Élections

Note de veille

Institutions - Société, modes de vie

Les Français délaissent-ils vraiment le vote ?

Les débats sur l’abstention constituent un classique des débuts de soirée électorale. Le plus souvent, on y déplore le comportement d’une partie de la population qui ne fait pas son devoir, sans débattre des causes structurelles du phénomène. Quand on y regarde de plus près, la désaffection reste relative. Le fait de ne pas participer au vote peut signifier beaucoup de choses. Quand l’enjeu est présent, les Français se déplacent. Taux d’abstention au premier tour des ...

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Tribune européenne

Géopolitique - Institutions

The European Union, Peace and Democracy

In May 2019, Europeans, voting to decide which national representatives to send to the European Parliament, turned out in distinctly larger numbers than for previous elections. The turnout was eight points higher than in 2014, taking it up to almost 51%. It is difficult to say precisely what prompted this level of participation, but as Jean-François Drevet shows here, it seems fair to assume that European citizens are beginning to grasp the space of freedom the European Union represents and are keen to commit to it more.

In many ways, the EU does indeed offer genuine guarantees of peace and democracy. The Celtic nations have been able to see this as Brexit has unfolded, the European Union offering them greater scope for development than the United Kingdom. As a general rule, democracy and the rule of law are preconditions for joining the EU. Once they are members, states are expected to continue to conform to these conditions, with European institutions striving to ensure this as best they can. Lastly, though it still has some way to go in terms of common defence and security, the EU has nonetheless managed to maintain peace within its frontiers, while respecting the sovereignty of the peoples that make it up. In view of – even the recent – past of the Old Continent, this is significant and is perhaps beginning to bear fruit.

Note de veille

Institutions

Les présidentielles 2017 vues de la campagne 2012

Futuribles avait conduit un petit exercice collectif d’imagination au moment des élections présidentielles de 2012 [1]. Il s’agissait alors d’envisager les élections présidentielles de 2017. Sept membres du comité de rédaction de la revue avaient bien voulu se prêter au jeu. Celui-ci ne prétend pas à la rigueur des modèles de prévision ni à la technique des scénarios prisée en prospective. Il s’agissait seulement d’évoquer et d’échafauder des possibilités, en fonction de clefs de ...

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Note de veille

Recherche, sciences, techniques - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Présidentielle aux États-Unis : des programmes très divergents

Les candidats à l’élection présidentielle du 8 novembre 2016 aux États-Unis, Hillary Clinton et Donald Trump, proposent deux visions contrastées de l’Amérique et du monde à leurs futurs électeurs. Les questions de politique intérieure (en particulier le chômage, la fiscalité, l’immigration) et étrangère (y compris le commerce extérieur) sont fréquemment évoquées par les deux candidats, souvent en termes généraux et avec des formules à l’emporte-pièce par Donald Trump. Les programmes des deux grands partis (des documents ...

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Revue

Géopolitique

The Future of US Foreign Policy: What are the Presidential Election Candidates Thinking?

In November 2016 it will be up to America’s voters to decide who will take over from Barack Obama in January 2017 as the next president of the USA. Before that date, at their respective primaries, the two main parties on the American political scene –the Democrats and the Republicans– will have to choose the candidate to represent them in the presidential election. In recent years, in a context heavily shaped by economic preoccupations, foreign policy questions have been somewhat on the back-burner. Of the key issues in the campaign, it may be the case, given recent events (such as the increased number of terrorist acts carried out in the name of radical Islamism, including on American soil), that these questions come to play a crucial role once again.

After eight years in which foreign policy has had a less prominent place than under preceding administrations, how are the different contenders positioning themselves? Laurence Nardon, a specialist in US studies at the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), has examined the question and in this article outlines the declared principles of the various candidates, both Democratic and Republican. She reminds us, in particular, of the traditional divisions in this area –interventionism/isolationism, realism/idealism, unilateralism/multilateralism– that might serve to define US foreign policy after the election of the new president.

Tribune européenne

Géopolitique - Institutions - Société, modes de vie

Votes for Non-EU Aliens

For some 30 years now, the question of according voting rights in local elections to non-EU aliens has regularly figured on the French agenda. Though it was one of President François Hollande’s 60 election pledges, the measure has actually been put on hold, since Hollande did not have a sufficient majority to pass the constitutional amendment involved and did not wish, for the moment, to opt for a referendum on the issue.

