June 3, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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PLQ struggles to raise money

PLQ struggles to raise money

The Liberals, once champions of fundraising, are now in last place among the major parties and are struggling to rally their donors during the provincial election campaign.

The days when Violet Trepanier, former director of financing for the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ) under Jean Charest, wrote in an email, “I’m drowning in prices” are over.

At its height in 2008, the Liberal machine raked in more than $9 million a year thanks to hidden funding schemes later exposed by the Charbonneau Commission.

But since January, with just $310,688 collected, the PLQ hasn’t matched its rivals, according to the latest data analyzed by our Bureau of Inquiry, Quebec’s chief electoral officer (DGEQ).

The Conservative Party of Quebec (PCQ) also raised nearly $200,000 more than him this year.

As of Friday, the Coalition Avenir Quebec, the Parti Québécois (PQ), the Quebec Solidaire and the PCQ had already surpassed the total for 2021 by more than $100,000.

However, PLQ did not follow this trend and collected only $5,161 more than last year, an increase of 2%.

“We pass [de 100 $] Maximum $200 per contribution in an election year. We should have expected a significant increase in cooperation in the case of the PLQ,” observes Eric Montigny, professor of political science at Laval University.

The fact that the Liberal Party has announced fewer candidates than its rivals also comes into the equation.

“Often, when there’s a candidate, there’s a team that organizes itself and helps fundraise,” Mr. Montigny analyzed.

PLQ spokesman Maxime Doyon-Laliberté explains that despite everything, his “activists are enthusiastic and mobilized everywhere in Quebec” and “teams [les] Candidates are becoming more active when it comes to donations.

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The PLQ believes it has the budget to hold elections [ses] Ambition”.

In addition to popular donations, parties also depend on state funding based on the number of votes they have received in previous elections. These fund contributions represent more than half of their election kitty.

The Philippe Couillard era, marked by cuts in public services and the scandals exposed during the Jean Charest, Charbonneau commission, alienated some voters and donors, according to Catherine Coté, a political science professor at the University of Sherbrooke.

“Place in this [se trouve la cheffe Dominique] Anglade is almost unbearable. There is still a huge record of dissatisfaction with the Liberal Party,” she analyzed.

Both experts feel that the PLQ will have to redefine itself in the coming years.

Mr. According to Montigny, the party no longer invokes the bogeyman of Quebec sovereignty to mobilize its donors because the debate is no longer at the forefront.

“He ate a lot of his opposition to the independence of the PQ. By refusing it, it lost its main rival to mobilize its forces and part of its raison d’être. »

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