Within five months of the municipal election, the publication of a direct number to “send a message” to Mayor Valerie Plante caused a lot of talk. Criticized by some, supported by others, the approach is no different from a petition, which is based on a “voluntary basis” that assures his cabinet that it will deal with the demands.
“Our primary goal is to have a real conversation with the Montrealists. Historically, during campaigns, one of the best ways to reach people has been through hard lines.
According to him, the purpose of this initiative is to allow citizens to “send proposals” or “send ideas”, but that will never change the Montreal 311 service. Therefore, any news related to services such as municipal waste, waste collection, for example, will not be treated.
The release of this number, which has been praised by many Internet users, seemed to worry some voters that it was another disguised way of “collecting phone numbers and collections for elections.” They feared that others would be “demanded and harassed throughout the campaign.”
The mayor’s office responds that “it is no different from an online petition where everyone can enter their contact details, address, postal code or phone number”.
“It simply came to our notice then. We did not purchase a list of cell phone numbers. If people are not happy, they can drop the number and go to another call. On our side, we are not going to start bombarding the world with news, ”he said. Amane assures us.
The project is new in the metropolis. In fact, a Montreal city councilor has never used this approach before. However, this has already been done in Quebec and Canada.
In July, Ontario Premier Duck Ford canceled his cell phone number after his line was drowned out by calls from citizens and lobby groups. The chosen one got into the habit of giving this number to some people in the field and wanted to get closer with them. “It breaks my heart,” Ford said at the time. Rob (his brother, the former mayor of Toronto) and I are among the many people who helped with this phone. Too bad. However, elected representatives of the opposition, when questioned by the administration, condemned the removal of the tax.
There is a risk, says one expert
According to Daniel Pilot, an expert in metropolitan and municipal administration at UQAM, “By publishing a number like this, it’s hard to imagine that the mayor’s office will not receive all kinds of news at once.” “She is accessible to herself, but at the same time, there will inevitably be individuals who transgress the limits. The danger is to confuse the message and invalidate any radical directions that may result,” he said.
According to the expert, the move is above all aimed at “retaining customers who want to get involved”. “Five months before the election, Valerie Plante must mobilize her electorate. All of this is aimed at mobilizing its historic base, or even in a way reorganizing its conduct,” he said.Me The pilot who mentions that he is especially wanted by young people and political activists.
“Having said this, I personally have my doubts. I do not know that it is much better to judge by direct communication than by judging by referendum. I do not know whether we will take into account what is truly represented by such initiatives,” he concludes.