The answer is not as clear as it seems, but it has certainly emerged since Alexandre Taillefer reluctantly confirmed that he was a member of the Parti Québécois. The businessman made a donation to Jean-François Lisée’s leadership contest, but doesn’t understand why he is standing there today with a membership card. He’s not the only one.
A text from Veronique PrinceQuebec parliamentary correspondent
She is not liberal at all. She’s not really interested in politics. However, much to her surprise, Brigitte (who did not want her last name) received a Quebec Liberal Party membership card in the mail.
As she opened the envelope, she remembered the little five dollars at the bottom of her pocket that she gave to a young candidate seeking to win the nomination for the riding of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. He said he wanted to get involved with young families in the neighborhood, which in Brigitte’s eyes was an absolutely noble cause.
He delivered his speech for several minutes before she interrupted him. She was in a hurry but wanted to encourage him. He told her where to sign the form so she could properly hand over her five dollars. She did this without looking closely at the document. After all, it was only five dollars. So, in a sense, we can become members of a party without knowing it if we are not careful.
“I think this is unacceptable. We should have the free choice to make a donation to encourage people to join without becoming a member. It was my intention to encourage him. He wanted to help people in the neighborhood,” she says.
Donation or membership?
The websites of the four parties represented in the National Assembly invite voters to donate.
By participating in the exercise on the PLQ, PQ, CAQ and QS websites, we will be redirected to the Director General of Elections (DGE) website by clicking on the “I donate” tab. Nowhere on this form does it say that you can become a member.
“These questions relate to the internal governance of political parties. The DGE does not have to intervene in this matter. We have a role in the official approval of donations, but not in the rules surrounding membership,” says spokeswoman Alexandra Reny.
Therefore, to become a member of a party, you must fill out another form on the party’s website. How then could Alexandre Taillefer automatically become a member without his knowledge by making his donation, as he claims?
When he attended fundraisers, such as a cocktail party, he paid his entry fee. Here too, the contribution is recorded by the DGE. On site he should have filled out an official paper form from the DGE, on which there is a small box to tick whether you would like to become a member.
Did he accidentally check it? Do the parties check this in advance? Good question. It becomes a bit like one person’s word against another’s.
Brigitte and Alexandre Taillefer, the same fight, the same imbroglio?
Brigitte admits that she didn’t look at the document she had to sign. Perhaps we will never really know the core of the story, both Brigitte’s and Alexandre Taillefer’s. One thing is for sure, Brigitte has resolved to take two extra minutes of her time in the future, even when she’s in a hurry, to read the documents from the political parties that request them… even if it’s just for a small five dollars.
For his part, Alexandre Taillefer should explain his former loyalties next week when his appointment as president of the PLQ campaign is officially announced.
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