The Right to Speak – 1

Premier Philippe Couillard, after meeting with Lieutenant-Governor Michel Doyon to have a decree signed ordering the 42nd general election, told the press that since coming to power, his government had put Quebec’s economy in order. He informed that his government was now planning on making life easier for Quebeckers and would be making announcements in that regard throughout the election campaign.

During the Premier’s closing speech to the Quebec Liberal Party’s 36th Youth Convention, where he announced he would launch the elections on August 23, he said that the campaign would last 39 days, the maximum allowed by law. « I immediately noted that the number of actual campaign days is rather limited, » he said.

Gaétan Barrette, his Minister of Health, added: « The more time the government has to explain the facts and demonstrate its policies, the better it is for the Liberal Party, because the government’s balance sheet is extraordinary and its proposals are solid. »

However the issue is that the government has already had four years in office to show what it has done. Why should it continue to have the right to speak instead of people having their own summation about what the government has done? How can people reflect on the government’s record and draw conclusions if they are bombarded by propaganda from the same government that is now claiming the right to present its own balance sheet?

Why wouldn’t the election be a time for people themselves to present their own summation of the government’s record? Shouldn’t the election provide the members of the polity the necessary space to say what they think and want, and to fully discuss the problems facing the society and the country, that the next government must take up for solution?

The present electoral process has been designed to prevent people from drawing their own conclusions, deliberating on the problems they face, or from even being able to think and express themselves. In fact, the sole aim of the present electoral process is to bring a political party to power. It therefore eliminates any space for citizens to express themselves!

The urgent need is for the renewal of the political process, so that people can express themselves and bring their own representatives to power, rather than parties that represent private interests.