Coalition Avenir Québec receives D+ best grade of bad overall grades in Report Card on Québec Parties' Democratic Good Government Platforms -- Parti Québecois receive a D, Québec solidaire an F and Liberals an Incomplete

Coalition Avenir Québec receives D+ best grade of bad overall grades in Report Card on Québec Parties’ Democratic Good Government Platforms — Parti Québecois receive a D, Québec solidaire an F and Liberals an Incomplete

News Release

Coalition Avenir Québec receives D+ best grade of bad overall grades in Report Card on Québec Parties' Democratic Good Government Platforms -- Parti Québecois receive a D, Québec solidaire an F and Liberals an Incomplete

Despite high voter concern about democracy and trust, all parties fail to promise many needed changes to have effective democracy, government ethics and accountability in Québec

Friday, August 31, 2012

OTTAWA - Today, Democracy Watch released its Report Card on the 2012 Democratic Good Government Election Platforms of the four main Québec political parties, the only election report card on these issues.

The Coalition Avenir Québec receives a D+ best grade of bad overall grades in the Report Card -- the Parti Québecois received a D, Québec solidaire an F and the Liberals an Incomplete.  A Dishonesty Downgrade of one full grade is also shown in the Report Card results because history has shown across Canada that usually only half of all promises are kept because of the lack of an honesty-in-politics law which is needed to effectively penalize promise-breakers and misleaders.

The grades are so low because none of the parties have promised to make enough specific changes to effectively stop: dishonesty in politics; politicians, their staff and government officials from making decisions in which they have personal interests; secret, unlimited donations (especially to party leadership and nomination candidates); secret lobbying; excessive secrecy in government; unrepresentative decision-making, and; waste.

The Coalition Avenir Québec received the best grade in three of the five categories of the Report Card (Honest, ethical government measures; Open government measures, and General government accountability measures).  The Parti Québecois tied with the CAQ for best score in one category -- measures to prevent waste.  Québec solidaire had the best overall score in the category of measures to ensure representative, citizen-driven government.

"All the Québec parties have failed to respond enough to high voter concern about democracy and trust issues," said Tyler Sommers, Coordinator of Democracy Watch and its five national good government coalitions.  "The rules and enforcement to stop illegal parking in Québec are stronger, and the penalties higher, than the rules and enforcement for stopping political corruption.  The rules are so full of loopholes that they are like a yellow light that only warns people in Québec politics not to be unethical, instead of a red light that clearly tells them to stop what they are doing."

"The party leaders should not be surprised by the lack of support they will receive from voters on election day.  One can only hope that the parties will actually address these concerns when the legislature opens again so that everyone in Québec politics will, finally after 145 years, be effectively required to act honestly, ethically, openly, representatively and to prevent waste," said Sommers.

"Undemocratic, bad government rules and processes usually produce bad decisions that fail to solve key problems in society, and so as long as provincial politicians fail to clean up the government, they will likely also continue to fail to clean up many other problems in Québec," said Sommers.

"Given the lack of a provincial honesty-in-politics law, and the lack of a clear pledge by any of the parties to pass such a law, voters should be wary of trusting any political promises," said Sommers.

The Report Card grades the four main parties' platform pledges based upon 16 sets of key changes in five areas that Democracy Watch and its coalitions believe are the cin and hanges that will most effectively require everyone in the Québec government to act honestly, ethically, openly, efficiently, representatively and, if they don't act in these democratic ways, easily and thoroughly held accountable.  In total, the 16 sets of changes add up to 100 key changes needed to the Québec government's democracy, ethics and accountability system.

The measures are a compilation of the proposals of the five nation-wide coalitions Democracy Watch coordinates (Government Ethics Coalition, Money in Politics Coalition, Open Government Coalition, Corporate Responsibility Coalition, Canadian Community Reinvestment Coalition).  A combined total of more than 140 citizen groups with a total membership of more than 3 million Canadians belong to the coalitions, groups that work on anti-poverty, bank accountability, community economic development, consumer, corporate responsibility, environment, labour, social justice, women and youth issues.

Many national surveys over the past several years have shown that a large majority of Canadians support the 100 democracy, ethics and government accountability reforms set out in the Report Card, as do many commentators on democratic reform.  The federal government, and every province and territory and municipality across Canada, all have a similar list of 100 loopholes and flaws in their government systems (each with a slightly differect set of loopholes and flaws, depending on which have been closed or corrected in the past).

The 16 sets of changes, divided into five areas, all reflect the following five key elements for ensuring that large, powerful government institutions act responsibly and follow rules: 1. strong laws with no loopholes; 2. requirement to disclose details of operations and violations; 3. fully independent, fully empowered watchdog agencies to enforce laws; 4. penalties that are high enough to encourage compliance; and 5. empowerment of citizens to hold governments and watchdog agencies accountable.

The parties were given a grade ranging from A (Platform makes clear promise to implement proposal) to I (Platform does not mention proposal), with grades B for a vague or partial promise to implement the proposal, C and D for clear to vague promises to explore the proposal, E for mentioning proposal and F for mentioning the theme of the proposal.  Grades were averaged for each of the five sections, and the averages of section grades were used to calculate the overall grade for each party.

Democracy Watch graded the parties' election platforms by reviewing the platforms.  Statements by party leaders or representatives were not taken into account as they are not fully accessible to all voters, nor are they binding in any way on the party (as admitted by many party leaders) and as a result are even less reliable than promises made in the parties' platforms.

