They are seen as both a cause and solution to cynicism. The word here is given to men and women of policies that address the role of elected and the question of the relationship to citizenship in the democratic system in Quebec. Émilie Thuillier , city councilor for the district of Ahuntsic in Montreal, Amir Khadir , MLA for Mercier, Yolande James , Quebec Minister of Family, Robert Aubin , MP for Trois-Rivières and Jean-Martin Aussant , Nicolet-Yamaska MLA accepted our invitation.
DS: Does the link between the people and their elected representatives is broken? If so, how do you explain it? What are the events?
Amir Khadir believes that one of the manifestations of the crisis is rooted in “the low representation in the state discourse, diversity absolutely teeming schools of thought or action, and the many creative initiatives of our communities (agricultural development models, among others). Government decisions are sometimes years or even decades from these initiatives. Today, it is society that must constantly push for that at the end of 4, 5 or 10 years, it will eventually break through in the decisions of public authorities. ”
“Today, it is society that must constantly push for that at the end of 4, 5 or 10 years, it will eventually break through in the decisions of public authorities”
Yolande James believes that the discussions that take place every day in the public square allow Quebecers to express their opinions. According to her, they grow “politicians to evaluate more than once [their] positions before making decisions and even to reconsider.”
Jean-Martin Aussant believes his side that “the link between the population and the government itself does seem weakened by a lack of confidence. […] Leaders are glaring lack of popular legitimacy at the moment, but that does not necessarily translate to all individually “representatives. It “is also a pity that this lack of leadership opens the door to new players who will ride this dissatisfaction without representing a desirable change. ”
Our guests also speak more broadly of the democratic system. Émilie Thuillier believes that the crisis of confidence has turned more to the system than to elected officials. “This can not name that does not work, but the system is the word for all that is intangible. Cynicism is the impression that nothing changes. But the relationship between elected officials and citizens is woven, especially at local level. ”
In this regard, Robert Aubin believes that “Citizens go to their MP, today as [they did] yesterday. […] The ritual of voting may seem anachronistic. The most democratic voting system and probably the most exciting for citizens is proportional representation. ”
Amir Khadir believes “structurally [that] the ideology that has contaminated our Western democracies for a good thirty years” is responsible for this break. In his view, “the powers of the market, the money, the financial community, industry succeeded in imposing a wheeler model species of the state, where it calls on states to comply with market requirements and [where] this submission requires an abandonment of their prerogatives and removal of many of their fields of expertise. People are not stupid and say, why bother? If this is the market to act, why people embêteraient they go to vote? ”
DS: What are the responsibilities of citizens and citizens to power in democratic life?
Robert Aubin considers that citizens already fueling democratic life. “See for example the Indignados movement. It is a strong civic expression, stimulating, but not through the more traditional channels of democracy such as political parties, trade unions and even the classic manifestations. The member needs to listen to these new expressions of citizens. We must establish links between these various expressions so that they lead to positive results for Canadians, because it is the federal Parliament or the Assemblies in each province that laws are passed. Citizens not to forget that democracy has its legal form, that is to say its outcome, in the law, the vote of each member, each day the House sits. ”
For Yolande James , citizens need to become more “by consulting a variety of sources of information on the same subject.” She continues, “The final decisions are made by political institutions. Whatever the allegiance, every citizen has a duty to exercise the right to vote. It’s the ultimate way to express his views and to decide our collective future. “But for Émilie Thuillier , we must stop thinking that democracy is played every 4 years in the voting booths, for the vote. “We must get involved in associations and in different areas in order to build relationships and build a strong community. We live in a complex world and to build solutions to address these complex issues, we need to be more. ”
Amir Khadir believes that the social movement should question his strategy the last 30 years. “If the social movement is truly autonomous, is that this independence should not give him the latitude to make choices freely? The social movement must overcome this culture of neutrality that is the case of the forces in power and the status quo. ”
Jean-Martin Aussant says: “We sometimes hear that elected officials must earn their position facing the population. I totally agree with that. The other side of the coin is that the population must also earn his elect. When the quality of elected officials who are 80 hours or more per week (there are many) are beaten by accidental candidates who have not even campaigned and benefiting from a wave election, it is necessary to ask questions about the interest of the population towards its own democracy. I am personally in favor of the ban on polls during elections. Too often I have heard people say they voted X or Y “to win their election.” A population that reads various platforms to choose is far better, whatever the degree of utopianism in this idea. “