Support for the declaration of commitment on democracy and respect
The municipal council supports the Union of Quebec Municipalities’ (UMQ) declaration of commitment “Democracy with respect, out of respect for democracy”.
“Our democracy has its roots in our history. We choose those who govern us. In a democracy, we can all be candidates for public office. During elections, citizens delegate the administration of the common good to people who offer their services, like us. This way of managing our living environments, our regions, has allowed us to achieve a standard of living among the highest in the world, to progress safely, to lead our lives as we see fit and to express ourselves freely.
Democracy comes to life in debate and in the clash of ideas. It is possible as long as people respect one another. However, these days, our democracy is all too often mistreated by unfortunate incidents: incivility, disrespect, threats, bullying and identity theft. In the last few years, especially with the rise in popularity of social media, lively yet respectful debate is often replaced by insults, threats and intimidation.
This was true even before the pandemic, but the latter seems to have aggravated this way of doing things. That this difficult situation is a source of worry and anxiety is quite normal. That we sometimes disagree with the decisions undertaken by the authorities is also normal. However, it is not acceptable that the men and women who work in the public sector, in the service of their fellow citizens, are bullied, forced to resign, receive death threats or are forced to travel with police protection.
In less than a year, municipal elections will be held throughout Quebec. Until that time, we must take care of our democracy. We must return to respectful debate with people and institutions so that, together, we make the best decisions. Let us remember that elected officials and public office holders are committed to the well-being of their constituents. Let’s foster political involvement, not discourage it.
As elected municipal officials, we are proud to serve our fellow citizens. This is why we are calling for respectful democratic debate. We say: “Democracy with respect, out of respect for democracy”, and we invite elected officials from all the municipalities of Quebec to join the movement”.