Municipalities: the second round advances masked

Many questions remain open for this ballot of 28 June 2020, which concerns some 4,800 municipalities in France. Will democracy come out of it greater? Not so sure…

So it’ll be June 28th if… everything’s okay. More than 100 days after the first round of municipal elections, on March 15, 2020, during which 30,143 municipal councils were renewed under the conditions we know (a record abstention rate of 55.36%) the voters of 4,824 municipalities will return to the polls to elect their municipal councillors but also representatives of the deliberative assemblies of the 1,288 EPCIs. This represents about 60% of the electorate, 78% of the population and 75% of the public order. Those are the figures.

Nothing planned for the moment

The fact remains that this second round will be like no other. Both voters and scrutineers will be required to wear protective masks. And for those who don’t? No plans at this time. Safety distances (pompously referred to as “social distancing”) will also have to be respected. Please bring your pen to sign the registers. Of course, there will be no question of chatting among citizens at the polling stations, or squeezing a ladle between friends or neighbours. You will enter through one door and leave as quickly as possible through another, when possible, after having fulfilled your duty in front of Marianne’s portrait.
Another novelty: the election campaign will be reduced to its simplest expression. No question of playing toca manotte in the markets to sell your salads. Meetings of more than 10 people are still forbidden.
This also means that the lists of more candidates (almost all of them) will not be able to meet until the final lifting of the confinement.
In order to campaign, candidates will have to publicize their programs via the media: newspapers (print or web) and social networks. What about those who don’t have a computer or don’t know how to communicate via social networks, i.e. mainly the elderly? Nothing is planned. Hello democracy according to Macron/Philippe.

The political offer has changed

As for the lists of candidates who will stand for election by their fellow citizens, they will not necessarily be the same as those of the first round, three and a half months earlier. For the world has changed in 104 days. The Chinese coronavirus has been there. We know that it has carried away nearly 30,000 French people, including a number of candidates for the municipal elections. The lists will therefore be modified. The political offer is no longer the same as it was on 15 March. How, under these conditions, can he confirm or inform his choice of the first round?
Finally, the electorate itself has changed between early spring and early summer 2020: deaths, illnesses, relocations …
In short, this second round holds many surprises that take us away from our idea of democracy. The first round was, in the very opinion of the candidate of the Republic on March in Paris, Agnès Buzyn “a masquerade”. The second round, masked, could resemble the most beautiful carnivals ever organized by our beautiful Republic.