If the referendum on the climate announced by Emmanuel Macron this Monday evening to the members of the Citizen’s Convention for the Climate (CCC) were to see the light of day, after the green light from the Senate and the Assembly, it would be the tenth organized since the beginning of the Fifth Republic. The previous nine resulted in seven positive votes and only two rejections. One way for the executive to revive itself and get the people to approve a measure it is carrying.
While neither Nicolas Sarkozy nor François Hollande have resorted to it, Emmanuel Macron could demonstrate, by resorting to this device, that he was not deaf to the demands of direct democracy vehemently expressed during the vest crisis yellow.
To get out of the trap
But the referendum remains a double-edged sword. General de Gaulle had also preferred to resign after his failure in 1969 on Senate reform. “Do the French respond to the text or to the context? “, Warns Pascal Perrineau, professor at Sciences-Po Paris. And the context is not favorable to the unpopular President of the Republic.
A part of the French who despise him could be tempted by a negative vote, whatever the question asked, in order not to offer him a political gift. Especially since the use of the weapon of the referendum will undoubtedly be denounced by the opposition as a political ability of Emmanuel Macron to extricate himself from the trap of the CCC in which he himself locked himself , ensuring that he would take up his proposals.
Even if most referendums have been approved, sometimes by a very large majority (up to 90.81% of positive votes in 1962 to validate the Evian agreements ending the Algerian war), the rejection of which The political focus in public opinion seems to make a victory of the “yes” today uncertain.
” Since 2005 [NDLR : lorsque les Français ont rejeté à la surprise générale le traité constitutionnel européen], the fear of the referendum is installed ”within the political class, which no longer used it, observes Pascal Perrineau.
Moreover, even when they are approved, referendums do not necessarily mobilize the population very much. In 2000, the reduction of the presidential mandate from seven to five years was admittedly approved by a large majority (73.21%) but with a record abstention rate (69.81%). “A sword in the water”, according to Pascal Perrineau.
Another situation and not the least: the health crisis. “With the Covid crisis, the French are extremely concerned for theirs and do not necessarily have their heads on the environment, observes, not very convinced, the political scientist. An environmental referendum could be seen as missing the mark. “
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr