Does the number matter?

The law on intelligence, which I mentioned here, was approved by 25 French members of parliament, while five opposed it. So they were 30 to be present when voting a law that affects individual freedoms. 30 when the legislature is composed of 577 members.

It means that about 5 % of members of parliament have bothered to intend the session. Of course, one may have an impediment. Some members of parliament may be busy with their work in committees. That said, is it really unreasonable to expect more than 50 % of them to participate the debates of a bill?

Forgive me: make voting an obligation for French citizens is republican common sense, while asking for members of parliament to be present to complete the mandate they were elected for, it is populism ...

It is often said that France is difficult to reform, but what about the ability of French politicians to reform themselves?

Among the provisions adopted, there is the installation of black boxes in Internet providers. The purpose of these black boxes is to automatically identify individuals that are on the verge to become fundamentalists. As the Government assure that it will be done while respecting the anonymity on the Internet, it appears that it is possible to identify someone anonymously …

Incidentally – except for French prime-minister Manuel Valls, who we can at least be given credit for consistency –, in 2009 the French Socialist Party issued a Black Book on Individual Freedoms. This black book comes in clear contradiction with the new law on intelligence. Of course, on can change her/his mind, but we can still expect the reasons for this change being explained. I may have missed something, but it does not seem that the French Socialist Party has made the effort of such an explanation.

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Yoann Le Bars

A researcher and teacher with slightly too many interests to sum this up …

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