World News: France’s Electoral Turnout Projects National Despair

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The low turnout in the second round of municipal elections confirms the disaffection of the electorate for political ballots but reveals a crisis of confidence surfacing throughout the democracy of a country still attached to its libertarian history.

Weariness? Coronavirus crisis?

The reasons likely to explain the low participation rate (40% to 41%) are manifold and are not necessarily confined to those mentioned in the preamble. For several years and several elections, France has shown worrying turnout rates that question the relevance of certain elections in terms of the number of voters mobilized.

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Now, reality prevails. Our democracy, and it is probably not the only one, is sick and no longer appears as the preferred vector of expression for voters who nourish the feeling that public affairs, that the common good and the general interest escape them. for the benefit of a political class considered in turn disconnected from reality.

Some will argue that the Covid-19 crisis is partly responsible for the low rate observed, but, on closer inspection, this pandemic and the ensuing containment were nothing but accelerators, working on it. collective awareness that the system designed no longer met expectations.

Threat and Obsolescence

Too much social and economic inequality, too much slowness and blockage, too much social downgrading or too much impunity towards too many state officials. This explosive situation, which is first reflected in the ballot boxes, naturally forms the bed of populism of all kinds, even if they still have trouble breaking through the glass ceiling that separates it from supreme power. But for how long ?

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However, the threat is there and rumbles at each election like a warning shot that many pretend to hear. Democracy, which claims to be the reign of freedom of expression and thought, is today today experiencing spasms over the course of increasingly violent years.

Does this mean that the democratic model so much praised and so hoped for by peoples for a long time, and for some still, oppressed has become obsolete. Nobody thinks about it because each of us is viscerally attached to the fundamental freedoms that democracy brings, generates, and protects.

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Whim of spoiled children then? Why not? But the excuse seems too crude to be credible. What to do then? Reinventing democracy? Certainly. But how? When? And with who? What will be the new contours of democracy 2.0?

Bankruptcy and Blank Check

No one knows it above all within a humanity which today turns more often to social networks than ballot boxes to express itself.

The bankruptcy of the political, here in its Greek sense of politis, is to be sought at the very heart of institutions which seem to have disappointed a majority of voters convinced that the political world is, at most, only a free electron to the weak influence, in a globalized universe where the individuals reduced to the rank of number and feel crushed by a system which exceeds them.

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So certainly, let us repeat, humanity is capable of the worst as well as the best and to argue that democracy is to be classified in the best is hardly in doubt and is unanimously accepted but unanimity does not mean blank check. Far from it.

Perhaps it would then be time to understand that democracy is not a fixed and immobile fact but that it may also be a fragile clay to work in order to amend it to ensure its sustainability. Engaged in the easy comfort of contemporaneity, Western societies, first to claim to be democratic and, as such, quick to promote it, seem to have forgotten to work for the survival of their own model.


Bio: Olivier Longhi has extensive experience in European history. A seasoned journalist with fifteen years of experience, he is currently professor of history and geography in the Toulouse region of France. He has held a variety of publishing positions, including Head of Agency and Chief of Publishing. A journalist, recognized blogger, editor and editorial project manager, he has trained and managed editorial teams, worked as a journalist for various local radio stations, a press and publishing consultant, and a communications consultant.

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