Giving non-citizens voting rights can “endanger” the foundations of the nation-state: historians

According to historians, a proposal by Montreal authorities to allow non-citizens to vote in city council elections could jeopardize the foundations of the nation-state.

The Commission on Social Development and Diversity in Montreal worked on Montreal in its April 19 report. (Pdf) The move will improve immigrant integration and give more than 100,000 non-citizens the right to vote, saying it will motivate groups of racially diverse people to participate in politics at the municipal level.

“Giving permanent residents the right to vote is one way to encourage political participation and ensure better representation of the various groups that make up society,” the report said.

The· CommitteeIs composed mostly of elected officials, confirming Montreal’s willingness to grant these rights to permanent residents who have lived “on the territory of the city of Montreal for at least 12 months” and to state and federal governments. I want to encourage you to change. The law allows non-citizens to vote in local elections.

Chris Elul, a doctoral candidate studying local government politics at McGill University’s Faculty of Geography, supports the idea and joins people, including a “color community” excluded from politics. It said it would provide a platform for.

Erl also questioned the issue of impartiality by not allowing non-citizens engaged in urban life to vote for those who represent them.

“People have the same idea and opinion about how neighbors who may not have citizenship pay the same property tax, use the same services, and run the city better. You need to see this from, so why can’t they send people to the city hall to make a decision? “Erl told The Canadian Press.

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People walk the streets of Montreal, Canada on January 31, 2021. (The Canadian Press / Graham Hughes)

But Frederick Bastian, Historian When Expert He criticized Canada’s idea of ​​undermining the nation-state’s foundations in international relations and constitutional issues.

“It’s important to remind the city that being a national citizen is not just an administrative form,” he said. Bastian, a researcher at Dawson College in Montreal, is on his Facebook page.

“”Being a citizen of a country means belonging to a community of fate and history. For those born elsewhere, citizenship is gained … a privilege you gain by not committing crimes, learning a language, and absorbing common values ​​such as gender equality. This all takes time. “

“Obviously, supporters of diversity find discrimination in all of this. They are right. Citizenship helps distinguish between those who are citizens and those who are not. This is, among other things, citizens. Only one is one of the foundations of a nation-state where people can run and vote in elections, “he added.

In addition, Bastian suggested thatA fantasy that turns Quebec into a globalist melody, dreaming of eventually abolishing borders and citizenship. “

In an interview with the Canadian Press, Bastian said the proposal could be a strategy by the mayor. The Valerie Plant will be ahead of the local elections in November next year.

“It’s part of a series of gestures from the Plante administration,” Bastian said. “It’s a’awakening’trend between Projet Montreal and a toxic vision of social and public life,” he added, referring to Plante’s political parties.

Vancouver Sun columnist Daphne Bramum paper Last year, he said, “Voting is a citizenship right, not a residence right.”

“If permanent residents can vote in local elections and participate in state and federal politics at the party level, it means that the only benefit of Canadian citizenship is the expectation of a passport and consular support in the case of international travel. “Masu” and Bramham I have written..

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Voters line up and throw ballots on file photos. (Canadian Press / Andrew Vaughn)

She also warned of possible foreign interference.

“But coupled with politicians’ indifference to protecting citizenship, Canadian indifference opens the door to foreigners who use the democratic process itself to destroy it.”

In 2020 Annual report According to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, government agencies have used foreign state officials to “support political agendas or deceptively influence Canadian government policies, officials, or democratic processes.” Give. “

Montreal is not the first city in Canada to propose a change in non-citizen voting rights. Cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, St. John, and New Brunswick have been discussing it for many years, but no city has succeeded in persuading state or federal governments to make changes.

Anyway, Montreal’s municipal administration has told Canadian press that it is particularly keen to allow non-citizens to vote to attract more involvement in the political process from migrants.

According to the Montreal elections, turnout 42.46 2017 percent, from 43 The 2013 percent reported global news.

Permanent residents of Montreal make up about 9% of the city’s population, totaling about 170,000, of which an estimated 105,000 are eligible as voters, the Diversity Commission said.

Quebec and the federal government have yet to express their thoughts on the proposals so far. At the federal level, spokesman for State Minister Dominic LeBlanc, Colin Hubbard, said the government was not involved in local elections and raised the issue of voting law reforms to the Quebec government.

Plante spokeswoman Genevieve Jutras said the city would take the time to review the report, adding that it was the state government’s responsibility to change voting rights.

With files from Canadian Press