- 30 -

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Tyler Sommers, Coordinator of Democracy Watch
Tel: (613) 241-5179
dwatch@web.net

Coalition Avenir Québec English platform webpage  (Fr)
Liberal Party of Quebec English platform webpage  (Fr)
Parti Québecois French platform webpage  (French only)
Québec solidaire Bilingual platform webpage


Report Card on the 2012 Good Government
Election Platforms of the Québec Political Parties
(Set out below are quotations from the Québec parties' platform documents upon which the Report Card grades were based for each of the 16 sub-categories graded in the five issue areas categories)

GRADING SYSTEM
A - Platform makes clear promise to implement proposal
B - Platform makes vague or partial promise to implement proposal
C - Platform makes clear promise to explore proposal
D - Platform makes vague or partial promise to explore proposal
E - Platform mentions proposal
F - Platform mentions theme of proposal
I - Platform does not mention proposal

Coalition Avenir Québec English platform webpage  (Fr)
Liberal Party of Quebec English platform webpage  (Fr)
Parti Québecois French platform webpage  (French only)
Québec solidaire Bilingual platform webpage


OVERALL REPORT CARD GRADES
best to worst

Party

Grades

Dishonesty Downgrade*
(one full grade)

Coalition Avenir Québec

D+

E+

Liberal Party

I

inexcusable

Parti Québecois

D

E

Québec solidaire

F

I

* Dishonesty Downgrade applied because past performance of political parties across Canada shows that they usually break half their election promises, and the lack of a provincial honesty-in-politics law means they can't be held accountable for breaking promises.


II. Open Government Measures
5. Strengthening access-to-information system
6. Exposing behind-closed-door communications
7. Strengthening lobbying disclosure and ethics, and the enforcement system

III. Efficient Government Measures
8. Increasing powers of Auditor General
9. Restricting government and campaign advertising

IV. Representative, Citizen-Driven Government Measures
10. Increasing meaningful public consultation
11. Restricting power of Cabinet to make appointments
12. Making the legislature democratic
13. Ensuring free, fair and representative elections

V. General Government Accountability Measures
14. Facilitating citizen watchdog groups over government
15. Ensuring effective whistleblower protection
16. Ensuring loophole free laws and strong penalties for wrongdoers


I. Honest, Ethical Government Measures

SECTION I OVERALL GRADES
Coalition Avenir Québec - B-
Liberal Party of Quebec - I
Parti Québecois - C+
Québec solidaire - F

1. Requiring honesty-in-politics - Pass a law that requires all Cabinet ministers, MNAs, political staff, Cabinet appointees and government employees (including at Crown corporations, agencies, boards, commissions, courts and tribunals) nomination race and election candidates to tell the truth, with an easily accessible complaint process to a fully independent watchdog agency that is fully empowered to investigate and penalize anyone who lies. (Go to Honesty in Politics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Coalition Avenir Québec - B-
- "will also follow any recommendations of the Charbonneau Commission."
- "a Coalition Avenir Québec government will take steps to increase transparency of government information and make the presentation of the government budget comparable to the audited financial statements in order to speak truth to taxpayers and parliamentarians. In addition, it will expand the powers of the Auditor General so that his mandate should include Crown corporations such as Hydro-Québec and other public entities.
It will also create a position of Parliamentary Budget Officer, appointed by the National Assembly, to independently analyze the financial position and the estimates of the Québec government and make recommendations. As a guide, this institution would be created on the same basis as the Parliamentary Budget Officer of the House of Commons in Ottawa."

Liberal Party of Quebec - I
Nothing related to proposal in platform

Parti Québecois - C
- "Créera une commission d’enquête publique et indépendante sur les pratiques de corruption et de collusion, notamment dans l’industrie de la construction, quant à l’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions et sur le financement des partis politiques. À la suite des recommandations de la commission, il révisera immédiatement, le cas échéant, toute la mécanique d’attribution, les règles d’éthique et le processus d’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions ou autres;"
- "S’assurera que le code de déontologie et les règles d’éthique répondent aux plus hauts standards applicables aux députés de l’Assemblée nationale et aux membres du Conseil des ministres. Ils seront appliqués par un commissaire indépendant nommé par l’Assemblée nationale;"
- "Adoptera un code de déontologie et des règles d’éthique répondant aux plus hauts standards pour les élus municipaux et scolaires;"

Québec solidaire - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

2. Strengthening ethics standards for politicians, political staff, Cabinet appointees and government employees, and ethics enforcement - Close the loopholes in the existing ethics rules (including defining "private interest" and acceptable gifts and benefits in the Code of Ethics and Conduct, and lowering the disclosure threshold for all other income, assets and liabilities in the Code down to $1,000 (to match the political donation limit) and applying it to all politicians, senior staff and senior government officials, and usually requiring divestment of assets that cause conflicts (instead of so-called "blind trusts", and including requiring resignation and a by-election if an MNA switches parties between elections) and apply them to all government institutions (including all Crown corporations), and as proposed by the federal Department of Finance place anyone with decision-making power on the anti-corruption watch list of the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (Fintrac) so deposits to their bank accounts can be tracked, and; strengthen the independence and effectiveness of the ethics watchdog by giving opposition party leaders a veto over appointees, having the legislature (as opposed to Cabinet) approve their annual budgets, prohibiting the watchdogs from giving secret advice, requiring them to investigate and rule publicly on all complaints (including anonymous complaints and complaints from the public), fully empowering and requiring them to penalize rule-breakers, changing all the codes they enforce into laws, and ensuring that all their decisions can be reviewed by the courts.  (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Coalition Avenir Québec - C
- "will also follow any recommendations of the Charbonneau Commission."
- "a Coalition Avenir Québec government will thus create the position of Commissioner
for the Integrity of public life, combining the functions of Commissioner for Lobbying
and Commissioner for Ethics. this public official will be responsible for:
• enforcing ethics rules for elected officials, political staff and senior public servants;
• ensuring the integrity of public administration;
• protecting employees who report wrongdoing in connection with the application of a new law governing the reporting of any unethical act (Line 1-800-fonctionnaires) and providing the instruction, by the commission de la fonction publique, of reprisal complaints forwarded by commissioner for the Integrity of public life."
- "a Coalition Avenir Québec government will ensure that all municipal elected officials are better supported by the Québec government in the application of ethics rules, through the appointment of a Municipal Commissioner for ethics."
- "a Coalition Avenir Québec government will also modernize the Lobbying Act, including the addition of a provision specifically prohibiting the exercise of any lobbying activity with respect to the awarding of a contract between the time of publication of the public bidding and the awarding of the contract. This provision will also increase the minimum amount of fines and create a regime of administrative penalties, as recommended by the commissioner to lobbying in his report to the chair of the national assembly on May 9, 2012."

