Monday, June 19, 2006

Still the party of big business

News that Eastern Canada's captains of industry are lining up to back Liberal leadership candidate Scott Brison comes as no surprise. The Liberals and Canada's business elites have always had a symbiotic relationship. Just look at any list of contributors to Paul Martin's leadership campaign.

Given the corporatist credentials of the Liberal Party, I have never really understood recurring accusations that the Conservative Party is somehow in the pocket of big business. In the old days, the Liberals always received the bulk of donations from corporations. In contrast, the Conservatives continue to rely primarily on individual donations.

The revelation about Brison's backers suggests that nothing has really changed. Notwithstanding Liberal MP Paul Zed's assertion that "the business elite in any community no longer has a lot of influence because of the bill that limits financial contributions," the Liberals are still the party of big business.