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Rue89 - France | 18/07/2011

Authueil on non-public debates in France

The election campaign in France is already in full swing, yet the discussions about basic issues are being conducted away from the public eye, the columnist Authueil complains in the news portal Rue89. Voters can, however, exert indirect influence, he concedes: "Discussions of basic principles are generally rather technical in nature and hence of little interest to the media. Therefore the general public remains ignorant of them. Only when the debate surfaces in day to day politics does it become visible. But by then it is often too late: the positions have already hardened and there is little opportunity to change the solutions proposed. ... Ordinary citizens are de facto excluded from such debates, which from the point of view of democracy is rather alarming. Yet the participation of politicians in the debates, which is where decisions are taken, and their role in the implementation of those decisions restores the balance. On the one hand politicians participate in the debates and on the other their political survival depends on the voters. They therefore need to pay close attention to public opinion and to how well their proposals are received."

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