Liberal Party of Quebec - I
Nothing related to proposal in platform

Parti Québecois - B-
- "Créera une commission d’enquête publique et indépendante sur les pratiques de corruption et de collusion, notamment dans l’industrie de la construction, quant à l’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions et sur le financement des partis politiques. À la suite des recommandations de la commission, il révisera immédiatement, le cas échéant, toute la mécanique d’attribution, les règles d’éthique et le processus d’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions ou autres;"
- "S’assurera que le code de déontologie et les règles d’éthique répondent aux plus hauts standards applicables aux députés de l’Assemblée nationale et aux membres du Conseil des ministres. Ils seront appliqués par un commissaire indépendant nommé par l’Assemblée nationale;"
- "Adoptera un code de déontologie et des règles d’éthique répondant aux plus hauts standards pour les élus municipaux et scolaires;"

Québec solidaire - F
- "35 Public Inquiry on Government Contracts: Québec solidaire will implement a public inquiry on the awarding of government contracts and political party funding in sectors that are not covered by the Charbonneau Commission, i.e., contracts awarded by Hydro-Québec as well as those related to computing sectors and professional services (lawyers, architects, etc.)."

3. Making the political donations system democratic and ethical - Prohibit secret, unlimited donations of money, property or services by anyone for any reason to nomination and party leadership candidates (such donations are now only prohibited if given to election candidates); decrease the donation limit to about $200 annually (which is the amount that an average person can afford) and decrease any tax credit for larger donations; limit loans, including from financial institutions, to parties and all types of candidates to the same level as donations are limited; require disclosure of all donations (including the identity of the donor's employer (as in the U.S.) and/or major affiliations) and loans quarterly and before any election day; require disclosure of donations to party leadership and nomination race contestants; limit spending on campaigns for the leadership of political parties; maintain limits on third-party (non-political party) advertising during elections; lower the annual per-vote public funding of political parties that elect more MNAs than they deserve based on the percentage of voter support they receive (to balance out the total amount of funding (the annual allowance plus MNA budgets) that each party receives based on actual popular support) and; ensure riding associations receive a fair share of this per-vote funding (so that party headquarters don't have undue control over riding associations).  (Go to Money in Politics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Coalition Avenir Québec - B-
- "will also follow any recommendations of the Charbonneau Commission."
- "More ideas and less advertising, that’s what people want during election campaigns.
So, the Coalition proposes to amend the election act to limit donations to $100 per
voter per year and only to one political party. This limit will permit almost all Quebecers, whatever their income, to contribute to the financing of parties. In addition, this new limited amount will make it virtually impossible to use nominees.
Similarly, for every dollar of contribution from a voter, the chief electoral officer will pay $3 to the party concerned. the spending limit for political parties will also be reduced to $2 million per year for operational expenses, and $4 million for election expenses."

Liberal Party of Quebec - I
Nothing related to proposal in platform

Parti Québecois - B-
- "Créera une commission d’enquête publique et indépendante sur les pratiques de corruption et de collusion, notamment dans l’industrie de la construction, quant à l’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions et sur le financement des partis politiques. À la suite des recommandations de la commission, il révisera immédiatement, le cas échéant, toute la mécanique d’attribution, les règles d’éthique et le processus d’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions ou autres;"
- "Modifiera la Loi électorale pour assurer la transparence et l’indépendance des élus. La Loi électorale modifiée comportera les éléments suivants :

  • 1. le financement des partis politiques sera essentiellement public. Les montants octroyés par l’État aux partis politiques seront augmentés et demeureront en fonction de leurs résultats électoraux selon la formule actuellement prévue à la loi;
  • 2. le don maximum à un parti politique sera de 100 $ excluant les frais d’adhésion;
  • 3. le crédit d’impôt pour contribution politique sera éliminé;
  • 4. le pouvoir d’enquête du Directeur général des élections sera renforcé;"

Québec solidaire - F
- "35 Public Inquiry on Government Contracts: Québec solidaire will implement a public inquiry on the awarding of government contracts and political party funding in sectors that are not covered by the Charbonneau Commission, i.e., contracts awarded by Hydro-Québec as well as those related to computing sectors and professional services (lawyers, architects, etc.)."

