Photo: Karoline Boucher La Presse canadienne Le chef du Parti québécois, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon
Le chef péquiste, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, a déjà ouvert la porte à l’abolition du financement populaire des partis politiques.
He opposed Wednesday the questioning of the current system, which since 2012 has provided a mix of public financing, based on votes received, and popular, with voter donations of a maximum amount of $100.
Implemented by the Parti Québécois government and its minister Bernard Drainville, these changes were intended to put an end to the system of nominees and the influence of fundraisers, which make the headlines for several years.
In a book entitled Young people and the future of Quebec. The reveries of a solitary walker, published in 2009, Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon had outlined new contours of a system where political financing would be entrusted to an independent organization.
“Instead of controlling the financing of political parties, shouldn’t we simply prohibit all contributions to political parties and finance the democratic sphere through an independent public body ?” he asked.
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Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon, who practiced law at the time, proposed a system for distributing public funds based on the votes received by each party.
“In such a system, the amount of funding would be limited and controlled and the only source of funding the party could use would be limited to this public funding,” he wrote.
Questioned on this subject, the politician, elected leader in 2020, qualified this position. It is not a “firm position taken, but hypotheses”, indicated its spokesperson Emmanuel Renaud.
“He has not defended this idea, he is hypothesizing,” he said in a written statement. The book is called The reveries of a solitary walker and dates from 2009, in addition it names the difficulties linked to this hypothesis. »
In his book, Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon proposed measures aimed at countering difficulties.
It provided for a modulation favoring parties having received few votes and limits on the financing of the majority party which would prevent an “undue advantage being given to any party whatsoever”.
This system would be supplemented by a “modest start-up fund for new parties”, wrote Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon.
Mr. Renaud affirmed on Wednesday that the current system, which includes public financing proportional to votes, benefits the political party in power, but the Parti Québécois does not plan anything to correct this situation.
While the financing practices of CAQ deputies have provoked controversy in recent days, the Minister responsible for Democratic Institutions, Jean-François Roberge, opened the door, Wednesday, to a questioning of popular financing which would devote the exclusive support of political groups by means of public funds.
Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon stated that he would not support the government if it went in this direction.
“No one has talked about stopping people from participating in democracy, about stopping popular donations of $100,” he said.
The PQ leader pleaded for the maintenance of popular financing in addition to financing by public funds paid by the State.
“We are trying, on the [Coalition Avenir Québec] side, to change the subject, potentially to stop citizen donations so that funding is now only a reflection of the 2022 election and not the will and opinion of people as of today, he said. It's not serious. »