The great national debate can be a success if it succeeds in establishing a new relationship between state and mayors, between citizens and their representatives. Despite all the uncertainties, some people want to believe it.
"How to overcome the stalemate?" This is the question that The cross On 20 November, right at the start of the mobilization of yellow jackets, asked Pascal Perrineau, professor at the Sciences-Po university. "The only representatives who are the object of a majority trust are the mayors (…) they know well the yellow jackets of their municipalities ", he recalled the political scientist, believing soon that they "It would be for the power on the spot a basis to try to get out of repeated crises".
Emmanuel Macron appeals to the "trust" of the French
This is precisely the challenge launched by Emmanuel Macron calling the mayors to occupy a central place in the still vague organization of the "great national debate". If this allows you to respond, albeit slightly, to the wear and tear expressed by most of the local elected representatives, the operation will already be partly successful. "It can help to restore a place for mayors who have been very abused for two years by power, confirms Pascal Perrineau today. To rebound, the government must recognize that it has gone astray and start a new act of decentralization. A kind of great permanent national debate?
The mayors of France, from 24 to 96 years
Rides to the municipalities
"From now on, the dialogue with local elected representatives will not be the same, the mayors are a social reserve, they realize it up there!" he wants to believe in Philippe Geslan, mayor of Mericourt (Yvelines). The elected representative of this village of 419 inhabitants certainly expresses some concerns: "We do not want to be the rural guarantor of the President of the Republic." But he judges "Healthy" the initiative of the executive. "If the government had not done anything, it would have been criticized, we all want to get out of the rut in which we are bogged down."
Even the elected local official took matters into his own hands. After meeting with the mayors of the area, he met "Moderate yellow gilet" of the region, making available to them the hall of the village of its municipality. Even before beginning, the big debate seems to give a new picture to the relationships between yellow and elected jackets. And a prospect: pass roundabout exchanges to the municipalities.
Debates before the debate
Deborah Tatarkovic, 32, is one of the yellow jackets that made contact with Philippe Geslan. This unemployed nurse is the initiative of a working group on the citizens' initiative referendum (RIC). She is not waiting "Anything" from the government, "And policies in general". For her, Emmanuel Macron will only bring "Margin changes, such as white voting or even limited RIC" without possibility of "Propose budgetary laws or revoke elected officials".
What is the referendum for the citizens' initiative?
On the other hand, you appreciate the attitude of some mayors, "Those who prefer what we do" and help them find clubs, for example. "The mayor of my municipality has also offered to take part in the public meetings he organizes, I'm thinking of going there, this will be an opportunity to see how things are going and to inform people about the ICN."
Objective of the debates
It is, for Deborah Tatarkovic, the number one goal of these exchanges: "Inform and convince as many people as possible." The mayor Philippe Geslan has the same ambition: "Put everyone on the same level of information", a condition sine qua non for the debate. All testify to the desire not to remain among them, between yellow jackets or anti-yellow jackets, but instead of discussing together. "And yet, media or social networks interposed", I hope the mayor of a small town.
"The big debate will be an opportunity to put everything on the table, to objectify the arguments"says Patrick Mignola, head of the MoDem deputies at the National Assembly. He also sees the opportunity "Drawing on a new democratic legitimacy".
"Today, it is a mistake to think that voters will sign a blank check for five years – representative democracy must be based on direct democracy – of course we have to put the referendum of the popular initiative on the table to balance the powers." With this precaution, however, emphasizes the election of Savoy: "The alternative is not the tyranny of minorities."
The organization of the great national debate
The local meeting of the "national debate" will open on Tuesday, January 15th. For the occasion, Emmanuel Macron will visit Eure, Grand Bourgtherould, where he will meet "a hundred mayors", according to Elysee. He should also visit the Lot on January 18th.
The President of the Republic also sent a letter to the French on Sunday evening, January 13, as he announced during his votes for 2019.
Prime Minister Édouard Philippe also announced on Monday 14 January the names of the successors of Chantal Jouanno, president of the National Commission of the public debate, who withdrew last week to lead this great debate. The Secretary of State to the Minister of Ecological Transition Emmanuelle Wargon and the minister responsible for territorial communities Sébastien Lecornu have the task of monitoring this great debate.