“In a period of ‘total crisis’, democracy cannot wait any longer”

Tribune. The fear of the second wave of Covid-19 has brought us into a period of “total crisis”: not a Frenchman who is not rightly worried about his future, his health, that of his relatives, of his employment or housing. These anxieties relegate to the background the democratic question, which concerns our freedoms to think, to express oneself, to demonstrate and to engage publicly.

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However, these essential freedoms are no longer, today, absolutely guaranteed by our democratic system because democracy is going badly. The crisis of representativeness and mistrust of politics come from afar. In 2017, Emmanuel Macron presented himself as the savior of a Republic threatened by the extreme vote. Like the majority of the left in government, I believed in it and I supported Emmanuel Macron. But the promise of revitalizing political life carried by the creation of a movement, La République en Marche (LRM), based on the desire to engage in a participatory, humanist and dynamic approach, has not been kept. Democracy is still so sick.

Lack of parliamentary oversight

First of all, abstention is breaking historic records and mistrust of politics is at its height: six out of ten voters did not come to vote in the last municipal elections. The fear of Covid-19, amplified by the announcement, forty-eight hours before the first round, of the gravity of the epidemic, only added to the disinterest in these elections. Containment and the postponement of the second round in Greece did the rest.

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Second, Parliament does not control the government and LRM abuses its majority. In the Assembly, it has 276 deputies out of 577, not counting the support of peripheral groups. As the LRM MPs who left their original group themselves indicate, no substantive debate is allowed. As a result, the National Assembly is undemanding and aligns itself with government policy: whether it concerns the review of amending finance laws or Social Security financing laws, mainly drawn up by the administrations and very little contested politically, including in committee.

“The exceptional measures have lasted for more than six months, to the detriment of our freedoms”

The adoption of the hospital budget, for example, took place before the onset of the health crisis without taking into account the massive demands of health personnel. Moreover, Parliament has adopted without flinching the 62 ordinances which govern our daily life under the pretext of a state of health emergency. The exceptional measures have lasted for more than six months, to the detriment of our freedoms. Thus, the attempt to generalize the StopCovid application, which is as technically inefficient as it is ethically and democratically questionable, is a chill in the back; this application locates, tracks people and reports who has Covid-19, thus opening the door to the processing of personal data – whose anonymity is not guaranteed – without consent, which is strictly against our Constitution.

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