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Understanding political financing

Rules for participating in the electoral debate

Summary

During an election period, certain rules must be respected in order to participate in the electoral debate. You may not engage in partisan activities if they incur a cost. You may, however, obtain authorization, as a private intervenor, to incur publicity expenses that relate to a matter of public interest or that advocate abstention or cancellation of the vote.

During the election period, only official agents of political parties or candidates may incur expenses that directly or indirectly promote or oppose the election of a person.

Examples of illegal partisan activities

During an election period:

  • A person may not pay for an advertisement on Facebook that promotes or opposes a measure advocated by a party.
  • An individual may not print, at their own expense, posters promoting a candidate in a workplace or in any other public place.
  • A company may not buy newspaper advertising to take a stance on an act carried out by a candidate or a party.

A matter of fairness and transparency

Rules on partisan activities promote fairness and transparency.

Election expenses are limited to the same amount for all candidates in the same electoral division—it is a matter of fairness. Everyone has a similar budget to promote their candidacy.

Official agents must submit their election expenses reports to Élections Québec—it is a matter of transparency. All election expenses must be paid out of the election fund. This fund must consist exclusively of money legally obtained by the authorized political entity from contributions made by voters, via loans or through public financing. These amounts must be transferred to the official agent.

Want to express your preferences or opinions?

You can do so, as long as your actions do not cost anything. A free publication of a partisan nature on social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, for example, is not considered an expense. It is therefore permitted.

If there is a cost to your activities, you must obtain authorization as an private intervenor.

Obtain permission to participate in the electoral debate

Other resources

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