The danger of being silent
If there is a theme that transcends elections in all democracies, it is that of immigration. This theme is all the more important since democracies have been experiencing a sharp drop in the birth rate for several decades.
It is in large part the dissatisfaction of Italians with immigration policies that explains the rise of the Brothers of Italy, who promise radical solutions. Italy, whose birth rate is one of the worst in the world.
In France, the National Front is fueled by the fight against immigration. Brexit is largely based on the rejection of the European Union’s immigration policies. The recent elections in Sweden have also brought to power a very anti-immigration party. In the United States, immigration is one of the favorite hobbyhorses of the Republicans.
Immigration and religion
Behind the theme of immigration hides another subject in Europe which is approached with modesty by politicians: that of religion, and in particular, Islam.
The strong religiosity of many immigrants collides with the fundamentalist Christianity of part of the local populations and the weak religiosity of other citizens.
In an ideal world, everyone could and should live on good terms. But religion interferes with politics, especially with very topical issues like abortion or sexual morality.
For religious fundamentalists, it interferes with democratic institutions themselves, since they place the decisions of religious leaders above those of elected officials.
The net result is that in many democracies, very right-wing parties, supported by Christian religious fundamentalists, are proposing anti-immigration and pronatalist policies.
Silence in the center and on the left
One of the most amazing features of democracies is that center and left parties tend to be silent on issues of immigration and religion.
When François Legault refuses to comment on immigration, on the pretext that the subject is “too delicate”, he follows the current in which bathes the majority of the leaders of democracies. In doing so, he strengthens the far right of Éric Duhaime.
Paul St-Pierre Plamondon is not afraid to address this issue, which distinguishes him among the moderates.
By dint of avoiding these subjects, the ranks of the extremist parties swell with increasingly worried citizens.
In Quebec, immigration goes beyond the problem of the survival of French. As elsewhere, it affects the place of religion in tomorrow’s society and the values with which societies will live.
It also affects the functioning of the economy, after decades of declining birth rates.
It shakes the foundations of democracy.
Unfortunately, exacerbated multiculturalism prevents us from discussing these issues in a calm way. Not to mention certain feminists who imagine that talking about the birth rate implies the enslavement of women. Similarly, several religious lobbies take advantage of immigration to strengthen themselves.