Everyone agrees that the legal framework and the economic development model have reached their limits. Does this mean that the new situation is possible in the short term? The 100 elected members of Congress can hold a first answer.
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Will Martinique’s Congress of Elected Representatives demand Martinique’s political autonomy? Nothing is less certain. First of all, because the purpose of the July 2022 meeting is to decide on the framework and decide on the list of demands of elected officials. They should schedule up to October 2022 for several sessions.
Then because the issue of changing the situation is not on the agenda. And it will likely remain so for a long time, as indecision, lack of clarity and fear of the unknown guide our elected officials. It is a reflection of the people you are meant to represent and guide.
Admittedly, we fear losing our legal status as a single local authority governed by Article 73 of the Constitution. This system allows the application of all laws on our territory. At least on paper. The reality is more accurate. We’ve seen it every day since the abolition of colony status in 1946.
We are afraid of autonomy, poles of responsibility and sacrifice. responsibility, because it will no longer be possible to blame the state, the government, colonialism, Europe, or some other imaginary guardianship power.
sacrifice, because our standard of living will necessarily decrease due to the necessary reorientation of our economic and social model. Who today is able to resist this interrogation? Who would wish to become poor, or at any rate, to live more modestly?
Here it is not about the most modest families condemned to live by means and a monthly income of less than 1,000 euros. Will the middle classes, or their replacements, be able to withstand the deprivation resulting from the attacks on their rights as consumers of imported products?
Intellectually and theoretically, how many political formations and leaders are able to exercise our ability to think for ourselves and for ourselves? Aimee Césaire is no longer out of this world. His teachings are not applied by his supposed followers. The Communist Party of Martinique, the first to demand autonomy, is now just a shadow of itself.
Mark Boulevard is no longer out of this world. He did not succeed in promoting the “Protocol for the Acquisition of Independence” and the demand for a “United Regional Council”, as transitional tools towards national independence.
So we are doomed to create a framework of thought and action that leads us toward desirable self-management. We can draw inspiration from the discourses of Corsican nationalists, in business since 2015. We can also learn from our political scientists about the process that brought the former British colonies of the archipelago to sovereignty after a period of “self-governance”.
Our elected officials can benefit from the conclusions of the Morne Rouge Agreement of August 1971. The fiftieth anniversary of its founding is approaching, and it will be an interesting coincidence. At the initiative of the Communist Party, the political and trade union organizations of the four foreign divisions demanding autonomy in Martinique met to propose ways and means of a new program of economic development. A project supported by a new institutional law. The Morne-Rouge Agreement remained in the drawers.
However, these examples, while useful, must be enriched by today’s experience. Who feels empowered? Our political parties have turned into electoral machines for running societies that are theoretically impoverished. They no longer train their militants who do not have the political culture, historical references, the ability to think and the free will necessary for political action. which aims to transform the world.
There are, lonely here and there, a few intellectuals – an ugly word in this time of emphatic obscurantism – who contemplate the question. However, their relationship with the ruling circles is uncertain. Not to mention that the social body is too isolated in terms of culture and morals to imagine a horizon other than the horizon of survival, in the motherland, as our ancestors called France.
Another hard-line argument for not taking the march toward autonomy into account is the weight of mayors within Congress. They are rightfully members, while they did not appear in the first formula of this discussion group. These elected local representatives will be able to enrich the discussions in light of their experience, being in daily contact with the residents.
Some city council members may be inclined to temper the enthusiasm of more staunch supporters of changes in local institutions. Moreover, many of them were elected on a non-political basis, without naming, or without the support of any political formation. They are free to make the argument that they were not chosen to decide on prominent political topics.
If it is now clear that the legal framework in which we live is a limitation, there are obstacles to opening it. We shall see, during these first two days of the work of our elected officials, whether they have a mirage in their sight, or if they are committed to a miracle.
Lucien Saliber, President of the Martinique Assembly, will hold the first session of the Congress of Elected Officials of Martinique, Tuesday 12 July and Wednesday 13 July 2022 at 9 a.m. in the Emile Maurice Hall, Hôtel de la Symbél, rue de Caraibes in Fort- de-France (formerly the General Council Building) .
On the agenda:
- work methodology
- Determine the topics to be discussed
- Work schedule