I have always been a thrifty person. I would say 60-75% of everything I own I have purchased second-hand, or was given as a hand-me-down, my wardrobe, my furniture, my car, my phone, my book collection (which is really the only material thing that I own which I treasure). I am also pretty cheap. I have limits of how much money I would spend on things. For example, more than $30 is too much for a pair of jeans if I am buying them new, $15 if I am buying them second-hand. I squint at the labels on the shelves in the grocery store to find out the best price by looking at the $ per ml or gram of the product I am choosing… I generally don’t like spending money. No doubt, if I got elected I would be the person at the back of the House always yelling, “You paid HOW MUCH for that?!”
I also really don’t like asking people for money. Especially because many of the people in my networks of friends and family don’t have a lot of money. The ones who do, have worked damned hard for it, and they are using it to raise families, pay their power bills, and live their lives.
That’s why I knew from the beginning that campaign finances were going to be different for me than other campaigns. I couldn’t ask people for money, and I don’t have a whole lot myself, so my campaign was going to have to be an austerity one.
With only 3 days left of the campaign, I am confident to say that there will be little more than $100 spent over the next 72 hours. I have a few more black and white copies of flyers to make, and I have to buy chips for the election night party, but for the most part the spending is done.
I am ready to assert that the total amount of money spent on this campaign will be no more than $1100 (that’s including the $200 nomination fee). We have one more expense, an audit, that we have been told will cost about $500 and is mandatory. So, with the audit included, about $1600 bucks spent to run this campaign. To date we have raised $875 from generous donors. I had some book sales, sold some arts and crafts, and was able to kick in the remaining $725 over the past month.
The biggest expense of the campaign (aside from the nomination fee and mandatory audit) was flyer printing and copying. Paint for the signs and eventually more canvasses put the cost of signs up higher than I would have liked, but people really seem to be enjoying them so it is worth it!
It is my hope to prove that you don’t need tens of thousands of dollars to run a successful campaign. If we are living in austerity times, as the government so eagerly asserts, then shouldn’t political campaigns be more financially subdued? Shouldn’t we be reducing the amount of remuneration (close to $44K per MLA) that party caucuses get for getting their guy or gal in? These are the types of questions we need to be asking every time we are told by the government, regardless of their colour, that we don’t have enough money for things.