True peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice. Martin Luther King, Jr. . . . for with freedom come responsibilities. Nelson Mandela Whenever you are in doubt, recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man. Gandhi An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come. Victor Hugo *

The New Roles of States and Territorial Scales

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The New Roles of States and Territorial Scales



The New Republic Will be Democratic and Socially Oriented

Before the 2007 elections in France, and since the political crisis is at the center of public life, the level of debate on the institutions of the French Republic is weak. The proposals of the “major” candidates are particularly vague. In fact, everyone is cautiously sticking with what now constitutes a kind of weak consensus: strengthening the role of Parliament and expanding the procedures for citizen involvement. But what level of reform should be sought and, most importantly, what should be the spirit of the reform? At a time when confidence in institutions is being eroded, when voter abstention regularly breaks records, the sense of civic obligations is faltering and the far right is poisoning the public arena, homeopathic remedies are no longer called for.

Institutions will only be able to recover their sense of direction within a brand-new architecture that measures up to what our complex and unstable societies have become. A Sixth Republic in France is the order of the day… But it’s still necessary to explain the rationale behind it. Let’s assume that it will, of course, be less “presidentialist”, but not merely more representative (even though improving representation is appropriate). Being the sixth in a long republican succession, the New Republic must be the first of a new type: clearly organized along social and participatory lines, explicitly democratic and rooted in solidarity.

If the left does not want to give free rein to the unholy union of order and “free and unbiased” competition, it must not therefore abandon the institutional restructuring which must be made consistent with the vision of a society in which the development of people takes precedence over financial imperatives. This assumes several strong initiatives capable of giving a clear direction to a political vision.

Source : Collectif 29 Mai


Alain Bachellier




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