Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The French ministries and the French street collide in Parliament

This video came in from Pierre Tardy:

 It's quite scandalous. One deputy from Sarkozy's former majority party reads a letter demanding a referendum. Christiane Taubira, the attorney general of France (she's the Franco-African woman who responds), blames the UMP, the deputy's party, for having wasted its credibility when it had the majority. Deputies become incensed by the political tone of Taubira's response and begin chanting "Referendum!"

Update: Translation in Italics:

Speaker: The Parliament now gives two minutes to Mr. Henri Guaino

Henri Guaino: Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister, my beloved colleagues. This question is addressed to Mr. Prime Minister. This last Sunday, hundreds of thousands of French people marched to express their doubts about the Marriage for All Bill.

Speaker: Please, quiet down. Order.

Henri Guaino: It was a phenomenal gathering of people, perhaps the most important in forty years. It included families and people of simple origins, many of whom are not political and have never gone to a protest march. They voyaged here, in some cases, from far away, and were weary by the journey, but still marched. They were representatives in the name of the French people.

Speaker: Quiet down, please! Order! Order!

Henri Guaino: These people came to speak for those who are unsettled by the bill being presented, one which [He looks to Mme. Christiane Taubira, the Attorney General] according to our Attorney General, is nothing less than a reform of civilization itself. As these humble and gracious French people have said, they do not wish for this matter to be decided without having their say, for the civilization that Mme. Taubira seeks to reform is the one in which they and their children must live. Mr. Prime Minister, there is not true debate when everything has been rigged beforehand. Observe what has happened in this very chamber. The deputies of your majority say to the opposition: "Object, object, object as you desire, in any case we shall do as we want." Is this the rule of democracy, I ask of you? Can it be, when one lays down in place something so integral, something which cries for time for critical reflection? I say, no. Here, democracy demands that this go to the people and their word, not only the deputies in this chamber. Do not speak in place of the people. In the spirit of the Republic, the President of the Republic may subject this matter to the vote of a referendum. See the letter in article 11 of our constitution of 1958, which says that the President is the only judge of the situation and he must call for a referendum. Mr. Prime Minister, be wary of taking upon yourself the grave charge of violating the conscience of millions of French people, nor should you show disdain to the French people who ask you for greater respect.  Be mindful, if you do not give the people their say, the people will not retreat: They will grow even stronger. Be the Prime Minister of the fifth republic, not the fourth republic! Be a democrat and a republican. Be responsible!

Speaker: Thank you, that's enough. Now it turns to Mme. Christiane Taubira, Keeper of the Seals (Attorney General), Ministry of Justice.

Mme. Taubira: Mr. President.

Speaker: Please, quiet. Order!

Mme. Taubira: Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen Deputies, Mr. Deputy Henri Guaino--

Speaker: Order! Let her speak! Take your seats!

Mme. Taubira: You would be a little more credible, on the topic of respect shown to popular protest, had you shown clearly some consistency and respect like the kind our government expresses about the worries of the French people. Mr. Deputy, I will not do you the insult to remind you of the content of Article 11, which defines on which matters the President may override the Senate and call for a referendum. I will not, these things are in the Constitution. I remind you, that over these very matters, on the same Constitution in 2008, we foresaw the possibility of a referendum on a shared initiative.

Speaker: Order! Quiet!

Mme. Taubira: From 2008 to 2012, your majority did not take the time to submit to the two chambers the "Organic Law" which would have been permitted to fall under the referendum's parameters. In addition, Mr. Deputy, who had for years [done something petty? not sure what she refers to --ROL] undermined respect for the Constitution and due process and democracy--why, what respect you have shown to the Parliament and its rules. This Parliament will entertain and undergo a reasonable debate here, they will take the time to probe their own conscience, and be assured they will decide the right way.

Speaker: Order! Order!

Mme. Taubira: Hear you me: This government shall show respect to the French people who are appalled by the propaganda -- of the phony -- the phony -- the phony statements that you make. We will respect this Parliament and its rules. We will have an animated debate.

Speaker: The floor goes to Mr. Bruno Larue.

The chorus of protesting deputies: Referendum! Referendum! Referendum!

Speaker: Order!

The chorus: Referendum! Referendum! Referendum!

Speaker: Stop this! Look at yourselves! You are making a spectacle of this! I have heard enough. I order you to stop. We will not go on like this. We have to hear each other's points. We will not succumb to theatrics. Mr. Larue, speak.

Larue: Mr. President, how, I ask you, can they claim to defend democracy and act in this way? Take control of this! You were elected to show force! Take control of the debate already! You must not tolerate this infantile chicanery, no, you must take control of the debate! Are you not capable? You do not deserve the respect of the French people if you can't control this.

I'll try to translate these today as well. In this clip, there is more upheaval in Parliament about the bill for gay marriage. One deputy says that invading Mali was undertaken as an emergency, but it is not an emergency to launch a bill for gay marriage and it needs more discussion.

The woman who speaks appeals to women's rights on the topic of women being pushed to "rent their wombs" for gay men.

Translation in Italics:

Sauvadet: Mr. Prime Minister, I am simply here to tell you that we have spoken much about the situation in Mali. On the issue of Mali we are confronted with an emergency and are prepared to act without convening the entire Assembly General. I understand that we must do that in the name of preserving our national unity and our interests. However, I think you are carrying a heavy risk if you continue to push this bill for gay marriage, which necessitates a real debate, and which divides, breaks apart, and afflicts profoundly our countrymen. I do not think simplistically about marriage for all. It comes from lengthy reflect and research on my part. It would deserve in any case a great deal of discussion, like any fundamental matter. We spoke earlier about divergence; now we must look for a convergence instead. Most of all, we must respect those who marched, because after all they bring a message that should be heard.

Speaker: The floor goes now to Mme. Virginie Duby-Muller.

Duby-Muller: Last Sunday, one million people of all ages and opinions and religious creeds paraded in a wholesome manner

Speaker: Order! Order!

Duby-Muller: It was a million, not the 340,000 that you feigned. Note the breadth and depth of this mobilization. They came to defend the institution of marriage that you attack. They came because of the clamor across the nation about this bill. You have already backtracked on the demands of the socialist party for laws authorizing PMA (procreation with medical assistance) [This refers to insemination and surrogacy, which are most controversial of all in France -- ROL] for same-sex couples. However we recognized that this backtrack was nothing more than a tactical expediency. So we saw the many families who love their children, congregating in full force on the Champ de Mars, demonstrating where they stand on the matter. Do not take us for idiots here. The end goal of this bill is the complete dismantling of the family. I turn now to speak to my colleagues in the [leftist] majority. How can you have as the master of thought [I think this refers to an official party position as the one charged with writing out the party agenda--ROL] Mr. Henri Berget, who has declared -- and I quote -- "renting out your womb to make a child, or renting out your arms in a factory -- what is the difference?" All of you who are women and mothers of families, I am left speechless by such an idea. This is leading without debt to gestational surrogacy! We know that's where this is going, and we will say it again and again. Mr. Prime Minister, I throw out an appeal to your faculty of reason. When will you announce the withdrawal of this bill, the cuts at the heart of the French people? When will you do this, which would show your respect for the rights of children -- the only right that matters in this discussion?

In this interview, Laurent Wauquiez derides Hollande's government for its "deceit" and "hypocrisy," because Hollande promised to submit controversial bills to public debate and referendums, but he isn't doing that.