In the US, unions are a major political donor and expend a lot of political capital on lobbying elected representatives. Are there countries where unions are banned from making any sort of donations and/or are not allowed to lobby politicians?

4 Answers 4


British Columbia, Canada

Campaign donation limits in B.C. have levelled playing field, CBC analysis finds

A ban on union and corporate donations to B.C. political parties and a cap on the amount individuals can give has hurt the provincial Liberals the most, a CBC News analysis has found.

The ban was introduced by the NDP government, with Green Party support, in November 2017.

Me? Totally happy to see unions banned from this. Corporations too.

Lobbying is still allowed. We've had lobbying questions before and the general consensus seemed to be that talking to your representative is a valid and necessary activity in a democracy.


Singapore. Political Donations Act 2000 Handbook (Jan 2021):

Trade unions, societies, charities and mutual benefit organisations are set up for specific purposes. These organisations are not permissible donors.

(Note that labour unions in Singapore are already under the complete control of the one-party state anyway.)


Quebec, Canada. Only individuals are allowed to give to a political party. Maximum 100$/year (200$ in election year). No company, corporation, union or any other organization is allowed to contribute to political parties. The state gives money according to what the parties have gathered and also according to votes in the last election.



Unions are not allowed to directly finance an electoral campaign in France. Article L52-8 of French electoral code:

Les personnes morales, à l'exception des partis ou groupements politiques, ne peuvent participer au financement de la campagne électorale d'un candidat

Juridical persons, except political parties or groupments, cannot contribute to the funding of a candidate's electoral campaign

Juridical persons in French law include Unions, companies, non-profit associations, corporations, art foundations, etc.

They can't give money to a politcal party either:

Depuis 1995, les personnes morales (entreprises, fondations...) ne peuvent pas financer un parti.

Since 1995, juridical persons (enterprises, foundations...) can't finance a [political] party.

  • Could you explain why, in the view of the French legal system, unions are not "groupements politiques" excluded from the ban? The way I would read it, the definition given in L2131-1 ("defend the rights and material and moral interests") sounds quite "political".
    – ccprog
    Sep 18, 2023 at 14:16
  • IANAL, but my understanding is that "partis politiques" must be registered as such and "groupements politiques" are just several parties bounding together. They have to respect many strict laws about their ressources. Unions are recognized on a different level; they participate in workers deleguates' elections (but not in political elections) and are included in negociations within their company or their branch.
    – Evargalo
    Sep 18, 2023 at 19:39
  • 1
    Might wanna mention that moral persons seems to correspond to a Juridical person which includes both unions and corporations. So this reads as an explicit ban on any such entity, including unions and corporations, but allowing for political parties. Sep 18, 2023 at 22:55
  • @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica : thanks, I didn't know the correct phrase in English, I have edited it in the body of the answer.
    – Evargalo
    Sep 19, 2023 at 6:17
  • De rien. I had to look it up myself, because I figured it was wider than just corporate personhood. Sep 19, 2023 at 6:34

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .