Société québécoise de science politique

Duverger, Epstein and the Problem of the Mass Party: The Case of the Parti Québécois Author(s): Harold M. Angell Source: Canadian Journal of Political Science / Revue canadienne de science politique, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Jun., 1987), pp. 363-378 Published by: Canadian Political Science Association and the Société québécoise de science politique Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3228707 Accessed: 29/10/2008 02:21
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But it is in their financing that the distinction stands out most sharply. trans.Duverger.1 Central to his distinction is the difference in their financial structures. whereas the "mass" party generally carries out an extensive programme of internal mass education. Quebec H3G 1M8 Canadian Journal of Political Science / Revue canadienne de science politique. Political Parties: Their Organization and Activity in the Modern State (London: Methuen. while the "mass" party is open to all who care to join. Ottawa: Queen's Printer. Financially. Harold M. Epstein and the Problem of the Mass Party: The Case of the Parti Quebecois HAROLD M. in virtually every respect. by Barbara and Robert North."3 For Duverger." in Studies in Canadian Party Finance (Committee on Election Expenses. 60-71. Sir George Williams Campus. 1966). Montreal. Printed in Canada / Imprime au Canada . the major distinction between these two types of parties is in their structure. ANGELL Concordia University The Parti Quebecois as a Mass Party The distinction between "mass" and "cadre" parties was first made by Maurice Duverger in Les partis politiques (1951). 3 Ibid. Concordia University. one remarkable essay which has applied Duverger's categories to a political party in Canada is that by Michael Stein. 2 Published as "The Structure and Function of the Finances of the Ralliement des Creditistes.2 In this study Stein shows that "Duverger's analysis is admirably suited to the study of Creditiste finance since. The "cadre" party does little or no political education of its own members. the Ralliement des Creditistes fits his description of a mass party. 405-57. Department of Political Science. The two factors which define the distinctive systems of membership most clearly are the method of political education of the members and financial organization. 408-09. Angell. the "cadre" party relies on the contributions of a few large 1 The edition used here is the 3rd English edition.. Very little has been done since to refine and build on this analysis. The "cadre" party generally includes in its "membership" (if it can be said to have a defined membership at all) only a restricted group of the most active people sharing the same partisan goals. 1964). XX:2 (June/juin 1987). However. esp.

(6) it has a muchlarger. and "the concept of is membership a resultof the evolutionwhichled fromthe cadrepartyto the mass party. ideological orientation. The only real differencebetween the descriptionof these categories and the actual activity of the PQ is in financing. Most of the socialist and communist-and fascist-parties of Europemadeor makecollections fromthe publicand for go door-to-door them. . It is linked with a particularnotion of partythat was bornat the beginningof the twentiethcenturyalong with socialist parties. 27. 6 For further argument on this point see H.and(3) morecentralizedthana cadreparty.even permanent. whereas the "mass" party is essentially based on the fees paid by its members. to those These includethe structure. M. Angell. Lemieux (ed." we must add to "fees" the contributionssolicited by its members in an at least annual fund drive. 63..rangeof activity thana cadreparty.then.often from outside the party. Finally. envelopingmuchof the communitylife of the member.and that has subsequentlybeen imitatedby others.this comparesto the electoral or special political event activity which characterizesthe cadre party. 4 Duverger.6 Membership. and Quebec. 63. 80. So in Duverger'sterms the PQ is certainly a mass party.This is "wider based and less exclusive" than the "caucus" of a cadre party. is centralto a mass party. however. 1982). ANGELL supporters. (4) It has an even more oligarchicalleadershipthan a cadre party. moreover. Political Parties. 5 Ibid. the Quebec Liberalparty(QLP).). the politicaleducationof memberssupplementselectoralactivity. for examplethe PQ and. Here we must add a nuance."7The term "member" has scarcely any meaning or importancefor the cadre party.as in Canada centuryin parliamentary and which flourishes today even with a wider franchise. Insteadof the PQbeing "essentiallybased on the fees paidby its members. andthere with permanentofficials. It does not correspondto the conceptionof partywhichflourishedin the nineteenth systems with a limitedfranchise. 7 Duverger.(1) A mass partyis inclinedto a "branch"unit as its local formof organization. includingclass. (2) The mass is an administrative organization partyis stronglyarticulated.364 HAROLD M. Not that this is a wrinkle invented by the PQ.He gave most prominence. The differencehere is that this has constituted the major portion of the funds raised by the PQ since 1968. later. Political Parties.4 Duverger specified a numberof other majordifferences between these two types of parties.5 elements relateddirectlyto organizational followingdifferences. In the mass party. "Le financement des partis politiques provinciaux du Quebec.and degree of commitment. and (5) a very large membershipcomparedto a cadre party." in V. Personnel et partis politiques au Quebec (Montreal: Bor6al Express.

