How to use the map?
In the search box, enter the name of a person, a city, a province, a postal code (full or partial), a candidate's name, a party or a riding association. Click on "Search" and explore the results.
Each dot corresponds to a postal code or a city. When you click on a dot, an information window will appear with the name of a donor, the date a contribution was made, the donation amount (monetary or non monetary), the party to which this donation was made and the riding association (riding) or candidate (via) that received this donation. When the riding or via fields are empty, the contribution was made to the party's national instance. For donations to the national Liberal party, the via field may occasionally contain the name of a 2008 leadership race candidate, in which case the name will not be linked back to the Elections Canada website.
Tell us what you found
Have you spotted important information that we missed? Don't hesitate to send us an e-mail about your findings: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Explore the raw data
Want to make advanced queries over the entire set of raw data? We have it all on Google Fusion Tables (click to open in new tab or window):
Contributions to Political Parties in Canada 2007-2010 (refined with Google Refine, contributions of $200 and more to candidates (2007-2010), riding associations (2007-2009) and parties (2007-2010) - detail of 567 706 donations. Note: To compile donations to the national Liberal Party correctly, data must also be aggregated by the "through" field in order to isolate donations through a candidate to the 2008 leadership race.
Contributions to riding associations in Canada (2007-09)
Contributions to candidates of the 40th general election in Canada (as submitted)
Contributions to candidates of the 40th general election in Canada (validated by Elections Canada)
Contributions to national instances of political parties in Canada (2007-09)
Contributions to national instances of political parties in Canada (2010 only, from quarterly reports)
How to search in Google Fusion Tables
You may do an advanced search on the map generated from geolocalized raw data in Google Fusion Tables directly. Choose Visualize > Map and click on Show options to filter and aggregate.
Using a suite of computer programs developed by our collaborator Cedric Sam, we downloaded data from Elections Canada's contributions and expenses database. This includes candidates electoral campaign reports from the 2008 general election and by-elections between 2007 and 2010. We also imported annual reports of transaction returns for registered riding associations and registered parties (2007-2009), as well as quarterly reports for registered parties (2010).
Each donation was integrated to a database which then served to generate the electoral contributions map. This set of data contains all the contributions of $200 or more made to candidates (during an election), riding associations and parties.
We then normalised the postal codes (made lowercase and removed spaces) and geocoded them using the Google Maps API. The Google Refine program was used to clean (when possible) mistakes in postal codes, accents in people's names, cities and provinces, etc. We also compiled the totals of each report in order to assess donations made to each candidate, association and party, including those of $200 or less.
Elections Canada publishes two kinds of data on candidates: data as submitted and data as reviewed by its staff. We used reviewed data when available. Elections Canada confirms that only reports submitted by candidates are verified by their agents, and data presented on the agency's website may sometimes not have been verified. All reports of associations and parties are presented on Elections Canada's website as submitted.
We found out that most errors in the data were caused by typos, at the level of data entry by Elections Canada employees. Most notably, we found errors in the postal codes (for instance, a o in place of a 0, a B instead of a 8, a I instead of a 1, or a letter in the wrong order) in a few hundred entries out of 567,706 donations.
About 16,000 entries (2.5% of the total) did not have any indication of the city, province or postal code. We could not include those donations on the map, but they are still available in our database.
Less than 1% of the raw data was not included in the map because the Google Maps API was unable to attribute geographical coordinates for the given postal code. It may be missing data on Google's side or an invalid postal code. The money was nonetheless calculated in our totals.
Each point on the map represents a postal code from which a contribution was made. In a few exceptional cases, when this information was not available or when the geocoding service gave a wrong address, we chose to cluster contributions by city. Contributions from places outside Canada were also geocoded when possible.
We also made a choice with regard to a point's colour. In many cases, people of different allegiances may live in the same postal code (including appartments and military bases). We summed all donations and if a party received twice as much donation as its closest rival, the point takes the colour of the first party. Otherwise, we coloured the point white.
We finally made a choice in the table ordering of donations for a postal code and sorted individual contributions by the amount of money received (monetary contribution only).