In this European column, Jean-François Drevet examines what would be involved in granting the vote to non-EU aliens, drawing, in particular, on neighbouring countries such as Belgium and analysing the moves that have already been made in France in the last ten years or so to grant voting rights to foreign EU nationals. He goes on to suggest a third way that might, in the end, ease the path to French acceptance of voting rights for non-EU aliens.

Note de veille

Géopolitique - Institutions

L’Amérique latine suspendue au sort d’Hugo Chávez

Le gouvernement vénézuélien l’assure : Hugo Chávez reviendra sous peu. Hospitalisé depuis le 10 décembre à Cuba suite à une rechute cancéreuse, le chef d’État bolivarien aurait franchi l’étape postopératoire et se préparerait à assumer un nouveau mandat de six ans pour lequel il devait être investi le 10 janvier, après une large réélection trois mois plus tôt. Invérifiable et noyée sous les rumeurs alarmistes de ses opposants, l’information ne résout toujours pas les conjectures entourant l ...

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Forum

Institutions - Société, modes de vie

The French Presidential Election of 2017: Freestyle Foresight Exercises

This novel document, published in an election period that is by its very nature highly centred on the moment, contains a series of seven contributions taken from a collective exercise carried out within the Futuribles editorial board.

In order to remove themselves from immediately topical questions, with the 2012 presidential election in the forefront of current concerns, the members of that editorial board were invited to look five years into the future, to the time around the presidential election of 2017. The aim was to compile a set of observations and projections, and also of expectations for 2012, by drawing on some of the prominent writers on that pluralistic board and the positions and opinions existing within it.

The results are visible here in the diversity of angles and styles. The tone and theme were left to the individual writers: seven visions of the future resulted – each to varying degrees amused, disenchanted or troubled. The time-horizon was sufficiently distant to free the mind, yet sufficiently close to permit reflection on the forms of inertia or change (desirable or to be feared) that may characterize the next five years.

Such an exercise is not easy. It can quickly go out of date (as can be seen from certain underlying decisions in drafts that depend on the precise moment of their composition) and may also veer off into fantasy. And yet foresight has always to blend rigour and imagination. These little exercises offer an interpretation, from a particular angle, of the issues of the day.

Editorial

Institutions

Les bonimenteurs

Les élections présidentielles françaises approchent ; les principaux candidats gesticulent comme des camelots et semblent prêts, pour gagner quelques voix supplémentaires, à promettre tout et son contraire. Leur marketing est affligeant, le vide politique consternant. Comme si l’art du spectacle devenait l’ultime refuge pour se distraire des questions essentielles, celle de la dette et des finances publiques, celles de la compétitivité de l’économie française, de l’emploi et de la cohésion sociale, de l’avenir de la France ...

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Note de veille

Géopolitique

Algérie : Les enjeux et incertitudes du scrutin du 10 mai

C’est le 10 mai prochain que les Algériens se déplaceront aux urnes pour élire une nouvelle Assemblée populaire nationale (APN). Initialement prévue en juin voire pour l’automne, cette élection législative a été annoncée début février par Abdelaziz Bouteflika lors d’un discours radiotélévisé. Le président algérien a précisé que le scrutin se déroulerait en un seul tour tandis que, quelques jours plus tard, un conseil des ministres décidait que le nombre de députés de l’APN passerait de ...

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Note de veille

Géopolitique

Un pouvoir islamiste au Maroc ?

« Le Maroc sera islamiste (sauf miracle….ou petit tour de passe-passe du Palais) ». Tel était le titre de la première page de l’hebdomadaire Telquel (numéro 497) publié au Maroc, la semaine précédant la consultation électorale du 25 novembre 2011. Ce numéro annonçait la victoire probable du Parti de la justice et du développement (PJD) et l’appel par le Roi à son leader Abdelilah Benkirane pour diriger le gouvernement était envisagé. Quelles analyses peut-on faire a posteriori de cette ...

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Note de veille

Géopolitique

L’Égypte, huit mois plus tard… : quelles perspectives politiques ?

Le processus électoral a été entamé en Égypte, le 12 octobre 2011, par l’ouverture des candidatures aux parlementaires. Le processus révèle une réelle complexification du champ politique égyptien et se déroule dans un contexte gouvernemental fortement controversé. Le chaos sécuritaire, la persistance des problèmes sociaux et économiques, et le manque de conscience politique en toile de fond représentent des défis qui alourdissent les doutes sur l’avenir. Un tableau qui mérite cependant d’être nuancé.

