When an MP declares he reached his personal limit, he can no longer look at himself in a mirror with a clear conscience, impairment of the relationship between the government and citizens has reached a threshold.
Resigned MP Pierre Curzi denounced the growing distance between political parties and citizens of Quebec.
Here's a sample of texts read yesterday by MPs Lisette Lapointe, Louise Beaudoin and Pierre Curzi in announcing their resignation from the Parti Quebecois, published in Le Devoir on June 7, 2011: "Shockwave at Parti Quebecois - My personal ethics threshold of tolerance has been reached". («Onde de choc au Parti québécois - «Mon seuil de tolérance éthique personnel a été atteint»)
[Pierre Curzi] I choose to leave the Party because of my inability to concur with a proposal which deprives citizens of a full right to exercise their civic and legal responsibilities.How is Pierre Curzi intending to "contribute to the recovery charge"? I repeat endlessly the same song as a gramophone, an open government would restore harmony in the relationship between the Quebec government and citizens.
Partisanship and opportunism: I perceive democratic life as being elevated, to something most significant, that is to say, the full and free participation of citizens in shaping their society. This latest episode of our parliamentary life collided head first with these values, and is a powerful indicator of the growing distance between political parties and citizens of Quebec. I think this is largely due to the fact that political parties, in particularly in the context of a sclerosing bipartisanship, too often put their partisan interests and opportunism before the interests of citizens and citizens.
Joyless, I leave the [Parti Québécois]. Citizens must take control of their democratic institutions. I will now spend my political commitment to contribute freely and without any bitterness to recovery charge. There you go.
How come this solution of an open government does not emerge when the National Assembly is sinking in a democratic crisis?
Premier Jean Charest has pushed back to the fall the adoption of Bill 204 (which causes all these gyrations). MPs were to vote on the bill before June 10. "Liberals are split on Bill 204, without tearing each other apart as the PQ does", reports Marco Fortier in Rue Frontenac.
Transparency, participation and collaboration would establish a relationship of co-creation co-production between the government and citizens. Problems would be turned into challenges, citizens would be invited to collaborate and this would offer an opportunity for unexpected solutions to emerge.
Yesterday, the president of the Quebec Federation of Municipalities (FQM), Bernard Généreux, expressed concerns about the National Assembly "trivializing the issues related to transparency and ethics".
"What game are we playing?" he wondered. "There is this feeling that the National Assembly is losing its critical thinking and capacity analysis, necessary for the adoption of a law. Even if the management agreement between the City of Quebec and Quebecor is not clear in terms of transparency, it gives rise to a "grand concert of forced unanimity", lamented Bernard Généreux. "People see that and it's a very bad message. What we are doing is undermining credibility of the municipal world," he predicted.
Issues such as loss of critical thinking and capacity analysis, trivialization of issues related to transparency and ethics, could be avoided with an open government. An open government would ensure transparency in legislation as well as in developing new policies and programs, would provide an opportunity for citizens to intervene when critical thinking, capacity analysis and ethical issues would be undermined.
The National Assembly is taking a break for the Summer, June 10 is the closing end of parliamentary activities. What does Henri-François Gautrin’s team, responsible for an analysis mandate of the potential of Web 2.0, planning for the summer? Their new website for public consultation, expected to be launched in May 2011, is running late. The team is behind on timeline.
This week’s incidents show there is a need to implement an open government initiative in Quebec. Everyone would benefit from it.