4. Closing down the revolving door - Prohibit lobbyists from working for government departments or serving in senior positions for political parties or candidates for public office (as in New Mexico and Maryland), and from having business connections with anyone who does, and close the loopholes so that the actual cooling-off period for former Cabinet ministers, ministerial staff and senior public officials is increased to 5 years (and 1-3 years for MNAs, their staff, and government employees, depending on their decision-making power) during which they are prohibited from becoming a lobbyist or working with people, corporations or organizations with which they had direct dealings while in government.  Make the ethics watchdog agencies more independent and effective by by giving opposition party leaders a veto over their appointment, by prohibiting the Commissioners from giving secret advice, by requiring the Commissioners to investigate and rule publicly on all complaints (including anonymous complaints), and by fully empowering and requiring the Commissioners to penalize rule-breakers (as opposed to having the National Assembly decide penalties), and dwatchby ensuring all decisions of the Commissioners can be reviewed by the courts. (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Coalition Avenir Québec - C-
- "will also follow any recommendations of the Charbonneau Commission."
- "a Coalition Avenir Québec government will thus create the position of Commissioner
for the Integrity of public life, combining the functions of Commissioner for Lobbying
and Commissioner for Ethics. this public official will be responsible for:
• enforcing ethics rules for elected officials, political staff and senior public servants;
• ensuring the integrity of public administration;
• protecting employees who report wrongdoing in connection with the application of a new law governing the reporting of any unethical act (Line 1-800-fonctionnaires) and providing the instruction, by the commission de la fonction publique, of reprisal complaints forwarded by commissioner for the Integrity of public life."

Liberal Party of Quebec - I
Nothing related to proposal in platform

Parti Québecois - D
- "Créera une commission d’enquête publique et indépendante sur les pratiques de corruption et de collusion, notamment dans l’industrie de la construction, quant à l’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions et sur le financement des partis politiques. À la suite des recommandations de la commission, il révisera immédiatement, le cas échéant, toute la mécanique d’attribution, les règles d’éthique et le processus d’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions ou autres;"

Québec solidaire - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform


II. Open Government Measures

SECTION II OVERALL GRADES
Coalition Avenir Québec - C+
Liberal Party of Quebec - I
Parti Québecois - C
Québec solidaire - F

5. Strengthening access-to-information system - Strengthen the access-to-information law and government information management system by applying the law to all government/publicly funded institutions, requiring all institutions and officials to create records of all decisions and actions and disclose them proactively and regularly, creating a public interest override of all access exemptions, giving opposition party leaders a veto over the appointment of the Commission, having the legislature (as opposed to Cabinet) approve the Commission's annual budgets, giving the Commission the power and mandate to order changes to government institutions' information systems, and to penalize violators of access laws, regulations, policies and rules, and removing the power of the government (under s. 145) to delay release of information after the Commission has ordered disclosure of the information.  (Go to Open Government Campaign and Stop Muzzling Scientists Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Coalition Avenir Québec - B
- "will also follow any recommendations of the Charbonneau Commission."
- "the Coalition believes that a root cause of disengagement of Quebecers towards politics is linked to the lack of transparency in government action. A Coalition Avenir
Québec government will therefore provide, while ensuring protection of personal data
and state security, better dissemination of government information. any department
and public body shall be obliged to disclose notably:
• information relating to the entire organization;
• any expenditure, contract or financial commitment of $25,000 and more.
It will also modernize the Act respecting Access to documents held by public bodies and
the Protection of Personal Information
in order to improve efficiency and reduce delays
in obtaining documents."

Liberal Party of Quebec - I
Nothing related to proposal in platform

Parti Québecois - B-
- "Créera une commission d’enquête publique et indépendante sur les pratiques de corruption et de collusion, notamment dans l’industrie de la construction, quant à l’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions et sur le financement des partis politiques. À la suite des recommandations de la commission, il révisera immédiatement, le cas échéant, toute la mécanique d’attribution, les règles d’éthique et le processus d’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions ou autres;"
- "Renforcera l’application de la Loi sur l’accès aux documents des organismes publics et sur la protection des renseignements personnels afin que tous les ministères, organismes et sociétés d’État s’y conforment dans un souci de transparence."

Québec solidaire - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

6. Exposing behind-closed-door communications - Require in a new law that Ministers and public officials and MNAs and their staff disclose their contacts with all lobbyists, whether paid or volunteer lobbyists.  (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Coalition Avenir Québec - C
- "will also follow any recommendations of the Charbonneau Commission."
- "the Coalition believes that a root cause of disengagement of Quebecers towards politics is linked to the lack of transparency in government action. A Coalition Avenir
Québec government will therefore provide, while ensuring protection of personal data
and state security, better dissemination of government information. any department
and public body shall be obliged to disclose notably:
• information relating to the entire organization;
• any expenditure, contract or financial commitment of $25,000 and more.
It will also modernize the Act respecting Access to documents held by public bodies and
the Protection of Personal Information
in order to improve efficiency and reduce delays
in obtaining documents."

