When you type “abolish the senate” in google, you realize that many countries want to abolish it. It is high time to replace it with the popular initiative referendum.
The Senate prevented Obama from governing (500 blockades) and left Trump in power. The case of Trump’s impeachment on December 19, 2019, which was acquitted by the Senate on February 5, 2020, is revealing. After the insurrection on Capitol Hill, one feels their responsibility.
No to same-sex marriage in Ireland. No to the authorization of abortion in Argentina. Reduction in the age at which children can give consent to sexual activity in France (from 15 to 13 years old). The examples abound.
They are elected by the mayors of cities except in the United States where they are elected by states. The principle of one person, one vote is in fact violated. The multiplication of states and agglomerations favors right-wing parties whatever the vote of the people.
In France, the Republican Party, which represents only 10% of the voters in France, has a majority in the Senate. The Senate has blocked the extension of the referendum wanted by Mitterrand and is preparing to block the referendum project at the initiative of the people and the inclusion of climate protection in the constitution wanted by Emmanuel Macron and his people.
It is a blocking chamber. They have the power to say no to the representatives of the people.
The claims of the “yellow vests” now officially go beyond the issue of fuel prices alone. In a lengthy statement sent to the media and members of parliament on Thursday 29 November, the movement’s delegation listed a series of demands it wanted to see implemented.
“Deputies of France, we inform you of the people’s directives so that you can transpose them into law (…). Obey the will of the people. Enforce these instructions”, write the “yellow vests”. Delegation spokespersons are to be received on Friday at 2 p.m. by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Minister of Ecological Transition François de Rugy.
Increase of the minimum wage to 1,300 euros net, return to retirement at age 60 or abandonment of withholding tax…. The list includes many social measures, but also measures concerning transport, such as the end of the increase in fuel taxes and the introduction of a tax on marine fuel and kerosene. Here is a non-exhaustive list of claims:
– Zero homeless : URGENT.
– More progressiveness in income tax, i.e. more brackets.
– Smic at 1,300 euros net.
– Promote small businesses in villages and town centres. Stop the construction of large commercial areas around large cities that kill small businesses and more free parking in city centres.
– Large plan of Insulation of the dwellings to make ecology by making savings to the households.
– Taxes: that BIG companies (MacDonald’s, Google, Amazon, Carrefour…) pay BIG and that small companies (craftsmen, very small SMEs) pay small.
– Same social security system for all (including craftsmen and self-employed entrepreneurs). End of the RSI.
– The pension system must remain united and therefore socialized. No point retreat.
– End of the fuel tax increase.
– No retirement below 1,200 euros.
– Any elected representative will be entitled to the median salary. His transport costs will be monitored and reimbursed if justified. Entitlement to a meal ticket and a holiday voucher.
– The salaries of all French people, as well as pensions and allowances, must be indexed to inflation.
– Protecting French industry: prohibit relocations. Protecting our industry means protecting our know-how and our jobs.
– End of seconded work. It is abnormal that a person working in France does not enjoy the same salary and rights. Anyone authorised to work on French territory must be on an equal footing with a French citizen and his employer must contribute at the same level as a French employer.
– For job security: further limit the number of fixed-term contracts for large companies. We want more permanent contracts.
– End of the CICE. Use of this money to launch a French hydrogen car industry (which is truly ecological, unlike the electric car.)
– End of the austerity policy. We stop paying interest on the debt that is declared illegitimate and we start paying down the debt without taking money from the poor and the less poor, but by collecting the $80 billion in tax evasion.
– That the causes of forced migration be addressed.
– That asylum seekers are treated well. We owe them housing, security, food and education for minors. Work with the UN to ensure that reception camps are opened in many countries around the world, pending the outcome of the asylum application.
– That rejected asylum seekers be returned to their country of origin.
– That a real integration policy be implemented. Living in France means becoming French (French language courses, French history courses and civic education courses with a certificate at the end of the course).
– Maximum salary set at 15,000 euros.
– That jobs be created for the unemployed.
