The finances of Québec's provincial political parties in 2013 - Despite a drop in revenue from contributions, public financing helps provincial political parties show positive results

November 18, 2014

Quebec City, November 18, 2014 –– The Chief Electoral Officer of Québec, Lucie Fiset, disclosed today the financial reports of the 18 provincial political parties that were authorized in Québec as of December 31, 2013. This portrait of the parties’ finances reveals that over the course of the last year, state financing has enabled most of them to present positive results despite lower revenue from contributions from electors. In all, 393 authorized political entities filed their financial report with the Chief Electoral Officer of Québec last year. It should be recalled that 2013 was the first year of application of the reform of political party financing adopted in December 2012, which reduced by 90% the maximum allowed contribution per elector and, in return, significantly increased public financing. 

The various reports distributed today, as well as an information document concerning the financial reports designed for the general public entitled Statistiques sur les rapports financiers des partis politiques provinciaux (Statistics concerning the financial reports of provincial political parties), are available on the Chief Electoral Officer of Québec’s website at http://www.electionsquebec.qc.ca/francais/provincial/financement-et-depenses-electorales/rapports-financiers-2013.php.

Surpluses for the year and higher “value” of the parties

The financial reports for 2013 indicate that Québec’s political parties generated revenue (proceeds) of $15.4M and recorded expenses (spending) of $13.4M, which represents an overall surplus of almost $2M (compared to a deficit of $9.4M in 2012).

A total of 67.3% of party revenue came from the state in 2013, including the annual allowance paid by the Chief Electoral Officer of Québec (57.9%) and the new matching revenue (7.3%). Contributions by electors represented 16.6% of revenue collected by political parties last year.

Another indicator of the political parties’ financial health is their net-asset balance sheet; in other words, the net value that would remain if all liabilities had to be discharged using assets (debts paid using owned property). For 2013, the total net assets of parties and their bodies showed a deficit of $638,000 (approximately $1.5M lower than the deficit for the 2012 fiscal year).

Grassroots financing and state participation in 2013

As a result of lower maximum allowed contributions – reduced from $1,000 to $100 – electors’ contributions, which reached $10.2M in 2012, totaled $2.6M in 2013. In this regard, the Parti québécois collected $1.1M in contributions; the Parti libéral du Québec, almost $921,000; Québec solidaire, around $274,000; and the Coalition Avenir Québec – L’Équipe François Legault, over $163,000.

It should also be noted that for the four parties represented in the National Assembly, the number of contributions decreased last year by a percentage ranging from 9.2% for the Parti libéral du Québec to 76.7% for the Coalition Avenir Québec – Équipe François Legault. The fact that 2013 was not an election year, as opposed to 2012, may partly explain the decrease in interest of contributing electors.

Comparative information regarding contributions collected by the various political parties may be found on pages 35-39 of the statistics document.

To the amounts raised by the parties in the form of contributions are added sums provided by the Chief Electoral Officer in the form of the annual allowance based on the number of votes garnered by each of the parties during the previous general election, matching revenue, the reimbursement of expenses incurred in auditing the annual financial report, and the reimbursement of election expenses.

In 2013, the Chief Electoral Officer provided $8.9M in annual allowances, compared to almost $4.9M in 2012. A little over $1.1M was paid in matching revenue in 2013. Information on the annual allowances paid by the state to each authorized political party for 2013-2014 is provided on pages 32 and 49 to 52 of the statistics document.

Leadership races

Five authorized political parties chose a new leader during the 2013 fiscal year and were thus subject, for the first time, to the provisions of the Election Act as regards the financing of a leadership campaign of a political party. For the five leadership races, parties incurred expenses of over $669,000. Of this amount, more than $269,000 was reinvoiced to candidates (in the case of the Parti libéral du Québec) for net expenses of approximately $400,000. As for the 15 candidates who took part in the various races, their financial representatives authorized expenses totaling just over $1.3M. Some 3,553 contributors gave a similar amount in 2012 and 2013 to finance these races.

 

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Categories : Provincial, Provincial financing, DGE