François Bayrou, president of the Modem and main ally of the president, has embarked on a fight for the establishment of proportionality in the legislative elections of 2022 – “a democratic and moral obligation”. After making public the letter sent to Emmanuel Macron to keep his campaign commitment, François Bayrou explains to the Parisian why proportionality is in his eyes the first response to the crisis of representativeness of our democracy. High Commissioner for Planning, he also calls for “a Marshall Plan as post-war” and considers that the recovery plan is only a first step, necessary, but insufficient.
You wrote to Emmanuel Macron to ask him to introduce proportionality in the legislative elections of 2022. How is it possible to adopt it before June 2021?
FRANÇOIS BAYROU. Before asking how this is possible, let us remember that it is a democratic and moral obligation. Our democracy is blocked, the French adhere to it less and less. Millions of voters are not represented in Parliament because their vote goes to minority parties. It is an unacceptable injustice. It causes citizens to turn away from elections. And afterwards, when they do not agree, they have only one way out: the blockage, the demonstration, paralysis and often violence. If we had decisions taken and respected, citizen support, appropriate participation, we could say: It’s not fair, but at least it’s effective. However, it is the opposite. We can’t go on like this. So we wrote to the President, with all the leaders of all favorable currents, from one end of the political spectrum to the other. It is an unprecedented step.
Do you know his answer?
There is one thing of which I am sure is that the President of the Republic has been taking this debate seriously for a long time. By his function, he is the guarantor of the institutions. He knows that the defense of “pluralism” and “fairness” is guaranteed by the Constitution.
Some people oppose you that this would bring a hundred RN deputies into the Assembly …
If there are enough votes for these parliamentarians to be elected, it is because there are voters. But for me, their voice is worth that of a voter LREM, Modem, LR, PS, ecologist or rebellious. There is no reason why they cannot be represented. Then there is the political confrontation and that is where the fight must be carried out. For me, I do not miss it.
If it was not established for 2022, would you see it as a questioning of your pact with Emmanuel Macron?
I am not going into this battle to lose it. The joint expression of the majority of French political currents, on a commitment from the President of the Republic, and on which he has been thinking for a long time, it is an event sufficiently rare to change the situation. This approach represents, by far, a majority of French people.
The MoDem proposes to introduce postal voting. Do you regret that the executive does not take this proposal?
There are a hundred million American voters who have just voted by mail! Ditto in Germany or Switzerland. But in France, there is a kind of general inertia, in the government and in the opposition! We promise, and then we say: “It’s complicated, now is not the time, public opinion is not interested in that, we will do that next time” … And then, we do nothing. It is hopeless, exasperating and for me unacceptable.
After almost a year of health crisis, is the country at its end?
I don’t feel it like that, not at all. The seriousness of the French cannot be denied, and their hope is in the vaccine. The President of the Republic, in trying to avoid confinement, made a very courageous decision. People were happy about it. They say: “He does what he can”. It is a very precious feeling.
How do you explain that France is not in the race to develop vaccines?
French laboratories, for the moment, have not won the race. But two out of the three winning laboratories are run by French expatriates. It is striking. It has been twenty years that we see researchers leaving, in the United States in particular. This question of the place of research in France will require courageous answers.
What conclusions do you draw from your first five months as High Commissioner for Planning?
France absolutely needs to embark on a reconquest. Reconquest of its productive apparatus, reconquest of research, reconquest of its vitality, of its training. Whatever area we approach, we find the idea that France is not armed as it should be. More seriously still, there is this feeling that France is downgraded and that nothing can be done about it. It is the result of twenty years of abuses, of general fatalism. This fatalism is the enemy! The next elections should make it possible to present courageous decisions to the French so that we can regain our place in the concert of nations.
Have you already identified any proposals?
Debt must help rebuild. We must support all the country’s forces, from businesses to families, in the war on the epidemic front. And we need a plan of reconquest, a Marshall plan, as after the war. This plan will require a new investment capacity from the State. Access to interest-free borrowing is an unprecedented opportunity. But to pretend for convenience that she will never be reimbursed would be an extreme imprudence. The Planning Commission will propose an approach as of next week.
But doesn’t this Marshall Plan already exist with the recovery plan?
The recovery plan is precious. It supports the fragile sectors of our country, it selects sectors of the future to support. But he does not exhaust the subject. We must now identify and address the causes of our national weaknesses, and strive to reconquer entire sectors from which we have disappeared for no reason or in which we are weakened.
Do you want agreements in regional elections with the outgoing presidents when the Modem governs with them?
When you are one of the two founding pillars of the presidential majority, you respect this alliance and you ensure that you are respected in the alliance. I will not break the essential solidarities simply for bargaining.
In Ile-de-France, who should be at the top of the list? Jean-Noël Barrot or Laurent Saint-Martin?
They are two young politicians of quality. I propose that this generation sets aside personal rivalries.
The Modem pleads for a large integration plan, as a counterpart to the separatism bill. Are you worried about the government’s delay on this point?
An integration plan today is about investing in people rather than in concrete. Everyone, wherever they are and wherever they come from, must find hope for real recognition and a future: entry into employment, demanding school, support and presence.
The 4D law, decentralization, deconcentration, differentiation and decomplexification, is threatened. Should it be included in the parliamentary calendar?
This text, which finally creates flexibility in relations between the State and local authorities, between the State and the field, would benefit from examining it without delay.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr