And if the Yellow Vests finally decided to take root in the political landscape on the first level of representation, that is to say, by establishing itself as a force in French towns and villages, will they succeed?
While the differences within the movement ran deep as they presented lists in the European elections, participation at the municipal level invite more of a consensus.
And for good reason, as the local vote appears more likely to match the DNA of a movement that had gathered disgruntled citizens who intend to take back their political destiny.
Thus, in all corners of the country, the idea has been gaining ground.
In Bagnols, in the Gard, the Yellow Vest Jérôme Jackel for example intends to influence the management of the municipality by setting up a “participatory citizen platform”, he told the media Objectif Gard in early June.
This goal is perfectly in line with the essence of the movement: “Involve the Bagnolais in the development of a municipal project,” he explained.
“Everyone will be able to give their ideas, then we will evaluate the feasibility of the projects and we will retain about twenty for the base of our municipal programme,” he added. Jackel does not necessarily intend to carry forward the project himself. “I’m not going to make the list. The goal is to have a broad spectrum. It will take shape on its own,” he underscored.
In the case of Christophe Chalençon, who had compiled – against the advice of many Yellow Vests – a list for the European elections, his list only received 0.01 percent of the vote.
“With five other citizen movements, we have created a platform to launch a dynamic,” he told French daily Le Figaro. The honorary president of Evolution citizen, says he intends to be a candidate in the village of Sault. Chalençon says the nonpartisan “agoras” or “citizen assemblies” he wants to set up, should be a place for the citizen’s reflection.
The idea of a collaborative platform to discuss local issues has seen a real success in several cities.
In Toulouse, the issue is regularly raised during the General Assembly, as Odile Maurin told RT France.
And if the fact of proposing a list for the mayor’s seat divides the movement, another idea could emerge: the establishment of a Citizen Council that could be in charge of informing mayoral candidates during a campaign, but also challenge the elected after the fact.