Financing of political parties - The Chief Electoral Officer of Québec launches an information campaign on the new rules

May 9, 2011


Québec, May 9, 2011 – Jacques Drouin, Chief Electoral Officer is launching a major information campaign on the rules that govern the financing of political parties in Québec. New provisions are found in the three Acts passed last December by the Québec National Assembly and are now in force. The payment of political contributions is at the heart of the legislative amendments, and in particular the rules concerning the prevention of the practice of contributing in the name of another. Advertising in newspapers, a presence on the Web and messages disseminated to certain target publics, such as professional associations, will be the main means of communication deployed in the upcoming weeks.
"If the National Assembly paved the way for a major reform of our political financing system, it is now essential that all people become aware of the new rules and put them into practice," emphasized Mr. Drouin. One of the issues associated with the initiative is to preserve the trust in our democracy and in particular, in a political financing system that is one of the distinctive symbols of our democratic heritage.
The three election laws that allow the Chief Electoral Officer, municipalities and school boards to administer the polls for which they are responsible have been amended by the National Assembly.  However, the Chief Electoral Officer is particularly concerned by the adoption of new financing rules, since he is responsible for their application in all cases. It should also be emphasized that the Chief Electoral Officer now receives the contributions paid to provincial political parties.
A strong presence on the web
One of the most dynamic components of the information campaign will use the Internet as a backdrop. In video messages broadcast on You Tube, the Chief Electoral Officer himself with explain to web surfers the main elements of the changes made to the financing rules. Moreover, these messages have been incorporated in an information page on the web-site of the Chief Electoral Officer entitled "Democracy cannot be bought" and to which will be directed those persons wishing to have an overview of the new legislation. This landing page may be consulted at the following address:
Broad dissemination in the print media
The information on the new rules and the messages to promote awareness about preventing the practice of contributing in the name of another are also being disseminated in various print media.  15 dailies, 66 weeklies and 32 specialized magazines will publish advertisements, mainly during the months of May and June.
The Chief Electoral Officer is writing to professional associations and various other associations
A third component of the information campaign will allow the Chief Electoral Officer to contact professional associations and various associations of the municipal and school world, whose members are likely to make a contribution to a political party or a candidate during elections. Close to 300,000 people could be reached by a newsletter- type message, signed by the Chief Electoral Officer.
"While all of these means of communication should allow us to reach a large number of electors of Québec, we hope to promote the awareness first and foremost among those people who make political contributions and who will be able to familiarize themselves with the new rules, while becoming conscious of the importance of complying with these rules," indicated the Chief Electoral Officer. The consequences of a violation of the law will thus be clearly explained by the information campaign.
Moreover, a new way of making a contribution has been available since May 1st. Indeed, individuals wishing to make a contribution to a political party can do so from the web-site of the Chief Electoral Officer by using a credit card. The Web application permitting the on-line contribution can be used from the home page of the web-site of the Chief Electoral Officer. The web-sites of political parties that already offered this possibility to their supporters are henceforth linked to the web-site of the Chief Electoral Officer.
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Category : Provincial financing

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