The year 2012 will be probably constituted the worst time in the history of Quebec to form a municipal political party. For many, including the Mayor of Montréal Denis Coderre aspirant, are “not necessary” at this level of Government.
However, citizens of a dozen Quebec cities did last year, including citizens of Gatineau. We are convinced that the political parties are more necessary than ever, in the world city as elsewhere. We are concerned about the return of a certain speech on the municipal apolitical character, speech that was perhaps relevant to the 20th century, but which no longer has its place in the 21st century.
The cities have changed. In Quebec, they are the leading broadcasters of culture. They are instead of the economic development and poverty. They welcome the almost all of the immigrants. They manage 60 per cent of public infrastructure. They are present in almost all areas of human activity. While they were once administrations responsible for garbage collection and landfill, today they are another level of Government where there is real ideological choice to, was which is a rise of local parties everywhere in the world.
As Laurence Bhérer and Sandra Breux researchers well demonstrated in the municipal elections in Quebec, issues and perspectives, both sides clash already everywhere in Quebec. That “minimalists”, to which cities must remain tools to provide services to the property and the ‘progressive’, that it is in the interest of all the world that the jurisdiction the nearest field powerfully intervene with people. Number of parties were born of this divide, and this debate alone justifies the presence of political parties.
In addition, municipal parties in opposition to something a little hypocritical, as in a form or another, there is almost always a “clan of the power”, a non-official political party grouped around the Mayor. In fact, the absence of party promotes the local political elite, encourages the emergence of populist mayors, decreases the transparency on the ideologies of the elect, promotes the domination of the political scene by local interest groups, reduced the “readability” of the political scene for the voters and reduced participation in the vote.
As Claude Béland said recently, there is nothing more natural and healthier for democracy than seeing the citizens come together to defend an ideal. The parties are a forum in addition to allow the citizens to be heard and allow the population to decide on more comprehensive political programs. They are one more tool of accountability for municipal performance. Political parties are also tools essential to the decision-making more difficult, as the fight against urban sprawl, the revision of the municipal programs or even the fight against corruption, short, all decisions that require a global vision more than an approach to Microlocal district.
Obviously, there are changes to be made regarding the funding of political parties… but also to that of independent candidates. Need to better frame the influence of corporations on the… Parties and independent candidates. Need to strengthen the municipal opposition, including by facilitating the use of a running mate.
To do this, but taking into account that the cities have changed and that, more than ever, it is necessary that the teams in power have a vision for the future. Reject the municipal political parties, is to reject the best tool available to cities to allow them to evolve in the 21st century, a century that all over the world, is already one of the local authorities.
Maxime Pedneaud-James – leader of Action Gatineau