The Parti Quebecois fits its criteria. But the mass party technique in effect replaces the capitalist financing of elections (on 8 9 10 11 Ibid.) L'etude tend h demontrer qu'une perte de popularite entraine une perte du nombre de membres et par consequent une crise financiere. The average donation was $27. the PQ and the QLP. from the financial point of view. Resume. Only the Quebec Liberal party has adapted. for every election campaign costs relatively enormous amounts of money. This may lead to a crise de conscience and a split in membership. Such a crisis shook the PQ from 1981to 1985 and the defeat of December 2. without members. or the number of their members. Sous l'angle de la theorie de Duverger et Epstein concernant les notions de parti de masse et de parti cadre. (Le Parti liberal du Quebec a d'ailleurs adhere a ce r6gime. In the PQ the members are thus the very substance of the party. en 1977 il impose aux autres partis son mode de financement notamment en interdisant tout don de < personnes morales >>. .10 Secondly. in the QLP mainly for fund-raising purposes and in the PQ both from the political and the fund-raising standpoint. In their eyes the recruiting of members is a fundamental activity. 1983. Only Quebec electors may now donate anything.4 million eligible voters contributed $3. the PQ is almost entirely based on the subscriptions paid by its members and the donations which they in turn solicit from the public. for example. The hypothesis is that a loss in popularity leads to a loss of membership and a financial crisis. In the same way it is able to finance its elections. Ibid. 1985.Abstract. With a theoretical framework based on Duverger and Epstein we examine the mass party and compare it to the cadre party. Ibid. Ce phenomene peut aussi conduire h une crise de conscience. As Duverger points out. just as for socialist parties the aim is the political education of the working class9 and selection from it of an elite capable of taking over the government and administration of the state.04 million to political parties.8 Consider. the difference involved is not one of size. The PQ aims at the political education of the nationalists of Quebec. leading to disintegration and defeat. le Parti quebecois est ici considere comme etant un parti reunissant les criteres du party de masse.220 of Quebec's 4. In 1977it imposed its fund-raising methodology on other Quebec parties by barring donations from moral persons. As Duverger points out. the party would be like a teacher without pupils.40. seuls les electeurs queb6cois peuvent y contribuer ou faire un don. the distinction between cadre and mass parties is not so much based upon their dimensions.11 In this way. voire une scission parmis les membres menant h la desintegration et a la defaite. the party gathers the funds needed for political education and its day-to-day activity. The Gazette. Dans cette perspective. the stuff of its activity. Duverger maintains that this point is fundamental. 111. The scale of these fund-raising and recruitment drives is shown by the fact that in 1982. Une telle crise a ebranli le Parti quebecois entre 1981et 1985et explique en partie la d6faite du 2 decembre 1985. autrement dit. April 26. was an inevitable consequence. But the financial and the political are here one.

