Not so easy to build a different party. This Saturday, July 8 at the Paris Event Center (XIXth arrondissement), the question of the structuring of the movement founded by Emmanuel Macron will have occupied most of the interventions, during the first convention of La République en Marche (LREM). “Modernity”, “openness” and “renewal”, repeated most speakers. On reading the outline of future statutes of the party, presented on the sidelines of the convention, it seems undeniable that the Macronist party is moving towards a new model. Model which will not shine by its internal voting devices. By dint of wanting to stand out from other political formations, LREM is on the contrary on the way to becoming the party… the least democratic in France.
If the members will vote to approve these statutes by July 30, they will then no longer have any influence on the decisions within the movement. Of course, these 373.000 activists will have a role, but it will be anything but central. They can, for example, enter the executive office of “any useful information for the organization and the life of the movement“, but not impose a position. A certain number of members will join the Board, presented in the statutes as the “Parliament of the Republic in March“, after being drawn, but these activists will constitute only 20% of the members of the body. For the rest, if the statutes specify that “The Republic on the move belongs to its members“, the internal procedures will not often give them the opportunity to express themselves.
Elected officials will have control over all decisions
For the rest, parliamentarians will have control. With the party's local elected representatives and the territorial referents, 110 in number, they will form 80% of the Council. Suffice to say that the 308 deputies and 25 Macronist senators will probably have an absolute majority within the body and will thus be able to impose their point of view, if they wish. This is a good thing since the Council will control all the important authorities of the party, in an organization in the form of Russian dolls, where each college fits into another. The leader(s)? Appointed by the Council. The investiture committee, responsible for selecting the candidates for the elections? Appointed by the Executive Board, itself… appointed by the Council.
As for the territorial referents of Emmanuel Macron's movement, they will not be elected either but appointed by the management of LREM. Contacted, the entourage of Catherine Barbaroux, the interim president of En Marche, assumes a desire to favor the effectiveness of the movement over internal elections which could give rise to misplaced ambitions: “By observing the functioning of other parties, we realized that the more positions you create, the more you risk creating ambitions that are not necessarily geared towards the interests of the movement. We want to avoid that“. Arnaud Leroy, ex-deputy tipped to join the collegiate management, wants to be more direct: “We don't want local baronies and rivalries where the success of one depends on the failure of the other, as was the case at the PS".
“More weight than electing a first secretary”
This type of operation is in any case a curiosity in France, where most parties remain organized around the principle of internal democracy. In the Socialist Party, the Republicans or the National Front, the legitimacy of the leader of the party thus proceeds from his election by the militants. In recent years, the organization of primaries at PS, LR or EELV has accentuated the phenomenon. At the PS, we even vote for each internal designation: all the candidates for the legislative elections have been dubbed by the militants of their constituency. Something unthinkable in the macronist party, the objective of parity requires. “If the candidates were elected, many more men would run“, notes a framework of the movement.
LREM appears impervious to this culture of the election: the only head to (clearly) exceed will remain that of the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron. At the direction of LREM, however, we want to believe that this absence of internal democracy will not prevent the debates: “With their power to escalate issues, members will ultimately have much more leverage than they would have had by electing a first secretary every two years.".
Finally, the party whose functioning comes closest to that of La République en Marche could well be… the insubordinate France of Jean-Luc Mélenchon. We find in both organizations the same absence of internal elections and the same centralization candidate nominations. Among Jean-Luc Mélenchon's supporters, this type of procedure is intended to be transitional, however, since rebellious France is not currently structured in the form of a party. At the Left Party, the formation previously created by the MP for Marseille, members can vote for each internal appointment, but also… dismiss the leaders. Not really the En Marche philosophy.
Source: © Macron's party is about to become... the least democratic in France!