Legislative 2022: Your votes are worth the money.. Behind the elections is the issue of party financing

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Legislative elections are of course an opportunity to present one’s ideas to the national level in the 577 constituencies of all political parties, but it is also a key moment because it determines the level of public funding for the next five years. This manna is the capital of the life of the parties.

Legislative elections, of course, are an opportunity to defend ideas and beliefs in public debate and to support a government project. But it is also an important moment for political parties because it determines how much public funding they will receive for the next five years. This manna has become a capital for the parties since the end of the eighties, when the legislator put an end to the hidden financing systems that affected all parties from the left and the right and caused many scandals in particular. Middle construction industry or commission consulting firms.

political finance laws

Political parties and candidates for elections have to incur many expenses, the financing of which until 1988 was not regulated by any specific legal system. This gap has helped some of the excesses that have been ended in successive steps since that date”, explains the National Council. The life of a party or movement in reality includes many expenses such as wages of permanent staff, rent of premises and permanent staff, costs of materials, advertising and communications, printing of various documents (newspapers, flyers, etc.) and financing cycle of candidates for various local and national elections.

Since 1995, public authorities have decided to cut off all links between corporate funds and players in political life – parties and candidates – and permanently ban legal persons from participating in the financing of political life. To finance their expenditures, the two parties have two main sources: private financing, and therefore public assistance from the state. The first is increasingly restrictive and modest as it limits the amount of donations that can be made and the contributions that can be paid to political parties at €7,500 per natural person.

66 million euros annually for parties

It remains the second, which is the bulk of the party’s resources. Each year, the appropriations intended to be paid to political parties and groups are entered into the Finance Act. Then these funds are distributed among the political parties: half of them according to their results in the first round of the last legislative elections and the other half to the parties represented in Parliament, in proportion to the number of deputies.

Therefore, performance in legislative elections is important. Half of the allocation of public funds to parties which, in at least 50 constituencies or in at least one overseas constituency or group, have presented candidates who obtained at least 1% of the votes cast. The parties therefore have an interest in presenting a maximum of candidates in order to hope for credits, which amounted to 66 million euros per year since 2017, to be distributed. This, for example, is the reason why Eric Zemmour’s young party, Reconquest, fielded 550 candidates. Same for the National Rally which offers 569 candidates. A real challenge to these far-right parties compared to the Socialist Party or the Republicans who have long experience and quickly have strong candidates. For Reconquest or RN, the casting sometimes resulted in candidates being very novice, as seen when some struggled to answer questions during TV interviews.

The legislative elections also witness the emergence of micro-parties, some of which are not active in the national political arena the rest of the time and depend on the elections to receive public funds. Thus, the rurality movement (LMR) aligns around 95 candidates including Sandrine Rousseau in Paris who would, on purpose, oppose ecologist Sandrine Rousseau.

37,400 Euros to be paid per MEP

In a second step, after the second round of legislative elections, the state will pay appropriations to each elected representative: 37,400 euros per elected official and per year, until the next legislative elections. In terms of the commitment of candidates to choose the party with which they are associated so that this person benefits from the credits.

For this legislative election, we saw two strategies. The presidential majority candidates joined together. Then charge this structure by distributing money to Renaissance (ex-LREM), MoDem, Horizons, Agir, etc. On the left, besides the new People’s Ecological and Social Union (Nupes), there is no common structure: each candidate registers for his or her original party (LFI, PS, PCF, EELV, etc.) who will receive public funding directly.

Failure to perform can lead to dire consequences. In 2017, the defeat of the Socialist Party forced him to sell his historic seat in Solferino.

Finally, the legislator erroneously entered the credits for parties that do not respect parity. For failing to provide enough women in 2017, the League of Republics received a fine of 1.8 million euros, while France did not provide 252 thousand euros.

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