then cadre parties have no members.286 business donations. Sainte-Foy. 17 Directeur-g6enral des elections du Quebec.679. a few financiers provide the sinews of war. 13 Duverger. dependent on them12)the mass party spreads the burden over the largest possible number of members and the largest possible number of members of the public. see K. Before then these were issued in large denominations to be taken up by a few large banks from which the state borrowed. the QLP raised $4.2 million in contributions in 198416but $11 million of this was from 21.14 If we define as a member one who signs an undertaking to the party and thereafter regularly pays a subscription. The Conservatives raised $21.17 The PQ. What the mass party secures by numbers. Their members cannot be enumerated because these parties do not recruit members. the cadre party has always achieved by selection. Thus instead of appealing to a few big private funds to meet bankers or contractors-for donors-industrialists. ANGELL which the QLP and the Union nationale [UN] relied until 1977 and the PQ's Bill 2) by democratic financing (the PQ from 1968 and the QLP after 1978). 161. This invention of the mass party is likened by Duverger to that of Treasury Bonds in several countries in the First World War. although 12 For a cogent argument on these lines for Canada. The bulk of the remainder was raised by an elaborate direct-mailing system using computers. 14 Ibid. This active public receives a political education and learns how to intervene in the life of the state. and the person elected. election expenses (which has always. In 1984. a non-election year. because they do not need them for financial purposes. Rapports Financiers pour 1984. In the same way. who make it possible for the election campaign to be free from capitalist pressures-but not. . Then came the brilliant idea of issuing many small bonds to be taken up by the general public. strictly speaking. Political Parties. in Canada as elsewhere. 15 Ibid. Z.6 million in its fund-raising campaign through 54.120 individual contributions (89 per cent of which were of $100 or less). Political Party Financing in Canada (Toronto: McGraw-Hill. as we shall see. each of whom contributes a modest sum. the mass party appeals to the paying public. This is a far cry from the militants of the PQ and QLP plodding door-to-door every spring. Report Respecting Election Expenses 1984. 1985. 16 Chief Electoral Officer of Canada. Quebec.13 In the cadre party. Paltiel. 63-72 and 184.15 The problem of the number of members belonging to the federal Liberal party or the federal Progressive Conservative party of Canada is susceptible of no precise answer. mai 1985. been suspected of making the candidate. from more democratic pressures. because the problem itself is meaningless. 1970). 1.366 HAROLD M. July 15. 64. Ottawa. Memberships added $874.

immediately prior to nominating conventions or for the selection of delegates to leadership conventions in Canada. 3. remains quite different from individual membership. 64. of which 93 per cent were of $100 or less. cranked up every four years. the NDP is a mass party-election costs are partly met by trade unions collectively. This profoundly alters the nature of the party and of its membership. 19 A good description of the activity of such a party in Canada is provided by Charlotte Gray.083 individual Quebec contributions for the two parties is striking when compared to the total of 93.843.05 million in its fund-raising drive through 44. She writes: "In January 1983 Liberal party president Iona Campagnolo struck a committee to discuss reform proposals.Problem of the Mass Party 367 already in full decline.5 million raised by the NDP. In 1984.963 individual donations.18 The Liberal and Conservative parties are cadre parties.19 American parties and most European moderate and conservative parties.it has had increased affiliation by trade unions over its predecessor. suggested that long years in office had made it 'progressively easier for the party to slip into the role of simply an election machine.056 individual contributions to the federal Liberal party in the whole of Canada.199 individual contributions to the federal Conservatives in the whole of Canada. as Duverger points out. 2." 20 Duverger. but largely dormant and ineffective in inter-election periods. This total of 99. this distinction is not always easy to make in practice: cadre parties sometimes admit ordinary members in imitation of mass parties. the smaller each one's share of the patronage and spoils when the party takes office. in 1984. Political Parties. The vagueness of the figures put out by these parties can also be considered presumptive evidence. It involves no true political enrolment and no personal pledge to the party. the larger the number of members. From the financial point of view. and still more to the 29. for example. the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). . Although clear in theory. Memberships added $421.' There was hostility between the parliamentary wing and the rank and file. cadre parties have no compelling reason to recruit large numbers of members because their finances are much more easily provided for. raised $2. But the absence of any system of registration of members or of any regular collection of dues is a fairly reliable criterion. It is well known that many of the members of the affiliated trade unions do not even vote for the NDP in either provincial or federal elections. In essence." in SaturdaY Night. Since its foundation in 1961. 21 Election Expenses 1984. trade unions contributed 33 per cent of the $6. March 1986. As 18 Election Expenses 1984. Its interim discussion paper. however.21 This collective membership. In any case. The New Democratic party (NDP) has both personal and indirect members. 14. No true membership is conceivable in their absence.20belong to the same category. "A Liberal Education. a year later. Canada has a social democratic party.

