At the request of parliamentarians, deputies and senators, and after consultation with the Constitutional Council, the government had to put in place the collection of signatures in favor of a possible referendum on the privatization of Aéroports de Paris.
The procedure of the referendum of initiative shared (RIP), established in 2008, is activated for the first time, on April 10, 2019: 248 deputies and senators (the law demands at least a fifth of the parliamentarians) of the opposition, communists, rebellious, republican, socialist, submit a bill for the group Aéroports de Paris (ADP) is considered a public service. On May 9, the Constitutional Council judges that the required conditions are respected and fixes the number of necessary supports to 4,717,396. The Ministry of the Interior opens the online platform to collect support for the bill whose collection is open until March 12, 2020 (1)(Referendum.intérieur.gouv.fr).
With modalities such as the first candidates to support the petition, probably the most motivated, have often had to do it several times! How many citizens have given up or will give up during registration?
The signature can be done also in some town halls. In each canton, the most populated municipality has been mandated to register them. It is therefore necessary to sign the petition by internet, either to go to the town hall of the town or to another town hall of the canton !! Additional barriers to support.
This petition is intended to support the organization of a referendum for or against the privatization of ADP. Indeed, if the necessary number of signatories is reached, the National Assembly and the Senate will have six months to consider or not the proposal. If neither chamber examines the text, the President of the Republic must hold a referendum for or against privatization.
But if one or both Houses take the text, whatever they do, there will be no RIP. Given the government’s overwhelming majority in the National Assembly, it will be easy for it to put the proposal on the agenda and block the referendum and popular debate on privatization.
The government’s bad faith is focused on the democratic and political nature of the process. It wants to prevent any possibility of direct decision-making by the French people.
The RIP is a perfect demonstration of the democratic nature of the Republic: it must remain in its constitutional box. With even the intention proclaimed by the candidate Macron to facilitate its use (2). But fiercely attacked by his government and its supports from the announcement of a beginning of procedure: the Republic, at least the representative democracy, would be in danger if one applied a constitutional law put in place by the Parliament and whose procedure is triggered by parliamentarians !!!
If the RIP can not be applied without risk for the representative democracy, it is useless to speak about the RIC, referendum of citizen initiative wanted by the Gilets Jaunes ! The Giets Jaunes (Vests yellow) can not be deluded on the question: the RIC will not see the day …
The bad will of the government is explained. Some of its decisions, automatically endorsed by a National Assembly with orders, could be challenged by a RIP on the initiative of some parliamentarians.
What is much more surprising is the silence of the groups and parliamentarians who are behind this petition.
How many public meetings? How many collectives? How many leaflets? How many posters have been organized, published, broadcast? What made the interest of the 2005 referendum is not only the result, which was despised by parliamentarians. It is above all the popular mobilization which has been of political value and which has allowed the understanding of the Draft European Constitution, and its rejection by very many citizens.
Those who govern have learned the lesson. This profound movement of concrete democracy must not happen again. Politicians and the media have understood that it is easier to amuse voters with policy-related issues like doping with sportsmen or with rivalry between candidates as they do for a sporting event. If the candidate, once elected, does exactly the opposite of what he announced, there is no possible recourse for the fooled citizen.
It is not the same for a text that everyone can read, explain, dissect, publicly or in small groups. And refuse.
French democracy, like many others, is the power given to the oligarchs, the competents. Who know what is good for all. In their eyes, the people are competent to elect, freely, one of their interchangeable candidates. It is no longer able to read, discuss, understand a text and determine essentially according to this text. To vote after a real debate.
Emmanuel Macron does not hide his game. He has shown what he means by A Great National Debate.
The petition launched, the number of signatures obtained can have a considerable impact. It would be a serious political mistake to neglect to participate. It can change the ratio of political forces.
If the signatures are few, it will support Emmanuel Macron in the idea that he has carte blanche to continue his austere policy. Not only the privatization of ADP or any other nuclear company to hydroelectric dams but its liberal policy of destroying the state and social laws. As he already did for the labor code.
A successful petition will not necessarily stop the privatization of ADP. The procedure can be blocked at the level of the National Assembly. But a very large number of signatures, despite the governmental obstacles, will change the balance of power. Already, the battle of the Gilets Jaunes, even if they have not obtained satisfaction on everything – just think of the ISF (wealth tax) or the APL – requires Emmanuel Macron to be less brave and hold his whip …
The petition can show him that he can not always override the will of the people, that he simply has the choice to submit his policy to the judgment of the people that can be done by referendum or by …. new yellow, red, green or rainbow vests …
From this perspective, it is extremely desirable that collectives set themselves up to multiply signatures. The debate is important. It is not about the privatization of ADP alone or …
But on the possibility for citizens to take control of some of the power and to facilitate the realization that we can not leave in place a person who only defends the interests of some! Do not sign the petition, it is not only to take a stand for the privatization of ADP, it is to vote against the practice of the RIP, it is to leave the hands free to Macron.
The result would be terrible for Macron if millions of citizens claimed a real debate. The defeat would be terrible if the 4 million signatures were not obtained regardless of the maneuvers undertaken to limit the mobilization.
If the number of necessary signatures is not obtained, it means a wide avenue open to Emmanuel Macron on privatizations and not only …
The RIP will be able to rest in peace in the texts. The citizens will have been voted out. How will they react? What color will the next vests be?
1 – The citizen who wants to support the petition must, with his identity and elector cards , complete a questionnaire on his civil status. It should mention the information as it is written on his cards including all the first names. The collection officially ends on March 12, 2020 at midnight. For now, the pace of collection of signatures is largely insufficient to obtain the number needed for success. See adprip.fr website
2 – On April 25, President Macron says he wants to « go further » on the RIP « by simplifying the rules, allowing the initiative can come from citizens, a million citizens who would sign a petition and that it can prosper in draft law and if it was not examined by the assemblies, go to the referendum « (L’Express 16/05/19).