France has a serious democratic deficit. This is why we should all be worried. - commentaires France has a serious democratic deficit. This is why we should all be worried. 2022-07-19T23:19:29Z 2022-07-19T23:19:29Z <blockquote class="spip"> <p>“Don't get me wrong. France is a great country to live in, a democracy where elections are free and fair, and where the public space is relatively dynamic.”</p> </blockquote> <p>This article points to a real problem, but I believe that the diagnostic is underrated : the French political system does not have a cold, it is an almost entirely rotten body.</p> <blockquote class="spip"> <p>“France is a great country to live in.”</p> </blockquote> <p>France is a <i>hard</i> country to live in for many people and this has only intensified in recent years, the last time the working/middle class was a little defended was in 1997–2002, it has continuously become poorer since then, working conditions have strongly deteriorated. The working class now almost entirely votes for Marine le Pen or does not vote.</p> <blockquote class="spip"> <p>“Elections are free and fair.”</p> </blockquote> <p>It has become increasingly harder to gather the necessary signatures from mayors to apply for presidency since signatures were made public. Marine le Pen and Jean-Luc Mélenchon almost could not get their signatures when 45% of those who voted voted for them.</p> <p>Parties do not receive money from the amount of members they represent but from the amount of votes they got at the last election. This destroyed political parties and favors politicians in power.</p> <p>With less than 20% of popular support, Emmanuel Macron has almost all the power and needs to make very little compromises.</p> <blockquote class="spip"> <p>“The public space is relatively dynamic.”</p> </blockquote> <p>Media outlets have gone fully concentrated in the hands of a few billionaires that are all close to the government. In Russia the same phenomenon has a name : oligarchs. No TV channel represents the voice of the opposition. Almost no radio does. Only a few small independent newspapers and internet news outlets do.</p> <p>I could go on and on… I would simply add that France has never been a functioning democracy. In 1944–1958, and 1981–2002 things were not as terrible as they were the rest of the time but the democracy in France cannot be compared in any way to Switzerland, Benelux, Ireland or the Nordic countries, its institutions are very undemocratic, corrupted, and immature, like the UK, Spain, Italy or Germany which lies in between.</p> <p>The French political system has reached an all time low and is, slowly but surely, dangerously sliding towards Russia, the question is not if it is going to implode but when and how.</p> <p>A further note where I believe the analysis was wrong and where it is very important to insist : the Yellow Vests movement was only <i>sparked</i> by a new tax but it quickly gathered an incredible amount of social demands. After three weeks, the main demand became the democratic civic rights of <strong>initative</strong>, <strong>referendum</strong> and <strong>recall</strong> inspired from Switzerland. <strong>The Yellow vests movement was primarily a populist civic right / pro-democracy movement !</strong> A direct response to the crisis of democracy in which France is today.</p>