Justin Trudeau's Fundraising Numbers Dwarf Those Of Competitors

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JUSTIN TRUDEAU FUNDRAISING NUMBERS
Justin Trudeau out-fundraised his nearest Liberal leadership contender by a factor of nearly five to one in the fourth quarter of 2012. (CP) | CP

Justin Trudeau raised nearly five times the amount of money as his nearest competitor in the fourth quarter of 2012. In short, the man is a cash machine.

Elections Canada released the fundraising numbers this week and Pundits' Guide's Alice Funke soon put her spreadsheets to work to calculate the totals for each candidate.

Trudeau raised the most cash by far, 58.4 per cent of the $1,153,535.11 the party's candidates raised in the period. You can see how the other candidates fared in the slideshow below.

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Liberal Leadership Fundraising Q4
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Leadership contenders David Bertschi and Martin Cauchon do not appear in the figures because their campaigns started too late. Hedy Fry, who isn't running this time around, does show up because she is still paying off debt from the 2006 campaign. Fry raised $8,467.96 during the period.

With Trudeau so far in front in the cash game, Funke suggests the race is all but over. That doesn't sit well with Deborah Coyne's campaign manager Jeff Jedras.

"It's not up to the media or the pundit class to decide who is in this race and who is not -- it's up to the Canadians that sign up as members and supporters of the Liberal Party. And no one else," Jedras, told Yahoo! Canada News. "We're running a frugal campaign."

At the leadership convention in April, the Liberals will open up the voting to a controversial new category of members called "supporters." And, according to Sun News, the sign-up process isn't going so well.

Sun reported this week that the party has signed up 11,000 new supporters and full members since the leadership race kicked off in November. Sun pointed out that most of those who signed up did so through the party rather than a candidate.

There has been some controversy among the contenders about how the list of supporters should be handled.

Candidates are allowed to keep their list of supporters a secret until roughly a month before the convention. That means a candidate like Trudeau, who is likely to sign up more people than his competitors, may be at an advantage. Joyce Murray and Coyne have both taken issue with the rules.

What may end up being a bigger problem for the Grits is the fact that supporters will be able to vote for a new leader online. Besides the technical difficulties posed by web voting (the NDP had huge problems at its most recent convention), past examples prove that when the internet gets involved in democracy, things often go badly wrong.

On the plus side for the Liberals, the party raised more cash than the NDP in the quarter. The Liberals managed to raise $2,789,855, while the NDP took in $2,478,938. The Conservatives led the field with $5,088,617. The Greens came in fourth with $801,058 and the Bloc Québécois last with $281,547.

That's the same order as in the third quarter, though the Liberals did widen their lead on the NDP. Looks like the leadership campaign may be paying off after all.

Correction: A previous version of this article indicated that the above fundraising total were until the end of 2004. The correct year is 2012 and we have updated the article to reflect this. We regret the error.

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