Quebec democracy is “markedly weakened” by the “message monopoly” enjoyed by the Caquist government, believes PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, who pleads for a rapid resumption of parliamentary work.
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To support his argument, Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon recalled that record amounts are currently spent on government advertising, “a form of propaganda”, according to him, to which are added almost daily press briefings.
In these advertisements, the government “chooses its version of the message,” he argued on the sidelines of the presessional caucus of the Parti Quebecois, his very first since the leadership race that ended last fall.
“When you have an unlimited propaganda budget to plant certain ideas in the minds of the population and the opposition parties don’t even have the space to question some of the aspects of managing the pandemic, well, we have a democracy that is clearly weakened ”, declared Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon, in front of the parliamentary press.
Like her PQ counterpart, liberal leader Dominique Anglade wishes to resume work “as quickly as possible”, while showing herself open to a hybrid formula which could include virtual exchanges and certain presences in the National Assembly.
“It is obvious to me that we must find a mechanism to ensure that democracy can work, especially in a period of pandemic, especially there are fundamental issues and then decisions that are important for the future of things for the Quebec, so we must make democracy work ”, declared Mme Anglade, just before the start of the preparatory caucus for his political party for the start of the parliamentary term, normally scheduled for next week.
Discussions on this subject were still underway between the parliamentary leaders on Monday morning, she said.
According to our information, the governmental parliamentary wing would have considered postponing the work for a week or two, for the sake of consistency with the telework order in force.
The elected representatives of Québec solidaire will hold their preparatory caucus on Tuesday and Wednesday, virtually.
– With the collaboration of Patrick Bellerose