Emmanuel Macron and the referendum weapon | EUROtoday

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Y at all times assume, by no means activate it. Among the vary of devices accessible to the President of the Republic, and he alone, is in fact the weapon of the referendum. Since his first election in 2017, Emmanuel Macron has repeatedly expressed the thought of ​​utilizing it, significantly on the time of the Yellow Vest disaster, however with out ever placing his cash the place his mouth is. He sees the referendum as a software of direct democracy, however one which should be used with warning, and taking care by no means to weaken consultant democracy.

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The Head of State raised the potential for consulting voters on the inclusion of the battle in opposition to local weather change within the Constitution, on a reform of establishments, on the top of land rights in Mayotte and even on the contested reform of the voters in New Caledonia. The oppositions, on the fitting and the far proper, have known as for a referendum on immigration. Impossible to arrange in response to the present phrases of the Constitution (article 11), which restrict its scope to the group of public authorities, to the financial, social or environmental coverage of the nation.

READ ALSO The French, champions of Euroscepticism By summoning the leaders of the political events – the “Saint-Denis meetings” – the tenant of the Élysée had opened the best way to an extension of the referendum to social points. Immigration is one among them, but in addition the query of the top of life, presently debated in Parliament. But as a consequence of lack of consensus, the thought was shortly deserted.

“Allure and panache”

Emmanuel Macron, who campaigned in 2017 on democratic renewal, has since left the undertaking of institutional reform fallow. Introduction of a dose of proportionality in legislative elections, discount within the variety of parliamentarians… These initiatives have largely been relegated to the background. Guarantor of the unity of the nation, the president is conscious that the hole is rising ever wider between those that govern and people who are ruled. And that the French aspire to be extra concerned in political decision-making.

It is on this context, and within the hope of relaunching a sluggish mandate, that the referendum speculation resurfaces. “It’s been years since there was a referendum in France! It would have style and panache,” agrees an advisor to the manager, who imagines a session on a reform of the establishments and even on the budgetary debate, with a view to the arduous adoption which looms firstly of the varsity yr. a finance invoice with drastic financial savings.

Referendum with drawers

Just a few months in the past, Minister Christophe Béchu had already pushed the thought to the Élysée. The former mayor of Angers imagined a session masking a number of various points, such because the legalization of hashish or ecological measures. The president has obtained notes from a few of his strategists alongside the identical strains in latest days. “We want a referendum, organized firstly of the varsity yr. Ask the French 10 or 12 multiple-choice questions. Thus, you may have a brand new governance program validated by the individuals for the top of the mandate, and also you emerge stronger, since you rely immediately on the nation and never on a political equipment with a view to a hypothetical coalition”, explains to the Point a regular at the palaces of the Republic. The referendum would thus have the advantage of bypassing opposition in Parliament and making up for the lack of a majority. Difficult to stand up against measures that would have been validated by the verdict of the ballot box…

Supporters of the referendum agree on one criterion: that of avoiding at all costs the referendum asking a question to which voters would answer “yes” or “no”. In this case, and in a climate of distrust towards Emmanuel Macron, the weapon would then risk returning to him like a boomerang. The temptation would be great for the president's opponents to make it a referendum for or against him. “It’s the most dangerous thing. And that’s why I don’t see how we could win a referendum,” grimaced someone close to the head of state. Because even in the event of a consultation proposing a full proportional vote in the legislative elections, defended by Marine Le Pen, “the National Rally would risk doing it the other way around”.

The European elections come at a pivotal second for Emmanuel Macron, on the eve of a high-risk budgetary semester and as he enters the ultimate a part of his second five-year time period. Opinion surveys converge and present an erosion of his voters, anticipating a poor efficiency from his camp on the polls. If he desires to flee the curse of second phrases and proceed to control whereas reforming, the president should discover the capability to bounce again. Will he take an initiative? Before this deadline, “Le Point” opinions the political and institutional choices accessible to the Head of State.

Episode 1. Emmanuel Macron and The Republicans: in the direction of a wedding somehow?

Episode 2. Emmanuel Macron going through the specter of dissolution

Episode 3. Emmanuel Macron and the temptation of a reshuffle