Liberal Party of Quebec - I
Nothing related to proposal in platform

Parti Québecois - C
- "Créera une commission d’enquête publique et indépendante sur les pratiques de corruption et de collusion, notamment dans l’industrie de la construction, quant à l’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions et sur le financement des partis politiques. À la suite des recommandations de la commission, il révisera immédiatement, le cas échéant, toute la mécanique d’attribution, les règles d’éthique et le processus d’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions ou autres;"

Québec solidaire - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform
7. Strengthening lobbying disclosure and ethics, and the enforcement system - Strengthen the Lobbying Registration Act by including in it a Lobbyists' Code of Conduct, by closing the loophole that currently allows corporations to hide the number of people involved in lobbying activities, and by requiring lobbyists to disclose their past work with any Canadian or foreign government, political party or candidate, to disclose all their government relations activities (whether paid or volunteer) involving gathering inside information or trying to influence policy-makers (as in the U.S.) and to disclose the amount they spend on lobbying campaigns (as in 33 U.S. states), and; strengthen the ethics and enforcement system by extending the limitation period for prosecutions of violations of the Act to 10 years, and; by giving opposition party leaders a veto over the appointment of the Commissioner for lobbyists, by having the legislature (as opposed to Cabinet) approve the Commissioner's annual budget, by prohibiting the Commissioner from giving secret advice, by requiring the Commissioner to investigate and rule publicly on all complaints (including anonymous complaints), by fully empowering and requiring the Commissioner to penalize rule-breakers, by ensuring all Commissioner decisions can be reviewed by the courts.  (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Coalition Avenir Québec - B-
- "will also follow any recommendations of the Charbonneau Commission."
- "a Coalition Avenir Québec government will thus create the position of Commissioner
for the Integrity of public life, combining the functions of Commissioner for Lobbying
and Commissioner for Ethics. this public official will be responsible for:
• enforcing ethics rules for elected officials, political staff and senior    public    servants;
• ensuring the integrity of public administration;
• protecting employees who report wrongdoing in connection with the application of a new law governing the reporting of any unethical act (Line 1-800-fonctionnaires) and providing the instruction, by the commission de la fonction publique, of reprisal complaints forwarded by commissioner for the Integrity of public life."
- "a Coalition Avenir Québec government will also modernize the Lobbying Act, including the addition of a provision specifically prohibiting the exercise of any lobbying activity with respect to the awarding of a contract between the time of publication of the public bidding and the awarding of the contract. this provision will also increase the minimum amount of fines and create a regime of administrative penalties, as recommended by the commissioner to lobbying in his report to the chair of the national assembly on May 9, 2012."

Liberal Party of Quebec - I
Nothing related to proposal in platform

Parti Québecois - C
- "Créera une commission d’enquête publique et indépendante sur les pratiques de corruption et de collusion, notamment dans l’industrie de la construction, quant à l’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions et sur le financement des partis politiques. À la suite des recommandations de la commission, il révisera immédiatement, le cas échéant, toute la mécanique d’attribution, les règles d’éthique et le processus d’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions ou autres;"
- "Renforcera la Loi sur la transparence et l’éthique en matière de lobbyisme afin que les poursuites soient entamées par le Procureur général à la demande du Commissaire, après enquête, et allongera le délai de prescription;"

Québec solidaire - F
- "35 Public Inquiry on Government Contracts: Québec solidaire will implement a public inquiry on the awarding of government contracts and political party funding in sectors that are not covered by the Charbonneau Commission, i.e., contracts awarded by Hydro-Québec as well as those related to computing sectors and professional services (lawyers, architects, etc.)."


III. Efficient Government Measures

SECTION III OVERALL GRADES
Coalition Avenir Québec - D+
Liberal Party of Quebec - I
Parti Québecois - D+
Québec solidaire - F

8. Increasing powers of Auditor General - Increase the independence of the Auditor General by requiring approval of appointment from opposition party leaders; increase auditing resources of the Auditor General by having the legislature (as opposed to Cabinet) approve the Auditor General's annual budget, and; empower and require the Auditor General to audit all government institutions (including the expenses of members of the legislature) and also audit projected spending (like the federal Parliamentary Budget Officer does), to make orders for changes to government institutions' spending systems, and empower the Auditor General to penalize violators of spending rules or Auditor General orders or requests for information.  (Go to Stop Fraud Politician Spending for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Coalition Avenir Québec - B
- "will also follow any recommendations of the Charbonneau Commission."
- "a Coalition Avenir Québec government will give more powers to the Auditor General
by broadening its auditing mandate with respect to Crown corporations, enabling the
AG to verify their management and optimization of resources without the need to
obtain the approval of their boards."
- "Furthermore, the minimum size at which a municipality has an obligation to have an
auditor general will be reduced from 100,000 to 50,000 inhabitants. an independent
auditor general for the municipal sector will also be created. The AG will be responsible
for the verification of all activities of municipalities with fewer than 50,000 inhabitants."
- "a Coalition Avenir Québec government will take steps to increase transparency of government information and make the presentation of the government budget comparable to the audited financial statements in order to speak truth to taxpayers and parliamentarians. In addition, it will expand the powers of the Auditor General so that his mandate should include Crown corporations such as Hydro-Québec and other public entities.
It will also create a position of Parliamentary Budget Officer, appointed by the National Assembly, to independently analyze the financial position and the estimates of the Québec government and make recommendations. As a guide, this institution would be created on the same basis as the Parliamentary Budget Officer of the House of Commons in Ottawa."
- "Increased monitoring will not be enough if we do not tackle the source of the
problem. also, new rules for awarding public contracts will be issued. Mechanisms
in place, including those of the Department of Transport, will be reviewed. genuine
competition should be encouraged once again. For that purpose, it will be necessary to standardize all the rules and limits for public bodies and extend their scope to municipalities and crown corporations.
We must also end the spiral of extra costs by better supervising the delegated power
of public organizations officers and by requiring the systematic publication of any cost
overruns in public contracts, as well as their justification. also, we must provide an
opportunity for municipalities to cancel bids if no bidder submits a reasonable price
compared to initial estimates.
Finally, we must restore the Department of Transportation’s ability to act and verify,
hence its ability to fulfill its mission, by employing the expertise within its ranks. This
will require enhancing the professional profile of Québec government engineers.
all these actions that will be put in place by a Coalition Avenir Québec government
aim to restore the balance between government and businesses in the negotiation and award of contracts. Only on this condition will Québec be able to modernize its
infrastructure at the best possible cost."

