To the People of Winnipeg Centre,
Political fundraising is a delicate issue and fundamentally comes down to questions of honesty. Many people might feel in their day-to-day lives that the financing of political parties has no impact or importance, but we should all understand the importance of politics, because politics is about deciding the allocation of society’s resources. Society is not equal; there are those with more power and wealth and those with less. From my short time in politics I can tell you we are not all equal. For instance, large and small corporations, unions, associations and NGOs pay handsomely to lobbyists to arrange meetings with Ministers and MPs from all political parties to advocate an idea or project. One needs knowledge of this structure of the political class in order to use it effectively. I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about who I will be meeting with and what type of message that might send to the people of Winnipeg Centre. I tend to skip the lobbyists (unless I can send a message to a large group about what I think they should be doing) and instead focus on smaller groups and individual citizens.
I’m not always convinced that the person spending the largest amount of money will get elected (I didn’t spend the most in Winnipeg Centre during the 2015 election), but there is an overwhelming correlation between the amount of money spent during a campaign and the chances of winning. For some, donating money to a candidate or party can potentially give them more face time with a decision maker on important subjects. For politicians, every donation can help with re-election so many try keep their donors happy. Politicians though must serve the public good; we must make decisions that benefit the majority of Canadians now and into the future. If people believe that politicians are giving undue advantage to certain groups, then we all should be concerned.