A terrible admission of weakness

Lenny Ferretti, a law student at the University of Mons in Belgium, writes the following in the Carte Blanche section of Le Vif:

In Belgium there are elections every five years. There are directly elected assemblies and others, which are elected indirectly. The Senate, which is the second chamber of the Federal Parliament has been elected indirectly since the Sixth Reform of 2014. Today, some tell us that it is useless and that it should be eliminated and replaced by allotted citizens.

First, it is good to recall that the Senate creates bicameralism, that Belgium is a federal state (article 1 of the Constitution), and that no federal state in the world is unicameral.

Sortition is profoundly anti-democratic and would require training for the relevant citizens which would imply additional costs… On the other hand, citizen panels can and should be convened. Their work can guide our elected officials, but we must distinguish consultation from decision-making itself. It is a question of representativity and of legitimacy and hence of democracy.

Such an idea constitutes a terrible admission of weakness on the side of the political system and particularly on the side of the members of parliament. It implies shifting the responsibility onto the citizens of what they should be expecting, and what they have the right to expect: effectiveness, and thus the creation of a decent and secure life, to the extent possible, for their children. If we have elected officials, it is so that they assume the responsibilities that we have vested in them through elections by all!

It is not by proposing original and/or complex ideas such as those described here that the political system is going to bring the citizen back in and produce the expected results. The political system must assume its responsibilities, and address the fact that the nation spirit has been eroding within the political class.