Liberal Party of Quebec - I
Nothing related to proposal in platform

Parti Québecois - B-
- « Étendra le mandat du Bureau du Vérificateur général du Québec à toutes les sociétés d’État; »

- « Un gouvernement souverainiste :

  • a) Respectera la Loi sur l’équilibre budgétaire de façon à ne pas handicaper les générations futures par un endettement excessif. Le mot d’ordre : « responsabilité »;
  • b) Procédera à une réorganisation majeure de l’État visant à le débureaucratiser, à le réorienter vers les services aux citoyens, en réduisant les niveaux hiérarchiques. Le mot d’ordre : « débureaucratiser »;
  • c) Introduira une véritable culture des résultats dans les réseaux publics, par exemple en conditionnant l’octroi et le niveau des budgets et des primes au rendement par les résultats obtenus en matière de satisfaction de la clientèle et d’augmentation de la productivité de chacun des ministères, organismes et sociétés d’État. Le mot d’ordre : « des résultats »;
  • d) Donnera, dans le cadre de paramètres très généraux, une vaste autonomie de gestion à chacun des ministères, organismes et sociétés d’État. Le mot d’ordre : « pas de mur à mur»;
  • e) Révisera, à l’occasion d’un grand débat public, la politique de rémunération et des avantages sociaux concernant les hauts fonctionnaires du gouvernement et les directions des sociétés d’État. Le mot d’ordre : « transparence »;
  • f) Ouvrira les appels d’offres informatiques aux logiciels libres et mettra en place dès son arrivée un groupe conseil, libre d’intérêts particuliers, pour le guider sur le virage à prendre. Cette simple mesure pourrait faire économiser des dizaines de millions au gouvernement, en plus d’offrir plus de flexibilité. Le mot d’ordre : « modernité ». »

- « Créera une commission d’enquête publique et indépendante sur les pratiques de corruption et de collusion, notamment dans l’industrie de la construction, quant à l’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions et sur le financement des partis politiques. À la suite des recommandations de la commission, il révisera immédiatement, le cas échéant, toute la mécanique d’attribution, les règles d’éthique et le processus d’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions ou autres; »

Québec solidaire
- F
- "35 Public Inquiry on Government Contracts: Québec solidaire will implement a public inquiry on the awarding of government contracts and political party funding in sectors that are not covered by the Charbonneau Commission, i.e., contracts awarded by Hydro-Québec as well as those related to computing sectors and professional services (lawyers, architects, etc.)."

9. Restricting government and campaign advertising - Empower a government watchdog agency to preview and prohibit government advertising contracting out if there is no reason to have the advertising developed by a contractor, and to restrict all advertising by the government and opposition parties and third parties in the six-month period leading up to an election.  (Go to Stop Fraud Politician Spending for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Coalition Avenir Québec - E
- "will also follow any recommendations of the Charbonneau Commission."

Liberal Party of Quebec - I
Nothing related to proposal in platform

Parti Québecois - E
- « Créera une commission d’enquête publique et indépendante sur les pratiques de corruption et de collusion, notamment dans l’industrie de la construction, quant à l’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions et sur le financement des partis politiques. À la suite des recommandations de la commission, il révisera immédiatement, le cas échéant, toute la mécanique d’attribution, les règles d’éthique et le processus d’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions ou autres; »

Québec solidaire - F
- "35 Public Inquiry on Government Contracts: Québec solidaire will implement a public inquiry on the awarding of government contracts and political party funding in sectors that are not covered by the Charbonneau Commission, i.e., contracts awarded by Hydro-Québec as well as those related to computing sectors and professional services (lawyers, architects, etc.)."

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IV. Representative, Citizen-Driven Government Measures

SECTION IV OVERALL GRADES
Coalition Avenir Québec - D
Liberal Party of Quebec - I
Parti Québecois - E
Québec solidaire - E

10. Increasing meaningful public consultation - Pass a law requiring all government departments and institutions to use consultation processes that provide meaningful opportunities for citizen participation, especially concerning decisions that affect the lives of everyone in Québec.  (Go to Democratic Voting Systems Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Coalition Avenir Québec - I

Liberal Party of Quebec - I
Nothing related to proposal in platform

Parti Québecois - F

- "Aspirant à la liberté politique, le Parti Québécois a pour objectif premier de réaliser la souveraineté du Québec à la suite d’une consultation de la population par référendum tenu au moment jugé approprié par le gouvernement."
Québec solidaire - B-
- "29 Constituent Assembly: Québec solidaire recognizes the Quebecers’ right to choose its institutions and its political status. To this effect, it will set in motion from the day it takes office a constituent assembly process. Throughout the process, Québec solidaire will advocate for creating a sovereign Quebec state, without assuming what the outcome of the debates will be.
The Constituent Assembly will: a) be elected by universal franchise, made up of an equal number of women and men and representative of tendencies, different socio-economic backgrounds, and the cultural diversity present in Québec society; b) conduct a far-reaching, participatory democratic process to consult the population of Québec on:
i) the values, rights, and principles upon which community life should be based; ii) the political status of Québec; iii) the definition of its institutions; iv) their delegated powers,
responsibilities, and resources; c) develop, from the outcome of the consultation, one or more proposals which will be put to the population in a referendum.
- "33 Electoral Reform: Québec solidaire will move forward on electoral reform which will: . . . d) foster the accountability of elected officials, notably by obliging at least one public consultation meeting to be held per year."
- - "34 Decentralization: Québec solidaire will foster the development of localities, regions, and Québec as a whole by and for those who live there, its main objectives being to better the living conditions of local populations and look after the environment.
To this effect, Québec solidaire will: . . .  c) ensure consultation with cities and municipalities affected by any resource development project to plan the development of the required infrastructures."

