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Documentos > Violación de derechos democráticos > Spontaneous citizen's groups, an indicator of a democratic deficit

Spontaneous citizen's groups,
an indicator of a democratic deficit

SIFÉE - Yaoundé 2011Presentation
Annual symposium of the SIFÉE
(Secrétariat international francophone pour l'évaluation environnementale)
September 2011, Yaoundé

Mireille Bonin, Québec
Terre citoyenne (

Keywords: citizens; development model; Hydro-Québec; progress; growth; wind energy model; measurement

Abstract: Citizens rise spontaneously when projects are forced upon their territory and affect their sense of belonging to their area. This defensive outcry is an indication of a democratic deficit and shows that the citizens have the feeling of not having been heard. The spontaneous forming of citizens’ groups over the past 3 years in Quebec, in the energy file, also indicates that the development model needs to be revisited. In fact, not only does the energy model need to be reviewed, but the entire development model as well, so as to provide a cost/benefit analysis of the projects, taking into account not only their economic component, but all of their components, and measuring them on an equal footing. Growth is not necessarily synonymous with progress, and the GDP in isolation cannot be used as a decision-making tool. Citizens also demand an independent institution to evaluate these projects, because as things now stand, they feel abandoned by their institutions.

This text may be quoted with explicit mention of the author (surname, first name) and the full reference, as follows:

Mireille BONIN, Spontaneous citizen’s groups, an indicator of a democratic deficit, presentation given at the annual symposium of the Secrétariat international francophone pour l’évaluation environnementale (SIFÉE), Yaoundé (Cameroon), September 2011, 6 p., (

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