Forum

Géopolitique - Institutions

Elections in Turkey: the Issues?

Legislative elections in Turkey will be held in mid-June 2011. In this article Didier Billion and Bastien Alex present the political context, the parties in contention and the main issues involved. They remind us of the process of democratization that has been underway since the AKP (“Justice and Development Party”, the majority Islamic party since 2002) has been in power, against a background of polarizing tensions with the army (which has traditionally underpinned secularism and the Kemalist principles on which the Turkish republic has been based since its creation in 1923). They stress also the weakening of the political role of the military and the deep rootedness of the AKP in Turkish society. And, in spite of the substantial debates driving the electoral campaign (on constitutional reform or the question of membership of the European Union, for example), June’s ballot should, barring surprises, end with the AKP being re-elected as the Turkish government.

It remains to be seen, among other things, whether, on the one hand – given something of a move to the radical right in its discourse and certain actions that pose questions about the respect for human rights within the country – the AKP will continue the process it has initiated for meeting European demands for democratization and, on the other, the Turks will maintain their resolve to join a European Union that is currently trying their patience in the “antechamber” to accession.

Forum

Institutions

2007-2017: What Vision for What Sort of France?

Five years ago, at the time of the French presidential election in 2002, Futuribles drew up a list of twelve major questions facing the country to put to the candidates. What is France's position in 2007? How has the country changed, and - above all -what challenges await the next President?
Michel Drancourt sets out here some of the issues that a future French President must tackle within the next ten years (i.e. two presidential terms). France has changed, he says, and the French, as they choose their future President, must be aware that these changes will continue to occur and that the direction of change lies in their hands. The future government, for its part, will have to convince the public to support what it does, according to Michel Drancourt.
In the end, he argues, how effective the measures to bring about change in France will be depends on how the means available to the country are used. The author lists four: making the most of its human resources, strengthening the European Union, mobilizing the French people and improving management.

Revue

Géopolitique - Société, modes de vie

The French "No" Vote in the Referendum on the European Constitution in May 2005 under the Microscope

A year ago, the debate on the draft European Constitution was in full swing in France ahead of the referendum on 29 May 2005. As we stressed in these pages (n° 307, April 2005), the discussions sometimes strayed a long way from the issues actually raised by the constitutional treaty. At the end of May 2005, the French voted decisively against the Constitution (almost 55% of the votes cast). Was the cause of this rejection genuine disquiet about the text to be voted on or, more generally, grievances about the European Union; or was the referendum simply an opportunity to express other criticisms which had more to do with the political, economic and social situation in France?
To answer this question, Eddy Fougier has analysed and compared a range of polls carried out after the referendum in France, but also in the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Spain (the three other members of the EU that held a referendum about the Constitution). He presents the results of this exercise here, and finds four main categories of reasons for the French "No": punishment of the government in power, anger about unemployment and social insecurity, rejection of economic ultraliberalism, and opposition to EU enlargement (both already achieved and planned) - these last two aspects combining with a certain degree of apprehension about globalization on the part of many in France.

CR table ronde

Institutions

Les perspectives à moyen et à long terme du Brésil au lendemain des élections présidentielles

L'association Futuribles International a demandé au professeur Alfredo Valladao, responsable de la chaire Mercosur à l'Institut d'études politiques de Paris, de fournir des éclairages sur la situation actuelle du Brésil et les marges de manoeuvre de son nouveau président Lula (Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva).

Revue

Institutions

Le vote d’extrême droite en France : adhésion ou protestation ?