11. Restricting power of Cabinet to make appointments - Require approval by opposition party leaders for the approximately 2,000 judicial, agency, board, commission and tribunal appointments currently made by the Premier, especially for appointees to senior and law enforcement positions, after a merit-based nomination and screening process.   (Go to Democratic Voting Systems Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Coalition Avenir Québec - E
- "will also follow any recommendations of the Charbonneau Commission."

Liberal Party of Quebec - I
Nothing related to proposal in platform

Parti Québecois - E
- « Créera une commission d’enquête publique et indépendante sur les pratiques de corruption et de collusion, notamment dans l’industrie de la construction, quant à l’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions et sur le financement des partis politiques. À la suite des recommandations de la commission, il révisera immédiatement, le cas échéant, toute la mécanique d’attribution, les règles d’éthique et le processus d’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions ou autres; »

Québec solidaire - I
Nothing related to proposal in platform

12. Making the legislature more democratic - Change the law to restrict the Premier's power to shut down (prorogue) the legislature to only for a very short time, and only for an election (dissolution) or if the national situation has changed significantly or if the Premier can show that the government has completed all their pledged actions from the last Speech from the Throne (or attempted to do so, as the opposition parties may stop or delay completion of some actions).  Give all party caucuses the power to choose which MNAs and in their party sit on which legislature committees, and allow any MNA to introduce a private member bill at any time, and define what a "vote of confidence" is in the law in a restrictive way so most votes in the legislature are free votes. (Go to Democratic Voting Systems Campaign and Stop Muzzling MPs Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Coalition Avenir Québec - I
Nothing related to proposal in platform

Liberal Party of Quebec - I
Nothing related to proposal in platform

Parti Québecois - I
Nothing related to proposal in platform

Québec solidaire - I
Nothing related to proposal in platform

13. Ensuring free, fair and representative elections - Change the current voting law and system (the Election Act) to specifically restrict the Premier's power to call an unfair snap election, so that election dates are fixed as much as possible under the parliamentary system.  Change the Act also so that nomination and party leadership races are regulated by Elections Québec (including limiting spending on campaigns for party leadership), so that Elections Québec determines which parties can participate in election debates based upon merit criteria, so that party leaders cannot appoint candidates except when a riding does not have a riding association, so that voters can decline their ballot (ie. vote for "none of the above") and so Elections Québec is required to register voters and do more to maintain an accurate list of eligible voters, and to provide a more equal number of voters in every riding, and a more accurate representation in the legislature of the actual voter support for each political party (with a safeguard to ensure that a party with low-level, narrow-base support does not have a disproportionately high level of power in the legislature).  (Go to Democratic Voting Systems Campaign and Stop Fraud Robocalls Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Coalition Avenir Québec - C-
- "will also follow any recommendations of the Charbonneau Commission."
- "In Canada, since 2001, seven provinces, one territory and the House of Commons have passed legislation providing for the holding of fixed date elections every four years. Only Québec, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Yukon and Nunavut have not yet adopted legislation to this effect.
A Coalition Avenir Québec government will therefore propose elections to be held at
a fixed date every four years, subject to maintaining the confidence of the National
Assembly in the government."

Liberal Party of Quebec - I
Nothing related to proposal in platform

Parti Québecois - C
- "Modifiera la Loi électorale pour instaurer des élections générales à date fixe et il modifiera la loi afin que le décret pour la tenue d’une élection partielle soit adopté au plus tard 90 jours après qu’un siège de député à l’Assemblée nationale soit devenu vacant;"
- "Évaluera la possibilité de limiter à deux mandats consécutifs ou dix ans, selon la plus longue échéance, la période pendant laquelle une personne peut agir à titre de premier ministre du Québec;"
- "Évaluera la possibilité de limiter à trois mandats consécutifs ou douze ans, selon la plus longue échéance, la période pendant laquelle une personne peut agir à titre de maire d’une municipalité de plus de 5000 habitants. Cette limitation n’étant applicable qu’à compter de l’adoption de la loi à cet effet;"
- "Instaurera une carte d’électeur pour toute personne détenant la citoyenneté québécoise ainsi qu’un mécanisme permanent et complet de révision de la liste électorale;"

Québec solidaire - B
- "33 Electoral Reform: Québec solidaire will move forward on electoral reform which will: a) implement a compensatory mixed voting system in which 60% of members of the National Assembly (MNAs) are elected in accordance with the first-past-the-post system (current voting system) and 40% will be divided between regions in such a way as to ensure that the total number of MNAs for each party follows the proportion of votes won at both the regional and the national levels for all parties having won at least 2% of the vote; b) amend the Election Act to implement fixed-date elections; c) introduce binding measures and incentives (financial and otherwise) to increase representation by women; d) foster the accountability of elected officials, notably by obliging at least one public consultation meeting to be held per year."
- "34 Decentralization: Québec solidaire will foster the development of localities, regions, and Québec as a whole by and for those who live there, its main objectives being to better the living conditions of local populations and look after the environment.
To this effect, Québec solidaire will: a) transfer state powers, responsibilities, and resources to municipal or regional bodies to optimize civic participation and the quality of the services provided by each jurisdiction; b) democratize municipal and regional bodies, notably through electing by universal suffrage all members of these bodies, including wardens of Regional county municipalities (RCM); c) ensure consultation with cities and municipalities affected by any resource development project to plan the development of the required infrastructures.