and is required to be very active. If the party is the political expression of a class. share in the spreadingof the party's slogans.The militantis an active member:the militants form the nucleus of each of the party's basic groups. Only a mass party could make these things possible. the militants are of extreme importance. in organization and activity.in opposition to the anglophone and francophone capitalist press. with no sympathy for the PQ's "national project. there is always to be found a smallcircle of members. ." to form it politically and to select elites capable of leadership and administration.. It was a similar-but nationalist-concept that led to the formation of the PQ in 1968in Quebec. Ibid. To become independent of this capitalist financing was possible only with alternative finances. It is based on branches in all but name. where party membership on figures 22 23 24 Duverger.. To establish a PQ political press (Le Jour. But the "financiers" of Quebec were mostly English-speaking. The organization of the PQ is also that of a mass party. it must naturally try to rally the whole of the class.23it was the Marxist conception of the class party that led to such massive structures as the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). Epstein writes on this subject: Whateversourcesleft-wingpartiesuse." nor for the social democratic policies it espoused at first. Even in Israel. it was necessary to collect funds. Ibid. to recruit the elites capable of leadership and administration. to form it politically. ANGELL a (financially) indirect mass party. 66. help to organize its and prepareits electoral campaigns. The effort was to rally the "nation. like a branch of a traditional mass party. Must mass parties rely entirely on their mass fund-raising methods? Certainly not. 1973-1976). for the Quebec variant (PQ and QLP): those who are mobilized to knock on doors and solicit donations in fund-raising drives. There are regional associations as well as the "national" (provincial) organization. Withinthe branch.. 65."22 As Duverger points out.24 propaganda To this we may add. Each riding association (Association de comt6) is.368 HAROLD M. there is no doubtthe successfulones do not depend primarily dues. it is the militants who work effectively for the party. The other members do no more than provide a name for the register and a little money for the chest.for example. with a policy convention (Congres national) every two years. a special class of member. on which its fundamental activitiesdepend. who regularly attend meetings. having as its objective the political education of its members. 110. Political Parties..markedlydifferentfromthe mass. Duverger describes militants in mass parties as follows: . As in any mass party. the NDP would probably be classified by Duverger as a "semi-mass party.

parties control-and derive profits from-whole sectors of the economy. 14. This subsidy is shared among the parties in the Assembly on the basis of their percentage of the vote at the last election. This can raise $2 million annually for one of these two parties even in bad years. Montreal. 26 Directeur general du financement des partis politiques. Epstein. The provincial treasury provides two supplementary sources of income for them.063 for the candidates of the QLP in 1981. Governmental intervention in party financing in Canada. Serge Remillard. director of administration for the QLP in 1980. it is obvious that the parties' fund-raising campaigns have provided. Indeed. It seems that the bulk of the Quebec mass party's financing comes from large numbers of members (dues. of course. For example.26 The other source is a direct governmental inter-election subsidy.. 1981. 27 The Gazette.23 What Epstein means. Political Parties in Western Democracies (New York: Praeger.e.. additional financing is required. the Quebec parties do not need to rely financially on their fund-raising campaigns alone. Another way in which parties of the left (i. mass) can seek parity with the more easily financed conservative parties of the business community is through governmental intervention... Histradrut.. What has become more relevant to Canadian parties. has become the norm since Quebec's pioneering Election Act of 1963. controls one of the largest circulation dailies in Israel. together with the largest trade union federation. as with European left-wing parties. The Crisis in the Parti Quebecois It has often been held that a mass party is peculiarly vulnerable in its sources of finance. 1967). contributions) and sympathizers (contributions). until now."27 25 L. in the past 20 years. But judging by the amounts raised annually. elections generales di 13 avril. 1980. a6ut 1981. Rapports de depenses electorales. Mapai .Problem of the Mass Party 369 are extremely high (as a proportion of the voting population) and where per capita dues are often high as well. is Epstein's last point. as well as the largest public bus line and other concerns.. is that in Israel. as in much of the western world. . Israel's largest single party. the largest construction company in the country. which amounted to $845. March 14. which amounts to about $1 million per year. receives no more than half of even its regular budget from dues. D. unique in Canada. One is the reimbursement of part of their candidates' election expenses. the greatest part of the budgets of the two largest Quebec parties.042 for the candidates of the PQ and $866. Mapai. 246-47. The party would be completely paralysed. said prophetically: "If for some reason the PQ drops drastically in popularity one year it will not be able to gather as much money in contributions.