– Increase in disabled benefits.
– Limitation of rents. More affordable housing (especially for students and precarious workers).
– Prohibition to sell property belonging to France (dam, airport…)
– Substantial resources granted to the judiciary, police, gendarmerie and army. Whether law enforcement overtime is paid or recovered.
– All the money earned by motorway tolls will be used for the maintenance of France’s motorways and roads as well as for road safety.
– As the price of gas and electricity has risen since privatisation took place, we want them to become public again and prices to fall significantly.
– Immediate end of the closure of small lines, post offices, schools and maternity hospitals.
– Let us bring well-being to our seniors. Prohibition to make money on the elderly. White gold is over. The era of grey well-being is beginning.
– Maximum 25 students per class from kindergarten to high school.
– Substantial resources brought to psychiatry.
– The popular referendum must be incorporated into the Constitution. Creation of a readable and effective website, supervised by an independent control body where people can make a legislative proposal. If this bill obtains 700,000 signatures, then this bill must be discussed, supplemented and amended by the National Assembly, which will have the obligation (one year to the day after obtaining 700,000 signatures) to submit it to the vote of all French people.
– Return to a 7-year term of office for the President of the Republic. The election of deputies two years after the election of the President of the Republic made it possible to send a positive or negative signal to the President of the Republic regarding his policy. This helped to make the voice of the people heard.)
– Retirement at age 60 and for all persons who have worked in a profession that wears out the body (e. g. bricklayer or boner) entitled to retirement at age 55.
– A 6-year-old child not caring for himself, continuation of the PAJEMPLOI assistance system until the child is 10 years old.
– Encourage the transport of goods by rail.
– No withholding tax.
– End of presidential lifetime benefits.
– Prohibition to make merchants pay a tax when their customers use the credit card. Tax on marine fuel oil and kerosene.
In the documentary film by Al Pacino, “Looking for Richard” means American actors trying to understand the main character of Richard the III and thus all the other characters he seems to manipulate and control. But any company of actors would have to discuss and make research about the play, because it is a very intricate one.
I like the expression “Looking for Richard” because it could also mean that the tyrant hides himself, and that would, for sure, be behind other people. He does not do the evil deeds himself. And, of course, those who do act, doing the mischief Richard wants, also hide themselves behind Richard’s back… How should we look at Richard? He’s just using words in a clever way, like an actor. The more he comes closer to the crown, the more he begs for other people to act for him, and consequently it is easier for him to become king. Of course, a few deeds have to be executed by himself like, for example, the humiliation he inflicts on Lady Ann.
“Looking for Richard” is also very meaningful to me because the statement urges us to pay attention to this specific character in this specific play. Richard Gloucester is a discontent villain, not really the character you want to identify with. But maybe, you should have a look at the fact that the play was written in around 1593 and the real Richard the III lived from 1452-1485. So why are we still interested in that? Why do we still produce films, plays and books about this? Why should we look at it?
Is it because of its wonderful depiction of his rise to power and his short reign as a tyrant. “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse” means the king cannot even get a horse; he has absolutely no power when nobody obeys him. Unfortunately, these kind of tyrants have existed in the past and still exists nowadays. This play helps us understand tyrants are just beggars, seeking other people’s actions. It is a reminder that tyranny is never the act of one person alone.
And also because: “Even though the audience is likely to be repulsed by Richard’s actions, his gleeful, brilliant, revealing monologues cause most viewers to like him and even hope that he will succeed despite his obvious malice.” (http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/richardiii/themes) There will always be people attracted to malice, or obeying it because they are scared or because of their greed or whatever their reason might be and these people are those who make tyranny possible. If you just confront the tyrant directly, these people will protect him and will not raise an eyebrow. In the play, Queen Elizabeth’s characters shows that. She does not bother Richard Gloucester at all.
However, he is powerless when he is left alone on the battlefield. (The dream before the battle helps to underline his weakness).
There is a recurrent message in Shakespeare’s plays: Never underestimate the power of words.