V. General Government Accountability Measures

SECTION V OVERALL GRADES
Coalition Avenir Québec - D-
Liberal Party of Quebec - E
Parti Québecois - E
Québec solidaire - I

14. Facilitating citizen watchdog groups over government - Require provincial government institutions to enclose one-page pamphlets periodically in their mailings to citizens inviting citizens to join citizen-funded and directed groups to represent citizen interests in policy-making and enforcement processes of key government departments (for example, on ethics, spending, and health care) as has been proposed in the U.S. and recommended for Canadian banks and other financial institutions in 1998 by a federal task force, a legislature of Commons Committee, and a Senate Committee.  (Go to Citizen Association Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Coalition Avenir Québec - F
- "will also follow any recommendations of the Charbonneau Commission."

Liberal Party of Quebec - I
Nothing related to proposal in platform

Parti Québecois - I
- "Créera une commission d’enquête publique et indépendante sur les pratiques de corruption et de collusion, notamment dans l’industrie de la construction, quant à l’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions et sur le financement des partis politiques. À la suite des recommandations de la commission, il révisera immédiatement, le cas échéant, toute la mécanique d’attribution, les règles d’éthique et le processus d’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions ou autres;"

Québec solidaire - I
Nothing related to proposal in platform

15. Ensuring effective whistleblower protection - Require everyone to report any violation of any law, regulation, policy, code, guideline or rule, and require all watchdog agencies over government (for example: Auditor General, Information and Privacy Commission, Ethics Commissioner) to investigate and rule publicly on allegations of violations, to penalize violators, to protect anyone (not just employees) who reports a violation (so-called "whistleblowers") from retaliation, to reward whistleblowers whose allegations are proven to be true, and to ensure a right to appeal to the courts.  (Go to Open Government Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Coalition Avenir Québec - B+
- "will also follow any recommendations of the Charbonneau Commission."
- "a Coalition Avenir Québec government will thus create the position of Commissioner
for the Integrity of public life, combining the functions of Commissioner for Lobbying
and Commissioner for Ethics. this public official will be responsible for:
• enforcing ethics rules for elected officials, political staff and senior    public    servants;
• ensuring the integrity of public administration;
• protecting employees who report wrongdoing in connection with the application of a new law governing the reporting of any unethical act (Line 1-800-fonctionnaires) and providing the instruction, by the commission de la fonction publique, of reprisal complaints forwarded by commissioner for the Integrity of public life."

Liberal Party of Quebec - I
Nothing related to proposal in platform

Parti Québecois - E
- "Créera une commission d’enquête publique et indépendante sur les pratiques de corruption et de collusion, notamment dans l’industrie de la construction, quant à l’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions et sur le financement des partis politiques. À la suite des recommandations de la commission, il révisera immédiatement, le cas échéant, toute la mécanique d’attribution, les règles d’éthique et le processus d’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions ou autres;"
- "Adoptera un projet de loi pour protéger les agents de l’État désireux de dénoncer des malversations ou d’autres problèmes graves au sein de la fonction publique;"

Québec solidaire - I
Nothing related to proposal in platform

16. Ensuring loophole free laws and strong penalties for wrongdoers - Close any technical and other loopholes that have been identified in laws, regulations, policies, codes, guidelines and rules (especially those regulating government institutions and large corporations) to help ensure strong enforcement, and increase financial penalties for violations to a level that significantly effects the annual revenues/budget of the institution or corporation. (Go to Democracy Watch's Campaigns for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Coalition Avenir Québec - F
- "will also follow any recommendations of the Charbonneau Commission."

Liberal Party of Quebec - C
- "Once Parliament is back in session, we will table a bill to automatically block access to public contracts by construction entrepreneurs as soon as the latter are accused of a serious crime or of fraud.  This bill will propose amendments so that:
* Any entrepreneur who is accused of a serious crime or of fraud will no longer have the privilege of bidding on government construction contracts;
* Any company with ties to a company operator or shareholder, even with minimum involvement in the company, will, if the latter is accused of a serious crime or fraud will lose the privilege of bidding on government construction contracts;
* If a person or company that is in the process of obtaining a license is accused of serious crime or of fraud, the license application process will be suspended;
* Any company operator or shareholder who is found guilty of a serious crime or fraud will lose the right to bid on public contracts; to the list of crimes listed in Act 35
including corruption, breach of trust, extortion, and conspiracy;
* The investigative powers of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec will be broadened specifically to better assist the UPAC.
The measures that have been announced will increase the awareness of the public,
company operators and partners of the need to conduct the necessary due diligence before partnering with or entering into business with an individual or business."

Parti Québecois - D
- "Créera une commission d’enquête publique et indépendante sur les pratiques de corruption et de collusion, notamment dans l’industrie de la construction, quant à l’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions et sur le financement des partis politiques. À la suite des recommandations de la commission, il révisera immédiatement, le cas échéant, toute la mécanique d’attribution, les règles d’éthique et le processus d’octroi des contrats publics, des permis, des subventions ou autres;"

Québec solidaire - F
- "35 Public Inquiry on Government Contracts: Québec solidaire will implement a public inquiry on the awarding of government contracts and political party funding in sectors that are not covered by the Charbonneau Commission, i.e., contracts awarded by Hydro-Québec as well as those related to computing sectors and professional services (lawyers, architects, etc.)."

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