Since the CAQ was caught offering access to its ministers in exchange for donations of 100 $, the debate over the role of private money in Quebec politics has been reignited. Under fire from critics, Legault proposes to ban all financing of political parties by private contributions, and adds that the CAQ will no longer accept donations.
The Green Party of Quebec supports the government's idea to completely remove private money from Quebec politics; it's been part of our election platform since 2014.
Since 2013, the maximum donation has been 100 $ per person per year, with donors listed in a public database even for a contribution of 10 $. This database works, it feeds the current debate; almost half the mayors in Quebec have made a donation to the CAQ. Some MPs were openly suggesting to mayors that a donation of 100 $ would be an opportunity to advance their projects with the help of Quebec City.
Although 100 $ isn't a lot of money (especially with inflation), the fact remains that this money isn't so easy to collect, even for ministers. Very few people feel self-motivated to donate to a political party. Whether the maximum donation is 100 $, 1000 $ or more, you still have to ask for the money over and over again. Donations don't come in by themselves. That's where the problem lies, even ministers have to suggest quid pro quos or perks to get small donations of 100 $. But our ministers have other things to do than beg for money.
Although public funding comes from public funds, the public interest is much better served by public funding. Private donations come with strings attached. Citizens' interests are much better served by politicians who don't owe favors to their donors. In this context, the costs of public funding of political parties become negligible. In short, corruption costs far more than public funding.
The Green Party is giving Legault the green light to abolish private money in Quebec politics, a move that will benefit the working class and limit the influence of the rich and corrupt.
Alex Tyrrell
Leader of the Green Party of Quebec


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