trade unions or any association. membership and structures to this new mass party system. the 28 R. Thus. except the PQ (that is. the second wave in Quebec's reform of party financing came in March 1977 with the PQ government's Bill 2. which was a considerable increase from the total of 8. Until then the party had stayed on a rising curve from its foundation in 1968. Once in power it imposed this system on all Quebec parties. especially its main opposition.S. The PQ. one of the first things this public will do is to reduce or cease its contributions. After the QLP's "Quiet Revolution" Election Act of 1963.F-2. This was a radical change.Q. all cadre parties). it won 23. had been mainly financed by a relatively small number of large donations from corporations and other business sources. In the 1980 referendum. . that of 1970. starved of funds from its traditional sources. C. It is that when. ANGELL The hypothesis of this article depends on this major problem-or nightmare-of the mass party.1 per cent of the votes. Only the QLP has successfully adapted its organization. It therefore made a virtue of necessity and instituted for itself a mass party system of annual fund-raising drives in which it mobilized large numbers (15. If there is a continuing loss of popularity.4 per cent. had had nothing to hope for from such sources. for one of the main functions of members in such a party in Quebec is to be mobilized to go door-to-door to solicit contributions. a mass party loses popularity with its contributing public. In its first election. the financial crisis may become a crise de conscience and the party may undergo a split or splits in its membership. This again will affect the fund-raising system. taking power with 71 seats out of the 110 then in the Quebec Assembly. and a maximum of $3. The fund-raising system will suffer a slowdown.000 was put on any year's total donations. In 1973 the PQ increased its vote to 30.7 per cent obtained by the two separatist parties in the previous election of 1966. for until then all major Quebec parties. from its beginnings. the PQ side.370 HAROLD M. The PQ obviously made this move partly in the hope of cutting the head off the QLP which.2 per cent and in 1976 to 41. for any reason. should have ended up like the carcass of a beached whale. only Quebec electors could make any donation at all to Quebec provincial parties or candidates.. The crisis in the PQ started in 1981. 28This Act totally banned donations from corporations. The present article attempts to show that that kind of deepening crisis took place in the PQ between 1981and 1985.000) of its members to go door-to-door to solicit large numbers of small contributions. We do this by measuring popularity poll figures against the results (and objectives) of fund-raising campaigns. all donations of over $100 were to have their donors' names published.000-20. An Act to Govern the Financing of Political Parties. all contributions from outside the province were banned. the QLP.

000 at the time. but it turned out that 44. "Social Unrest. Spurred on by a poll in December 1984that suggested that the party might get 40 per cent (a gain of 9 points) if it dropped its main goal of Quebec sovereignty. 30 No delegate convention was held.4 per cent of the vote.157 fully paid-up members and 22. party officials at all levels and tens of thousands of ordinary members. students.342 might have voted (138.389 voted out of a possible 128. until June 1981. for the coming election. About one-third of the delegates walked out. On this writer's estimate (97. a setback for the PQ in terms of the vote cast for it. had resigned in June 1985) with about 73. After its peak of 49.000 new and former members did join up before August 15. but all the members on the register as of August 15. From November 1976. in fact most of the "new class"29 to which most of its membership belonged." Queen's Qluarterll 71 (1964). In 1981. 31 September 30. on January 19. the party stood mostly between 20 and 30 per cent. This was hardly.2 per cent in the 1981election. The PQ's loss of popularity was shown in the opinion polls. 1985. the PQ government now turned away from the kind of social democratic policies favoured by most of its mass membership and looked towards the business community. 1985. Of course. would have the right to vote in a kind of general election of all PQ members. 150-62. 1985. (The party claimed 117. the party split over this issue.000.000 to 302. Predictably. It thus alienated most of its most ardent members and supporters: public servants. all the indices pointed downhill for the PQ.there was a sharp and consistent rise in this number from 130. But with the drop in popularity there was a loss of membership.31 La Presse said that a theoretical 160.30About 55.389 of these actually voted on September 29.000. The other main indicator of the PQ's disintegration was the reduction in the number of members (see Table 2). according to La Presse the next day. however.000 members.2 per cent of the vote. teachers at all levels. backbenchers. And in the 1981 election it retained power with 49. Rene Levesque.000) this means a 29 On Quebec's "new class" concept see for example. This gave the PQ a possible membership of about 128. Social Class and Quebec's Bureaucratic Revolution. From 1981. won 40. and did just that. . the PQ held a special convention. but only 97. to be followed out of the party by many cabinet ministers. with a low of 19 per cent in the spring of 1983 and a high of 39 per cent in January 1985 (see Table 1). the fund-raising system suffered.) The leadership candidates were induced to mount membership drives through the format of the leadership selection procedure.185 if they had renewed their cards). 1985. H. when the PQ came to power. With the economy in recession. there began a precipitous decline which ended with the party entering a leadership campaign in 1985(after its founding leader. Guindon.000 of these held expired cards. social service workers. in itself.Problem of the Mass Party 371 OUI.

