There are things that should be resolved quickly, it seems to me. As I am always willing to be of service, here are some ways to get out of some impasses.
The electoral map. Like an eternal reminder from your dentist, every two elections, the Electoral Representation Commission insists: our demographics are at war with our democracy. The electoral weight of Quebec citizens depends on their postal code. If he lives in the Magdalen Islands, the voter is 4.5 times more powerful than the average citizen. In other words, it takes 4.5 times fewer voters to choose a deputy than elsewhere.
Conversely, the Brome-Missisquoi voter is only worth 67% of the average voter. In other words, he must give his 133% to elect a deputy. Flexible, the commission is not within a percentage point. It accepts that a constituency has up to 25% more or fewer voters than the average before intervening. But it’s already huge! This means that she finds it normal to have 75% citizens and 125% citizens! Beyond this corridor of tolerance, it identifies 14 constituencies out of 125 which exceed its limits. More than one in 10!
Hence his proposal to merge, to redistrict, to shake up the borders. Which provokes the now ritual outcry. But you have not thought about it ! The regional deputy will now have to survey a territory as large as Belgium and the Netherlands combined. But it’s crazy! You will dismantle a community of belonging, divide in two a neighborhood with a strong identity!
In this debate, everyone is right. It is therefore insoluble if we do not agree to think outside the ballot box. Especially since the frequent change of electoral boundaries harms the voter’s feeling of belonging to his electoral community and his deputy. Democracy presupposes stability.
The National Assembly has just discovered electronic voting. The equipment is therefore in place. Let’s use it wisely. Let’s assume that there are 125 votes in the National Assembly. But let’s modulate the vote of each deputy according to the number of voters in his constituency. The Îles-de-la-Madeleine would forever have a full-time MP for less than 12,000 people, we understand that and that’s so much the better. But at the time of the vote, the member for the Islands would be worth 0.22 votes. It would only be electoral justice.
If we believe that the Brome-Missisquoi riding has boundaries dictated by history, culture and demographics, let’s keep it intact, but let’s give its member a vote corresponding to the weight he represents: 1.33. Let us also accept that Abitibi, Nord-du-Québec and Gaspésie are divided into territories which allow an MP to travel there by car, not by plane, and that their citizens have a full-time representative. , but that their democratic weight in the Assembly is in line with their demographic weight.
Such a reform would allow the commission to rethink the map. Is it as faithful as possible to local and regional identities? Do they coincide with municipal, administrative, regional county municipality and school service center territories? The more yes, the better it would be for the citizen and his local roots. Let’s redistribute the 125 corners of the country according to these criteria if we deem it appropriate, and give the map long-term stability which would only require modifications in rare cases of strong demographic flow. Children learn fractions at age seven. It seems to me that the deputies will be able to control them.
Assignment of lease. The question is not whether to maintain or abolish the assignment of lease. The question is why a mechanism that should be little used has become so popular. Answer: because the increase imposed when changing tenant is often excessive. This is therefore the problem that must be addressed.
Currently, when a landlord wishes to increase the rent more than the recommendation of the Housing Authority, the tenant can refuse. The owner must then convince the Régie that his request is justified. Otherwise — and in the meantime — the previous amount applies. Why not simply apply the same principle when the tenant changes? Let’s amend the law to indicate that if the owner imposes an increase on a new tenant that exceeds the Régie’s recommendation, the new tenant will have three months to contest the increase. He will be able to see this increase by consulting the online national register, which should be created.
After all, right now, anyone can check the assessment roll and the amount of taxes paid by any property owner online, information that changes every year. As long as you do not entrust this file to the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) or Éric Caire, this should be possible. Let us indicate in the law that upon receipt of the dispute and until the Régie’s decision, it is the old rent that applies. And note the slowdown that this measure brings about in the rise in rents.
Meta and Google. The blockage hurts Quebec and Canadian media, without reducing the platforms’ profits by a single cent. Ottawa’s inaction is incomprehensible. Europe has just modified its legislation to impose obligations on large platforms under penalty of fines of up to 6% of their turnover or, ultimately, the suspension of their activities. What is stopping Ottawa from legally requiring large platforms, as a condition of operating in Canada, to relay media links? Nothing.
And if Ottawa remains catatonic on the issue, what is stopping Quebec from doing so, which has unilaterally taxed Netflix, Amazon and others for seven years now, without the digital sky falling on its head ?
So, please, a little nerve!
Jean-François Lisée led the PQ from 2016 to 2018. He has just published Through the mouth of my pencils, published by Somme All ofsee. [email protected]