The first round of the French presidential elections caused real anxiety: the Far Right, with over 5 million votes (a clear increase compared with the 1995 election), came second, knocking out the Socialist candidate from the second round. How can this result be explained?
Pascal Perrineau starts by recalling that support for the Far Right, in spite of the view of some commentators, has not fallen away in recent years. On the contrary, he stresses that we have seen a considerable increase in abstentions and in votes for both Far Left and Far Right, while the major government coalitions have lost many votes.
For Perrineau, an expert in European extreme Right-wing movements, "the first round of the presidential election was indeed an election composed of 'anti' votes", just as the second round saw a massive rejection of Jean-Marie Le Pen: "the whiff of sulphur that provided his strength in the first (proportional) round, in which all the negative feelings were expressed, became a handicap in the second round".
Pascal Perrineau then analyses the geographical distribution of the support for the Far Right (in eastern and southern France) and the sociological patterns, showing that those who vote for Le Pen are mainly young men with little education, small shopkeepers, unskilled manual workers and the unemployed.
Lastly, Perrineau attempts an investigation of the causes underlying this vote for the Far Right. He notes that, in addition to the specific motives such as the rising levels of petty crime, the return of pessimism about economic and social prospects, and the worries caused by the growth of an "open society", there are also much deeper motives. He argues that a new division is developing in France, beyond the traditional Left-Right split, between people who cling to "closed" attitudes and those whose attitudes are more "open": the former being opposed to, the latter in favour of, European unification, globalisation, the post-industrial society, multiculturalism, etc.
Having thus outlined and explained why the two rounds of this presidential election have been massive rejections, Perrineau stresses that it is urgent "for France to rediscover - beyond these 'negative' political movements that have regularly caused such upheavals for almost ten years now - a kind of political awareness that is more a matter of commitment and reform than a rejection of the status quo".

Forum

Géopolitique - Institutions - Recherche, sciences, techniques

Les élections présidentielles françaises. Douze questions majeures

French voters will be turning out on 21 April and 5 May for the two rounds of an election to choose a new President of the Republic. It is a key position in France since, even if the government, which is elected separately from the President, is responsible for deciding and implementing national policies, and even if the periods of "cohabitation" (with President and parliamentary majority from different parties) have brought some changes (our system is in effect a presidential one).
The campaign has not yet officially begun, nor have all the candidates officially announced they are standing, but there is no doubt that everyone is secretly preparing for the election. There is already, however, a sickening stink arising from various sordid scandals involving several of the contenders, and this does not bode well for the campaign (if it continues to be conducted in the same terms), there is a strong risk that there will not be a proper debate on the major issues affecting the French people in the medium and long term, let alone the policies that may be adopted.
The editorial committee of the journal Futuribles is deeply concerned that the questions that we feel to be critical for the future of the country might be sidestepped in this way. We have therefore decided this month to create a special section in which, without trying to be exhaustive, we examine the candidates' propositions with regard to the issues that we do not want to see dodged. The section therefore raises questions about security and defense policies, energy policy, the issue of sustainable development, policies on innovation, research and education, on employment and measures to cope with the challenges of an ageing population. It also addresses the problems of public services and tax reform, citizenship and types of management, without forgetting, naturally, to quiz the candidates on sleaze.
We are well aware that we can only scratch the surface of these topics. Other issues are just as important and should be on the agenda: what are their policies for health, housing, inequality, the fight against social exclusion and delinquency? What about policies for economic and social development, the environment, science and technology...? The list of major issues facing French society in the short, medium and long term is lengthy. And the state, even if it cannot cope with all of them and even if nobody expects it to produce miracle solutions, has a role to play in tackling them, including to undertake reform of itself and to allow the spirit of enterprise to flourish...

Revue

Institutions

Vive le système électoral américain ?

The United States, which likes to think it is the embodiment of the democratic ideal and "leader of the world", has just been through several weeks of great confusion as a result of the controversies surrounding the outcome of the presidential election.
The press in Europe, especially in France, although concerned to see the world's most powerful nation weakened, has had a field day, as commentators have outdone one another in irony and criticisms of an "outdated, weird, undemocratic and inefficient political system".
Manuel Delamarre and Justin Vaïsse -without ignoring the difficulties involved- show how far the European commentators are wrong to underestimate the special role of law (the judges even more than the lawyers) and federalism in the American system. They then take their analysis a stage further, arguing that ultimately the American electoral system, with its mechanisms for protecting the interests of small states, might well be a model for Europe in the future. Thus, by countering the unjustified and exaggerated criticisms of European commentators, Delamarre and Vaïsse suggest that the way the Americans elect their president could one day be a valuable element in deciding how to choose a president of Europe.

Bibliography

Institutions - Recherche, sciences, techniques

Partis politiques et campagnes à l’heure d’Internet

Le trimestriel de la Net Économie L'Atelier consacre un dossier spécial à l'impact d'Internet sur la vie politique, dans son numéro de l'hiver 2000-2001. À la lumière des campagnes électorales qui se sont déroulées en 2000 aux États-Unis, au Canada et en Grande-Bretagne, Élisabeth Lulin a recensé l'utilisation faite par les partis et les citoyens de ce nouveau média. C'est ainsi que sont présentés tout d'abord les nouveaux instruments à la disposition des ...

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