Area Code Issues |  The CAQ champion for spending on Facebook

Area Code Issues | The CAQ champion for spending on Facebook

(Québec) The Quebec election campaign has not yet started, but political parties have already started spending money on Facebook to engage with citizens, and the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) has had the most over the three months issued.

Posted at 12:00 p.m

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Karl Lecavalier

Charles Lecavalier The Press

For 90 days, François Legault’s party spent almost $30,000 to promote their publications on the Facebook platform. The CAQ paid more than $3,000 to circulate the famous ad by an elderly lady praising François Legault’s merits as a manager, as well as a matching sum to encourage the adoption of the French language charter reform. She paid $1,000 to circulate a text stating that the CAQ has the best environmental record in history.

The party also paid $5,400 to highlight leader François Legault’s page, essentially to promote a series of ads depicting him as a “normal guy.” “Isabelle and I often say: François, you are Prime Minister. It’s incredible,” we hear him say in one of these capsules. In addition to this sum, François Legault’s page is benefiting from an extremely large number of subscribers, especially as a result of the pandemic.

“François Legault’s Facebook page is very popular. I made a study of everything published in French in four countries in 2020. François Legault has one of the busiest Facebook pages, all categories combined,” notes Jean-Hugues Roy, a professor at the University of Quebec’s School of Media in Montreal, who makes a direct connection to the press conferences on the pandemic posted on Mr Legaults Side.

Bet everything on Duhaime

Éric Duhaime understood this well. During the same period, the Quebec Conservative Party did not spend a dime to promote its publications, instead spending $10,600 to promote Mr. Duhaime’s publications. “You’re right. On Facebook, Mr. Duhaime records more than half of all interactions between Quebec political leaders and parties. Éric Duhaime is the one who plays the Facebook game best,” notes Mr. Roy.

Since 2019, the majority of publications backed by Mr Duhaime aim to oppose health measures introduced by the Legault government, but since May the Conservative leader has promoted 5 to 7 supporters instead.

On the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ) side, we put $6,600 on the party’s side and $4,300 on the side of leader Dominique Anglade. For Dominique Anglade, the bulk of this budget is earmarked for Radio-Canada to broadcast a live interview with Patrice Roy in which she presents her electoral platform. The party has invested in publicizing its charter of regions and health plan, as well as some candidates. He also spent $1,000 to sponsor an outing against the “Father of the Charter of Values, Bernard Drainville.” The party noted that the PLQ generally invests in a balanced way between social media and traditional media. In June, an advertising campaign was launched, mainly in newspapers.

The Parti Québécois wagered $8,000 on its Facebook page and $300 on Chairman Paul St-Pierre Plamondon’s page. Most of this money was used to sponsor a critique of the CAQ’s record. “The CAQ speaks of a ‘historical’ balance sheet, but is that really the case? Think of the rising cost of living, the real estate crisis, poorly accessible healthcare, the environment, the decline of French,” the party laments.

Quebec Solidaire is poorer. Between May 11 and August 8, the party paid $6,000 to promote its publications, $933 for Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois’s and $350 for Manon Massé’s. For Mr Nadeau-Dubois, most of the budget was intended to support his visit to Estrie in support of Christine Labrie and to Rouyn-Noranda in support of Émilise Lessard-Therrien in two trips threatened by the CAQ.

The election officer wonders about advertising campaigns before the election. “In fact, there are no rules, not only in relation to political parties, but also in relation to third parties,” stresses Pierre Reid, who expresses “concern” about the lack of a framework for pre-election spending. “We have to look at this,” he said, recalling the importance of ensuring justice between political parties. Mr. Reid has also initiated “monitoring” of the phenomenon to support his thinking and possibly make recommendations to legislators.

With the collaboration of Fanny Lévesque, La Presse

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  • Total electoral spending of the four political parties represented in the National Assembly during the 2018 election Quebec Liberal Party: $7,043,240
    Parti Quebecois: $6,321,618
    Coalition Avenir Quebec: $6,105,016
    Quebec Solidaire: $2,969,747
    “Advertising is often the main electoral output of political parties. »

    Source: Quebec Chief Electoral Officer