036 N/A 1. 46. 67. 69. 61.025 1. 37. 61. 66. 58.002 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1.025 1. 54. Le Devoir. 69.327 766 1. 66. . 66.201 N/A Date Mar 1981 Mar 1981 Apr 1981 Apr 13/81 Mar 1982 Mar 1982 Dec 1982 Mar 1983 Oct 1983 Nov 1983 Dec 1983 Jan 1984 Feb 1984 Feb 1984 Mar 1984 Mar 1984 May 1984 Jun 1984 Oct 1984 Nov 1984 Polling organization CROP INCI QL Sponsor Period Mar 13-20 Mar 30Apr 5 Apr 1-5 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Nov 14-26 N/A Feb 24-26 N/A Feb 14-28 N/A May 14-30 N/A Sep 14-25 N/A La Presse Le Soleil Gazette CROP La Presse GENERAL ELECTION CROP La Presse CUIO SORECOM La Presse U.036 1. de Montreal La Presse CROP CEQ N/A CJAD. 35.260 N/A 1. Radio Quebec CROP N/A SORECOM Gazette CROP N/A CROP La Presse SORECOM Le Soleil SORECOM N/A CROP N/A SORECOM Southam News Le Soleil N/A N/A Le Soleil SORECOM CP CROP 32. 61. 66.TABLE 1 QUEBEC PARTIES:OPINIONPOLLS Respondents 1. 37. N/A 51. 41.

Quebec.005 984 603 QLP % 53. . 1983.0 47.0 38.0 44.007 1. Quebec. Octo Rapport preliminaire des resultats du scrutin (DGEQ. and 1984). CJMS La Presse Le Soleil. News Facts (1982. CJMS QLP QLP QLP La Presse Le Dev'oir Radio Quebec QLP Journal de Montreal. La Mail.0 37.TABLE 1-Continued Date Jan 1985 Oct 1985 Oct 1985 Oct 1985 Polling organization N/A SORECOM CROP IQOP Sponsor N/A Le Soleil. Le Devoir. 1985).598 1.0 37.0 56. Gazette La Presse Journal de Period N/A Oct 11-20 Oct 22-28 Oct 24-28 Oct 28-31 Nov 4-7 Nov 4-11 Nov 8-10 Nov 6-18 Nov 11-19 Nov 18-22 Nov 22-24 Nov 21-26 Nov 25-27 Respondents N/A 1. Gazette.0 Oct 1985 Nov 1985 Nov 1985 Nov 1985 Nov 1985 Nov 1985 Nov 1985 Nov 1985 Nov 1985 Nov 1985 Dec 2/85 SORECOM CREATEC SORECOM CROP JOLICOEUR SORECOM IQOP CROP SORECOM CREATEC GENERAL Montreal. Sources: General election of 1981from Elections Quebec 81 (Le Directeur gen6ral des elections. N/A: not available.001 1. and G. will annulballot.0 42. will not vote.013 870 1. no response.001 1.0 39. CHRC QLP ELECTION 37. Lachapelle (Concordia University).0 43. December 13.000 798 720 529 1.0 40.0 42.0 * Otherresponses:don't know.0 43.0 39.

