President Emmanuel Macron of France has launched a “Great Debate” in response to weeks of protests. Euronews prints a translation of the president’s open letter setting out questions to be debated.
The main themes are taxation and public spending, the organization of the state and public services, ecological transformation, and democracy and citizenship. Of particular interest to F&V is the president’s asking what might be the “right level” of proportional representation in elections to the National Assembly. This question has been debated before, and was supposed to be part of Macon’s platform, although the answer to the question of the “right” level seemed to be not much. Now, at least, it is open to debate, although it is not clear how any opinions expressed during this Great Debate will find their way onto the government agenda.
What follows is an excerpt related to issues of democratic reform.
Should absentions be recognised? Should we make voting compulsory?
What is the right level of proportional representation in parliamentary elections for a fairer say to be given to all political perspectives?
Should we, and how, limit the number of parliamentarians or other elected officials?
What role should our assemblies, including the Senate and the Economic, Social and Environmental Councils, play in representing our territories and civil society? Should we transform them and how?
In addition, a great democracy like France must be able to listen more often to the voice of its citizens.
What changes do you want to make citizen participation more active, democracy more participative?
Should unelected citizens, chosen at random, have greater and more direct involvement in public decision making?
Should we increase the use of referendums and who should decide on how and when?