Joint Letter of Parties Not Represented at the National Assembly

To the attention of the Chief Electoral Officer of Québec (DGEQ)
Subject: The consultation document For a New Vision of the Election Act

On February 17 and March 10, 2024, parties not represented in the National Assembly (NA) met to discuss the DGEQ's consultation on the Election Act.

One thing was clear from the outset: there is growing disaffection with the political process on the Quebec political scene.

Despite the assertion (page 1) that "our electoral legislation has often been in the vanguard, drawing inspiration from best practices around the world," the fact remains that the entire political process, including elections, is increasingly discredited in the eyes of the Quebec electorate.

Experience teaches us that this situation is of serious concern to the people, and therefore deserves our full attention. Our democratic system needs to be modernized. This applies to us as political parties, and to the entire polity of Quebec -- over 6 million voters.

The need for modernization is also illustrated by the fact that, although there are 21 authorized political parties in Quebec, less than a third of them have been consulted directly by the DGEQ on an issue as important as the Election Act and the resulting process. An exercise that claims to be aimed at modernizing our electoral system must, as an imperative, consult the entire Quebec polity.

We are therefore asking the DGEQ to consult all authorized political parties directly, and to extend the consultation period beyond the March 30 deadline.

The notion of fairness is stated repeatedly in the consultation document on our democratic system. Fairness is the character of what is done with justice and impartiality, or it is the moderator of the objective right according to which everyone is entitled to fair, equal and reasonable treatment. According to this notion, all parties should be treated equally. Indeed, we are asked to collect the same number of signatures, to follow the same process to present a candidate, to campaign, etc. But when it comes time to consult on a proposal to modernize the electoral process, we are not accorded fair and equitable treatment.

Moreover, it emerged from our discussions that money enters the equation and seriously skews the notion of fairness. This situation is detrimental to parties not represented in the NA, as well as to the population as a whole. The notion of equity is transformed here into a notion of privileges that specifically benefit parties represented in the NA.

A political party represented in the NA has the privilege of the disproportionately greater financial resources provided by the current party financing system, as well as other privileges which, in the pre-election and election periods, create inequity between parties that perpetuates the marginalization of parties not represented in the NA. Parties not represented in the NA have the right to exist, but nothing more. This situation is particularly blatant during elections, when parties sitting in the NA enjoy full media coverage, while other parties are left to fend for themselves, facing a wall of silence too rarely broken.

The electorate's right to an informed vote thus becomes mere wishful thinking.

This poses a serious problem for a truly democratic society. People can go to the polls, but during the election period, they are given very little space to discuss in an informed and in-depth manner the concerns and issues that affect the present and future of Quebec, whether as individuals or as organized groups.

It is imperative that the DGEQ take note of this problem, which is detrimental to true democracy, to the exercise of the right to speak, the right to conscience, the right to participate in an election and the right to an informed vote. In past years, Élections Québec has held several meetings with all the parties, and parties not represented in the NA have repeatedly put forward the following proposals to advance democracy:

- implementation of a political party showcase that would enable voters to find out about each party's program;

- distribution to every dwelling in Quebec, the party platforms for elections along with the voter's card.

These proposals would contribute to voters' right to an informed vote, since knowing the program of all parties is essential.

Finally, a number of the DGE's proposals constitute interference in the internal life of political parties: parity and diversity of candidates, accountability for their programs, the number of officers, increased administrative responsibilities to the detriment of time devoted to their political activities, to name but a few.

For all these reasons, our parties reiterate our demand to be able to participate fully and equally in everything that affects our electoral system. Especially, we demand that the Chief Electoral Officer consult all authorized parties in Quebec and Quebeckers within the framework of meetings to ensure that the voice of Quebec's entire polity is heard.


Benjamin Vachon, Leader, Bloc Pot (
Louis Chandonnet, Leader, Équipe autonomiste (
Jean-Louis Thémistocle, Leader, Parti culinaire du Québec (
Charles Olivier, Leader, Libertarian Party (
Christine Dandenault, Leader, Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec (
Parti Nul (

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(March 30, 2024)

This article was published in
Volume 54 Number 4 - May 2024

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