Saturday, November 17, 2012

Political Contributions in Newfoundland and Labrador II

This is the second post in a series. The first can be found here.

Yesterday's post provoked an interesting question on Facebook.   I presented a graph showing that corporate donations go mostly to the party in power and the major recipient party switched from Liberals to PCs when the government changed in 2003.  But did the PCs win the 2003 election because they received more donations, or did they start receiving more donations because they won (or were expected to win)?

First observe that the PCs saw an uptick in donations in 2002, the year before the election.  My guess is that businesses sensed which way the wind was blowing and began hedging their bets by donating to both parties.  Unfortunately, I can't find good polling data from those days to determine at what point a PC victory became likely, so it is tough to make any inference based on expectations at the time.

However here is another test.  If businesses were simply supporting their preferred party in 2003, then you would expect some businesses to donate to the Liberals, some to the PCs, but not very many to support both.  On the other hand, if businesses are trying to curry favour with government, then you would expect most businesses to donate to both parties in order to hedge their bets.

Here is the data.  I've included all companies that donated $10K or more.  Looks to me like most companies are hedging, consistent with the "pay-to-play" hypothesis.

Top Contributors to Provincial Parties in 2003:

Kruger Inc. 10000 28000
North Atlantic Refining Ltd 9000 17000
Inco 11750 14000
A Harvey & Co 10000 12250
Nfld Design Associates 7000 15000
Pennecon 2000 ltd 11000 11000
Aliant Inc. 10000 11400
Abitibi Consolidated 1750 18500
CIBC + CIBC Wood Gundy 5000 15000
BAE Newplan Group Inc. 12000 5000
Husky Energy +Husky Oil 8000 9000
SGE Acres Ltd 10000 6000
BMO bank and Nesbitt Burns 5000 10000
Hatch Associates Ltd. 15000
Reid & Associates 15000
AMEC 9000 5000
Labatt Breweries 4000 10000
Fortis 9250 4400
Island Waste Management 5000 8000
RBC bank + securities 2500 10000
Bristol Group 2000 10000
British Confectionary 4000 8000
Rogers Group 11000 1000
Archean Resources Ltd. 11750
AE Consultants 1500 10000
Woodward's Oil Ltd. 2000 9500
Fishery Products Int. 10000 1400
CHC Helicopter Corp. 10000 1000
NL Consulting Engineers 7000 4000
Insurance Brokers Ass. 10000 800
Barry Group 10000 500
Myles Leger Ltd 7400 3000
Molson Canada 4200 6000
Becktel Canada Ltd 10000
Cougar Engineering and Construction 2000 8000
Imperial Tobacco Canada 5000 5000
J-1 Contracting 10000
Provincial Airlines 10000
Rothmans' Benson & Hedges 10000
Scotiabank 2000 8000

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