Voting method: “don't abuse the population”, says Charbonneau to Legault
Jean-Pierre Charbonneau, president of the New Democracy Movement (file photo)
Meetings of Prime Minister François Legault with the opposition party leaders are just a smokescreen: Quebec is a “soft autocracy” without voting reform.
This is what the New Democracy Movement (MDN) supports, which has been campaigning for several years for a reform of the first-past-the-post electoral system.
In a telephone interview with La Canadian Press, DND President Jean-Pierre Charbonneau commented on the CAQ leader's series of interviews with his counterparts from other parties this week.
This cannot be an alternative, a stopgap solution instead of a reform of the voting system, said Mr. Charbonneau, himself a former minister of the Parti Québécois (PQ) and former president of the National Assembly, from 1996 to 2002.
Québec solidaire co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois during his meeting with the Premier of Québec, François Legault, in Montréal
I say to the Premier: n' do not deceive the population, do not deceive the opposition parties with your attitude, he continued, arguing that Mr. Legault is thus trying to make people forget his commitment made in 2018 to reform the mode of current ballot to add a proportional representation component based on the percentage of votes obtained.
This system leads to distortions that are accentuated when we move from the traditional two-party system, inherited from the British parliamentary system, to the multi-party system currently found on the Quebec political spectrum.
With 41% of the votes in last October's elections, the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) won 72% of the seats, or 90 out of 125, an electoral distortion denounced by both the MDN and the other parties in favor of a reform, namely the Parti québécois (PQ) and Québec solidaire (QS).
This case is shocking, was indignant Mr. Charbonneau.
“Soft autocracy is not what we want in Quebec. We want a true representative democracy, not a quiet autocracy.
—Jean-Pierre Charbonneau, President of the New Democracy Movement
Thus, according to him, the concentration of power in the hands of the Prime Minister turns out to be even worse than in Ottawa or in the Parliament of Westminster in London, from which our model is derived.
We are in a kind of drift […]. It really is an elective monarchy. So it works around the Prime Minister in a somewhat disproportionate way.
In his opinion, François Legault is himself demonstrating that it does not hold water by having met the leader of the Conservative Party of Quebec (PCQ), Éric Duhaime, who nevertheless has no seat in the House. even though he garnered no less than 530,000 votes.
This is something completely twisted, claimed the DND president. Mr. Duhaime should have an office in parliament and it is in parliament that a head of government's discussions with his opposition counterparts should take place in a normal political system.
Mr. Charbonneau demands consistency: if we are ready to listen to the opposition parties, we must also be ready to listen to their demands for reform of the voting system.
At the start of his mandate, Jean-Pierre Charbonneau assures us that it's not too late to introduce a bill and to implement a reform of the voting system with a view to 2026 elections.
Remember that François Legault had committed, when he was in opposition, to table a bill to reform the voting system if he took power.
That's what he did. His government introduced Bill 39, but did not pass it and let it die on the order paper.
On the campaign trail, in the x27;autumn 2022, the CAQ leader said that no one was fighting on the buses for the reform of the ballot, thus implying that it was a whim of intellectuals.< /p>
“People don't fight on buses no matter what. »
— Jean-Pierre Charbonneau, President of the New Democracy Movement
There is not much to fight for on the buses, but that does not mean that people do not have convictions and opinions, concluded Mr. Charbonneau, referring to polls that suggest popular support for reform.