PoliticsHow the popular Primary ended up confusing everyone on...

How the popular Primary ended up confusing everyone on the left


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“To win ecology and social justice in the presidential election, I believe that each of these personalities would be…” This is the question posed this Thursday to some 467,000 registered and enrolled in the popular Primary. For each of the personalities presented (Anna Agueb-Porterie, Anne Hidalgo, Yannick Jadot, Pierre Larrouturou, Charlotte Marchandise, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Christiane Taubira), voters must answer “very well”, “well”, “quite well “, “passable” or “insufficient”. The consequences of the result are currently very uncertain. What we are sure of, on the other hand, is that the popular Primary has changed the situation on the left.

Even though they have always refused to participate, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Yannick Jadot were questioned and re-questioned about the Popular Primary. As the journalists insisted, the criticisms of the rebellious and environmentalists redoubled. Again this weekend, in Bordeaux, Jean-Luc Mélenchon assured that “seventy days from the first round, there are better things to do than an obscure primary (…), obscure tricks to get a rabbit out of the hat”. On the EELV side, the former party leader David Cormand judges that the popular Primary leaves the field open to the far right and protects the candidacy of Emmanuel Macron: “It is a politician and tactician conception of politics, whereas we need to talk about the bottom. »

Change of atmosphere

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The atmosphere was very different, two months ago. At the time, the People’s Primary was like a sermon in the desert. To attract attention, the organizers had decided to hold sit-ins in front of the headquarters of EELV, PS and LFI. The Socialists claimed “not to take the initiative in the wrong eye”, but they did not believe for a second that it could work. In the face of LFI, movement officials were reluctant to engage in discussion with some benevolence, but without a point of view approaching an iota. This pressure was seen as “friendly and sympathetic.” “We have been ignored, ridiculed and now we are being attacked,” said one of the two spokesmen for the People’s Primary, Mathilde Imer, who was aware that political influence is also measured by the power of the shots. of dam.

Now the pressure is not just polls, which – popular Primary organizers have been saying over and over again for weeks – show that 85% of the left-wing electorate wants unity. It is that of 467,000 people registered in an unprecedented process, outside parties and who, even if he emerged from anonymity this last month, did not benefit from the media coverage of the other primaries. A number that cannot be ignored, we want to believe in Christiane Taubira, alleged favorite of the ballot, at a time when “we have political leaders who have the word ‘democracy’ in their mouths 50 times a day, who want all promote civic engagement…”, judge Guillaume Lacroix, the boss of the Radical Left Party.

Thank you Hidalgo?

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Of course, the popular Primary can say thank you to Anne Hidalgo who, to everyone’s surprise, on December 8, decided to join her, before changing her mind a month later. “A good strategic move”, recognized in early January a local PS executive, who also motivated his activists to register. But if the Socialist candidate alone was capable of attracting 400,000 people, her campaign might not be where it is. She probably gave lots of left-wing voters who were a bit lost, if not hope, at least a political bone to gnaw. It would not have existed if the activists of the Popular Primary had not been working there since March 2021.

The famous registered and enrolled in this primary are themselves largely unknown. The sudden surge in registrations (which is reminiscent of that of the environmental primary, with the same provider) has encouraged rumors about the infiltration of the ballot. “We see that Mélenchon and Jadot are in the process of bringing in members to influence the result and present themselves as winners”, would have said a few days ago, according to Politico and Release, the first secretary of the PS, Olivier Faure. Thus, its number 2, Corinne Narassiguin, welcomed the success of the registrations and indicated that she herself would go to vote. But we are far from the well-established strategy: there would be no national guidelines; some federations get people to vote, others don’t. Rémi Féraud, senator from Paris, for example, is not registered and does not “pass on any instructions”. But which left-wing party has the means to infiltrate a poll of half a million people?

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The risk that the popular Primary will be a hit for nothing, and that it will add a candidacy rather than eliminating one, is real. And if, again, the left does not reach the second round of the presidential election, the sequence of the popular Primary will perhaps be only one incident among others of the electoral campaign of 2022. But is- Is this the only way to measure the success or otherwise of the initiative? The political parties, largely discredited for a long time, have just been told for the first time that they are no longer the sole masters of the electoral game. Whether or not there is a tomorrow is no small political event.


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Janice Thomas
Janice Thomas is a content editor at 24 News Recorder. She has 5 years of journalism experience and she he is a graduate of Wittenberg University and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.


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