5 per cent.000 75.249 Sources: Graham Fraser. 1984).646 22.6 million valid votes were cast of a total of 4.. 370ff.524 78. .632 164. 1986 Date Mid-Nov 1976 May 1977 Oct 1978 Jun 1979 Apr 1980 Jun 1980 Mar 1981 Jun 1981 Jan 1982 Feb 1982 Dec 1982 Mar 1983 May 1983 Nov 1983 Jun 1984 Nov 1984 Dec 1984 Jan 1985 Early Feb 1985 Late Feb 1985 not more than Sep 1985 Feb 1986 Membership over 130. in the "fundamental" of a mass party organization. Le Devoir.946 89. 33 Duverger.319 113. 63.138 73. despite a long campaign and 10regional all-candidate rallies. TABLE 2 PARTI QUEBECOIS MEMBERSHIP. the amounts raised by the PQ's annual 32 In the 1981election 3. Political Parties.000 188.082 292. a great deal of blood had flowed out of the PQ.000 239. from the 302.220 Paid up Overdue 196.294 112.000 138. whereas with the La Presse figure of a possible 160.33 that is.000 over 200.600 302.491 85.546 111.000 members of June 1981.000 150.177 84. ANGELL turnout of 76 per cent.885 190.000 80. 1976 TO FEB.140 160.7 per cent.000 79. according to Duverger.185 69.342 the turnout was only 60.157 153.000 238. La Presse. These figures have not been checked by me in the party files and consequently are to be taken with some caution.374 HAROLD M.32 But in any case.289 154. It seems therefore that our own estimate is far more realistic and more in line with the normal Quebec turnout in provincial general elections.4 million voters on the lists-a turnout of 82. The Globe and Mail. NOV. PQ: Rene Levesque and the Parti Quebecois in Power (Toronto: Macmillan.500 211.148 42. Finally. The Gazette.

the "National" Council of the PQ met to discuss what Alain Marcoux.2 million. 37 "La caisse est a sec.000 over the target). a very well-informed columnist for Le Devoir. when it was forced by the PQ's Bill 2 to become a mass party for fund-raising purposes. and in the election year of 1985. 38 The Gazette.2 million-two and one-half times as much. In 1984 and 1985 the target was stabilized at $2 million. October 28. called its most immediate problem. Gilles Lesage. much more so than a cadre party which loses an election would be.26 million had been raised. Even before the campaign began. 1986.25 million from 1981 to 1982 in the total amount raised. with a reduction of over $1. January 14. again there was a sharp decline after 1981(see Table 3). On both counts (popularity and membership) its fund-raising system will suffer as. 35 The Gazette.000. 36 The Gazette. October 2. 1985. and The Globe and Mail. The PQ ran a supplementary election fund-raising drive in the first two weeks of the 1985election campaign to raise $1 million. 1986."35 On February 22. Yet almost everything he had to say about the mass party fits the PQ very well. results were again disappointing: the PQ raised $2. 1985.000. The experience of the PQ since 1981clearly shows that a mass party which loses popularity and membership is in serious trouble. 1986.000 was due to the election campaign. while in about the same time period the QLP raised $5. but "the drive is being extended because the party needs more money for its campaign. 1986. much longer than is normal.000 of this apparently stemmed from the leadership race in the summer of 1985 and only $125.34 Campaign Chairman Rodrigue Biron announced that $1.Problem of the Mass Party37 375 fund-raising campaigns. although the drive continued for three months. None of the other Quebec parties has adapted to the new regime. not even the Union nationale.38 Conclusion Maurice Duverger's Les partis politiqlies was originally published in 1951. And almost everything he had to say about the cadre party which imitates the mass party fits the QLP very well after 1978. About $400. in the experience of both present major Quebec parties. before 1973.37 In January 1986 the PQ was laying off staff and cutting payments to its riding associations. October 15. the organization must 34 Le Devoir.5 million (from $3 million in 1981)and in 1983 down further to $2 million. February 22. was one of the two major parties. February 21. 1985." Le Devoir. In 1984this objective was only just reached (with some $48.36 He announced a debt of $750. From 1982 to 1983 there was a further reduction of over $500. its financial position. . wrote that the PQ's chest was empty. In 1982the target was lowered to $2. In both cases the reduced target was only just passed. which. secretary-general of the executive.

