In the run-up to the 2020 municipal elections, the Yellow Vests intend to influence the vote by highly and loudly claiming their demands at the local level. Without necessarily being a question of presenting a list.
What if the Yellow Vests finally decided to take root in the political landscape from the first level, i.e., to implant themselves in French towns and villages? While the differences within the movement were deep as to the relevance of presenting lists in the European elections, participation – in one way or another – in the municipal government seems to be more of a consensus.
And for good reason, the local vote appears indeed more likely to stick to the DNA of a movement gathering citizens who intend to take back their political destiny. Thus, in all corners of the country, the idea is gaining ground in various forms.
In Bagnols, in Gard, the Yellow Vest Jérôme Jackel, for example, intends to influence the management of the municipality by setting up a “participatory citizen platform”, as he confided in early June to the media Objectif Gard. With a goal perfectly in line with the essence of the movement: “Involve the Bagneux residents in the development of a municipal project”. “Everyone will be able to give their ideas, then we will evaluate the feasibility of the projects and we will retain about 20, the base of our municipal program,” he explains. Very distrustful of the representation, just as the movement is, Jérôme Jackel does not necessarily intend to carry the project himself. “I’m not going to make the list. The goal is to have a broad spectrum. It will shape itself,” he said.
Others, among the most publicised – and controversial – of the movement, do not hesitate to take the reins of a list. This is the case of Christophe Chalençon, who had already taken, against the advice of many Yellow Vests, a list in the European elections, finally credited with 0.01% of the vote. “With five other citizen movements, we have created a platform to launch a dynamic,” said the honorary president of Evolution citizen in the columns of Le Figaro. If he intends to be a candidate in the village of Sault, Christophe Chalençon does not forget, with the non-partisan “agoras” or “citizen assemblies” he wants to set up, to leave a place for the citizen in his thinking.
The idea of a collaborative platform to discuss local issues is also 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 divides within the movement, another idea could emerge: the establishment of a Citizens’ Council, which would be in charge of bringing demands to candidates for mayor at the time of the campaign, but also to challenge the elected after the fact.