It is an understandable reflex: in the event of a crisis, a population, naturally, has the reflex of closing ranks around the government. To get through the ordeal, it is better to be united than divided.
But the longer the ordeal lasts, the more this consensus weakens, especially in a democracy, which values the diversity of points of view.
This should be even more obvious since we are told about a new normal, caused by COVID.
We have been rightly told for almost a year that there is no manual on how to deal with a pandemic. It is fair, and this is what explains the legitimate indulgence of the population towards him.
Most everyone understands that they are doing their best.
But this should be accompanied by a similar indulgence for the opposition parties, which often point to a blind spot in government management. Sadly, many come close to treating every criticism as an act of sedition and betrayal.
Yet when QS questions the legitimacy and modalities of the curfew, it asks real questions.
When the PQ recalls the importance of mental health and attacks the federal government’s catastrophic border management, it is more than relevant.
When the PLQ recalls the importance of massive screening to get through the last stage of the pandemic, it must be taken seriously.
I would even add that when Eric Duhaime, candidate for the leadership of the small Conservative Party of Quebec, pleads for the end of the curfew and the suspension of certain health measures, it is good that we hear him, not because that we share his point of view, but because the segment of the population that recognizes itself in this criticism must also be found in the public space.
It is when popular misfortune no longer finds political echoes that it becomes radicalized.
Let’s sum up this way: democracy is compatible with COVID.