Until a consensus emerges on how to dress for sittings of the national Assembly, the men will continue to wear the tie and jacket, while women will have a “record of fact”.
On the first day of the resumption of work, the president of the national Assembly François Paradis has felt the need to issue a directive on the clothing of deputies. This issue has raised a debate at the end of the year 2018, while the members of Québec solidaire, Catherine Dorion and Sol Zanetti have served in the blue Room wearing including jeans and sneakers.
Mr. Paradis invited the committee of reflection on the functioning of the national Assembly to take up this issue in order to take a position that will reflect a “broad consensus” in the coming months. At the present time, the Québec national Assembly has no dress code, but asked the elected officials to adopt a “dress”. Mr. Paradis feels that this is not his own, unilaterally, to decide what it wants to say.
In a speech that lasted more than 20 minutes, the president has made a leap into the past, recalling that the latest changes in dress took place in the 1960s at the national Assembly, while the president of the chamber has abandoned the port of the three-cornered hat, gloves, and gowns. He also detailed the reflections and the decisions that have been taken by the various parliament around the world on this issue for which it is necessary to show a “heightened sensitivity” according to him.
“I conceive very well that for some people, their clothing is a way to define themselves and that it is an intrinsic part of their identity and their personality”, he argued. However, clothing should not serve as a medium of expression with, for example, slogans or advertising messages, he warned.
The status quo appeals to QS
Québec solidaire has welcomed the initiative of Mr. Paradis to ensure that the parliament “continues to evolve in tune with our society.” The co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois has, however, clarified that his party adapts well to the framework of dress today, which is rather “fuzzy”, especially for women. “Never, Québec solidaire has made a claim in terms of dress standards.”
Mr. Nadeau-Dubois explained that the members of solidarity are in agreement with the status quo. “You look at our members day-to-day, they are usually in what we might call a dress.”
Without commenting specifically on the manner of dress of Catherine Dorion and Sol Zanetti, Mr. Nadeau-Dubois believes that the domestic uses of the national Assembly, “there is room for originality. And this is what our members do and will continue to do.”