000 2.154 739.059. such as those on the electronic media) or even directly.000 3.006. Parti Qu6ebcois. letter from Jacques Despins.620.950 2.000 1.053.000 1.000.005 2.000 2.000 2.000 $27. * What are the possible alternative sources of income? One would be for the party to drastically raise its membership dues.940. Montreal.000.000.000. 1985.472.097* 1. by the increase in the party inter-election subsidy.544 2.000 2. either indirectly (by way of increased tax credits for individual contributions. TABLE 3 PARTI QUEBECOIS FUND-RAISING CAMPAIGNS 1970-1985 Year 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 Objective None None $ 300.000 2.120.647. .376 HAROLD M.000.298 2.551* 632.400 4.000. not with the public.683 3.371 2. Directeur des communications.281* 823.000 3.000. June 20.200. For 1985total. except perhaps for the tax credits.868* 912.500. dated November 1.042* 135.000 Total raised $ 145.000 to 20.000. Any of these alternatives would be popular with the parties but.387. Le Devoir. However. or increased reimbursements for the election expenses of candidates-or of some party expenditures. 1984. this might have the result of driving away many members.402 1. Another possible source of increased income would be to raise governmental subsidies.000 of its militants to solicit contributions from the public.373 2.000 total Sums received as membership dues are not included.019 1. ANGELL mobilize from 15.048. Source: Until 1984.300.

Targets were drastically lowered and the party had great problems in reaching them." which the labour movement did not like at all. The dues and contributions of all these deserters were decisive.6 percentage points in its vote from the general election of 1981. When the mass party string was broken. while the Liberal vote increased by some 250. a political crisis which led directly to the party's disintegration. it had only one string to its financial bow. Their $5 per year dues alone would have brought in over $1 million a year. But it would go a long way to solving the QLP's problem if it. trade unions and associations-to make contributions to political parties and candidates. Pierre Marc Johnson. The results were clear in the December 1985election campaign. with a loss of 10. Ren6 Levesque. This would be the most radical step of all in the present climate of opinion in the province of Quebec. director of administration for the QLP. The result was a crushing defeat. having barred all Quebec parties. the PQ was barred from doing so by its own legislation. Between June 1981 and February 1985 the PQ suffered a loss of 227. felt in 1983 that a couple of lean years in fund-raising could severely hurt the PQ and prevent it from recovering its previous momentum. By the time of the December 1985 election the PQ was clearly out of funds. the first reversal of the PQ's history. As a mass party. from the 1981election.Problem of the Mass Party 377 During the campaign leading to the December 1985 Quebec election. Robert Bourassa. The PQ's financial stringency was everywhere apparent until its crushing defeat. hundreds of thousands of former PQ voters abstained. marked by a loss of membership. That averages over 5. as well as the defections of many of its leading members after the special convention of January 1985. should suffer a drop in popularity comparable to that of the PQ from 1981to 1985. from the traditional source of financing of a cadre party. can tolerate such a haemorrhage for long. Was that the margin between victory and defeat? . Yet even if it had wanted-had needed-to accept contributions from business. in its turn. the turnout fell dramatically. Serge Remillard.000 per month. In its last four years in power. including itself. the PQ fell apart-actually disintegrated. the Liberal leader. let drop some hints about the possibility of restoring the right of "moral persons"-corporations.000 members (see Table 2). Thus. This defeat was saved from being a debacle only by the dumping of the founding leader. like the PQ. the PQ government turned increasingly towards the business community with its policy of "concertation. by eight percentage points. and the highly personalized campaign of the new leader. No mass party. He was right: the PQ passed through two relatively lean years in this area. In addition. The crise de fitnancement caused by the drop in popularity produced a crise de conscience. Johnson joked about the PQ's "Volkswagen Bug" campaign as compared to the QLP's "Cadillac" campaign.000.

But if it does find another source.378 HAROLD M. But what is sure is that in a mass party the fund-raising system is a sure thermometer: though unlike an invalid's. and that the real cause of its loss in popularity and membership. But in a mass party its membership is its fundamental resource to produce the sinews of war. A cadre party can survive occasional droughts in contributions. ANGELL It may be argued that the PQ's financial crisis was only a symptom of the PQ's disintegration. it is a sure sign of impending disaster. It can no longer mobilize the class or-in the case of the PQ-the nation. and the whole fund-raising machinery slows down. the higher this thermometer rises. as did the federal Conservatives under Meighen (in 1921) and Manion (in the late 1930s). and the resulting financial crisis. its membership-its militants-will desert it. . was its radical change in policies-especially the virtual dropping of the party's raison d'etre. the whole structure will grind to a halt. then it is no longer a mass party-for the mass party's fund-raising machinery is the mobilization of its membership. and unless the party finds an alternative source of income. The thermometer drops. the healthier is the party. If the party gives up its raison d'etre and does not find a new one. But when it drops. This may well be the case. its Quebec sovereignty project.