Liberal fundraising doubles other parties

The P.E.I. Liberal Party pulled in almost twice as much in political contributions in 2013 as all other parties combined.

The P.E.I. Liberal Party pulled in almost twice as much in political contributions in 2013 as all other parties combined.

Premier Robert Ghiz's Liberals far outpaced other political parties on P.E.I. in fundraising. (CBC)

Political contribution numbers were just made available by Elections PEI. The Liberals raised nearly half a million dollars.

P.E.I.'s political fundraising rules are basically wide-open. Corporations can make donations, and there is no limit to how much any single donor can give.

UPEI political science professor Don Desserud said allowing corporate donations creates an unfair advantage for the governing party, and it is a focus of concern for the public.

"The public gets suspicious when they see transfers of money from corporations to political parties, particularly political parties that are in government," said Desserud.

"They make the natural assumption that somehow this is going to influence government decisions, and that's a fair concern."

Political fundraising, 2013
Liberal$451,000
PC$191,000
NDP$40,000
Island$1,368
Green$960

Desserud said P.E.I. should introduce limits on donations and consider doing away with corporation donations. Corporate donations are not allowed under the federal electoral system or under the provincial rules in Nova Scotia.

A spokesperson for the P.E.I. government says there are no plans to make any changes to the rules.

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