totally NDP. Nothing but brown dots.


reedsolomon.matr1x at said...

I donated money to a political party, but only like $20. I don't see myself on the map, so I assume theres a minimum threshold. So good.

Anonymous said...

Registered political parties are required to report people who contribute $250 or more in a given year.

Bin that way for decades.

Fill yer boots.

Anonymous said...

Not surprisingly, one of the small number of Wolseley donaters to the Conservative party is the current Conservative candidate Bev Pitura (Ethelbert).

cherenkov said...

I wonder if Harper checks the map to make sure all his candidates are loyally supporting the party.

Unknown said...

Large donations ought to be public information. In the US especially, but even in Canada much of public policy is based on pleasing various donor groups. You can be sure, for instance, that no matter who's elected come later this year, Provincial support for the Human Rights Museum will continue.

cherenkov said...

I don't doubt that it will. Like it or loath it, the CMHR is long past the point of no return.

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