FIGAROVOX / TRIBUNE - For Roland Hureaux, parliamentarians' discussions about "restoring confidence in political life", far from exorcising it, support the idea that political life is a place of abuse.
Aged of history, normal and enarque, Roland Hureaux is high official and essayist. He notably published The great demolition, France broken by the reforms (Buchet-Chastel editions, 2012).
The measures voted by the National Assembly (but not yet by the Senate) under the "restoration of confidence in political life" are not only poor content, they are worrying by the approach that inspires them: far from to exorcise antiparliamentarianism, they reinforce by their punitive spirit the idea that parliamentary life is a place of abuse.
The law in question follows many others, such as that of October 11, 2013, creating the High Authority for the Transparency of Public Life, which obliges parliamentarians to declare their assets (which Prime Minister Philippe refused to do!), endorsing the idea that the representatives of the people are all potential delinquents who must be kept short.
The prohibition on local parliamentarians, ministers and executives to hire a member of their family as a collaborator, however, is a hypocritical measure: unless there is a police of morals in the Assembly (where things are going it is not impossible that they come here!), the mistresses, lovers and lovers or their children will not be worried at all. More serious: this prohibition ratifies the false analysis that was made at the time of the Fillon case: we have confused the family employment, perfectly justified in a cabinet where political trust must reign, with the nepotism by which we appoint to a big job a family member with no special qualifications: Golden Parliamentary Attaché is not a big job. No other profession is subject to such a constraint.
Macron has also pledged to reduce by one third the number of deputies and senators, which also reinforces the opinion in the idea that they do not serve much: at a time when France was less populated, the assemblies of the Third and Fourth Republics were however more numerous than today. If we say that 577 is too much, we'll say it, let's not doubt, 350, and tomorrow 100, etc. This promise is also very inconsistent with another statement of the president: "By gradually making the elective mandate a status, we have erased what is the nature of deep: the link with the citizen." With a member for 200 000 inhabitants instead of 100 000, will we bring it closer to the citizen?
Thus parliamentarians are asked to endorse their own abasement, to ratify the mistrust, or contempt that a part of opinion gives them. The same applies when they are summoned to vote on laws that are only the transposition of European or international standards or else divest them in favor of proliferating independent administrative authorities (AAI).
That instead of debating the most important laws, such as the "Labor Law", the procedure of ordinances be appealed from the outset, and show how much the new assembly is a prisoner of the executive power. There is therefore the risk that these new deputies, from "civil society", that is to say, knowing nothing about the peculiarities of the state machine, do, in worse, what, confusedly , the opinion reproached their predecessors: passively endorse the projects of technocracy, which amounts to continuing existing policies, including the most disastrous.
The end of the cumulation of the mandates
What will condemn more than all the Parliament to the nonexistence, it is the end of the cumulation of the mandates. Cumulously condemned by the public opinion after a misunderstanding never dissipated: it has been presented this accumulation as a combination of remuneration while it was strictly limited.
Multiple mandates allowed national elected representatives to maintain contact with the field through their local responsibilities. Many had the good image that only mayors retain the mayors, which shows, by the way, that politicians deserve to be seen at work.
This deterioration of the parliamentary function is the logical continuation of the last presidential election where the most fundamental principles of the Republic were trampled: the non-interference of justice with the electoral processes and the non-interference of the executive in the exercise of the judicial power, the foundations of the separation of powers without which, "a society has no constitution" (Article 16 of the Declaration of Human Rights).
By voting this law, the Parliament endorses in passing the idea that the actions against François Fillon were legitimate, a bit like at other times amnestied the perpetrators of a successful coup. If instead of this festival of hypocrisy, we had really wanted to moralize the political life, it is these drifts, without which, it must be said, Macron would not have been elected, which had to be prevented.
But we must see further. The degrading constraints, inquisitorial controls that will now weigh on the elected officials, making them suspects a priori, away a little more from the political career men of honor, and therefore the most honest, even the most capable.
The project on "Restoring Confidence in Politics" will apply what Hayek calls "the law of effects contrary to the goal pursued". No more proximity but less, not less suspicion but more, not a restoration of the prestige of the elected but a new loss of credit. More than ever, citizens will feel that Parliament is useless.