Skip to Content

President Macron. Wikipedia

Zero interest in Macron’s Great National Debate

The second stage of the Great National Debate in France, known as the "regional citizen conferences", has not aroused the interest of French voters in the least.

Published: March 13, 2019, 12:26 pm

    On March 15 and 16, as well as March 22 and 23, thirteen “regional citizens’ conferences” will be held following the Great National Debate. President Macron has launched a three-month national debate that he hopes will appease the Yellow Vest protesters.

    It was supposed to allow citizens to approach their local mayor about their grievances. Macron claimed that the proposals made during such meetings would help build a new “contract for the nation”.

    Thus, organised over a day and a half, they will be taking place around participatory workshops. But the organisers are currently confronted with a serious problem: The obvious absence of participants.

    The audience was supposed to be ethnically representative of the “sociological diversity” of each region. Some 75 000 French people were invited to share their expectations and their diagnosis on the four themes of the Great National Debate.

    As BFMTV revealed on Wednesday, March 13, 9 out of 10 French participants have declined the invitation. In the offices of the body responsible for drawing the crowds, frantic phone calls are multiplied until the last minute to convince the most reluctant.

    In the hope of attracting as many people as possible, the opinion institute responsible explained that a hotel room will be be reserved and paid for participants who have to travel some distance to take part.

    Finally, for those working on Fridays, a letter from the Great Debate mission will be sent to employers to request leave for their employees. But in several regions like Normandy, the target audience has been revised sharply downward.

    In January, a survey published by French daily Le Figaro showed that 70 percent of French people think the discussions will serve no purpose.

    Macron’s idea of thousands of local meetings is similar to the ill-fated consultation exercise by King Louis XVI in 1789. The king wanted to quell a popular uprising, but instead he kickstarted the French revolution. Four years later he had to face the guillotine.

    On the evening of Tuesday, meanwhile, the French Parliament finally adopted the proposed anti-riot bill, also in the context of the ongoing protests by Yellow Vests.

    As was expected, after a final vote in the Senate, this bill, which limits the right to demonstrate publicly, was adopted by 210 votes to 115 and 18 abstentions. It is now up to the Constitutional Council to look into this law.

    According to RTL, the Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner explained to the Senators that this bill was the way forward.

    Rights activist Jacques Toubon noted: “We will see what the Council will say but it is clear that this provision on the prohibition to demonstrate may seem contradictory to our constitutional principles,” he told RTL. “This text presents a risk of arbitrariness. It would allow the prefect, or the government, to choose its protesters.”

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Are the Ukrainian presidential elections “fake”?

    Finnish journalist Janus Putkonen. Photo: SuppliedThe Finnish journalist Janus Putkonen started an international petition to stop the Ukrainian elections. It is unlikely to succeed, but Putkonen is gathering many supporters. So many, that the platform Chance.org “purged” over night 3,000 signatures.

    Serious fun – Russian pranksters shed light on events in Venezuela

    MoscowTwo Russian pranksters have exposed the greed driving the regime change project against Venezuela by the US State Department in daring phone conversations.

    African sets bus with schoolchildren on fire in Italy

    CremonaA 47-year-old African bus driver was held by Carabinieri police on Wednesday after he hijacked a bus with Italian schoolchildren and set the bus on fire. The Senegalese migrant tied the hands of the children with plastic electrical ties in an attempt to kill them, sources said.

    UK Catholic journalist may face prison for misgendering teenager

    LondonBritish police are currently dedicated to fighting "microaggressions" such as "misgendering" people on social media. Meanwhile, out of the 44 police forces, 42 have recorded a rise in knife crime since 2011.

    Turkish suspect detained in Utrecht terror attack which killed 3

    UtrechtA Turkish suspect wanted for killing three people in Utrecht, in the Netherlands on Monday morning has been arrested. The Dutch national coordinator for counterterrorism called it a "terrorist attack".

    Estonian ethno-conservatives invited to coalition talks after election gains

    Estonia Prime Minister Juri Ratas invited the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), a ethno-conservative political party to be part of the government. The party's identitarian youth wing, Blue Awakening, organises frequent nationalist torchlight marches in Estonia.

    More leftist terror against AfD members

    On the night of Monday, left-wing terrorists attacked the Baden-Württemberg AfD MP Carola Wolle.

    UK Gymnastics force females to share changing rooms with transgenders

    LondonBritish gymnastic clubs have adopted a ruling that female gymnasts of all ages must share their changing facilities and toilets with males who claim to identify as women.

    Soros’ invasion forces

    The Hungarian-American Billionaire George Soros is in the cross hairs of a campaign by the Hungarian government. Is it “antisemitic” to criticize the finance tycoon – or is he a danger for the European continent and the world? The Soros’ sponsored “Project Syndicate” is the pinnacle of Europe’s most notorious enemies.

    US Ambassador threatens Germany with no intel sharing over Huawei

    BerlinThe German government has been warned that it could lose access to American intelligence if purchases 5G wireless equipment from China’s Huawei telecommunications.

    Go to archive