Emmanuel Macron hopes to sign for a season 2. For this new presidential campaign, his communications team has posted campaign clips in the form of a Netflix series titled “Emmanuel Macron, the Candidate”. In “Episode 1” the President of the Republic appears up close behind his desk, in a neat staging. He evokes the situation in Ukraine, defends his balance sheet, but does not really outline his program. “By focusing everything on Emmanuel Macron, making him the hero we follow in Netflix’s pop culture, we put everything on his person and we hide the political project”thus of opinion Anne-Claire Ruel, expert in political communication and founder of the Instagram account @callpol_.
Since Emmanuel Macron joined the campaign via a letter to the French, released on March 3, he has distilled a few measures but has not yet revealed his full program. “Patience”, the candidate’s team responds. If all goes well, the detailed project should arrive “next weekend”, said a director of La République en Marche. His team is more likely to call for a deadline of a dozen days. “Everything is changing so much with the international agenda and the Ukrainian crisis, it is impossible to give a date”explains a campaign manager.
If Emmanuel Macron did not get into the campaign by putting the project on the table, it is also for strategic reasons. “There is a matter of pace, the announcement of the program will give rhythm to the campaign, motivation”, explains one LREM manager. Meanwhile, in front of his troops assembled at his campaign headquarters, the candidate has already drawn the outline of his project by proposing “launch three major projects: one for schools, one for health, one for our institutions” and “four pacts: European, productive, generative and republican”†
Behind these broad guidelines that are not very explicit, he so called the “completion of university autonomy”† “the industrialization of the country to meet new challenges” and the goal of making France the first nation “made carbon-free in Europe”† The president also slowly began to announce the first measures, during a carefully prepared meeting with the French in Poissy (Yvelines). Instead of big meetings, the candidate will prefer this kind of format where he answers questions from the audience, illustrating his campaign slogan “With you”. “He is excellent in this exercise, we saw it with the big debate [organisé pendant la crise des gilets jaunes]†welcomes a member of the government.
“He will elaborate his proposals intimately during his talks with the French.”A member of the Republic on the move
In Poissy he managed to call up about fifteen bars. With regard to purchasing power, he therefore wants to continue the tax reductions, in particular the abolition of the audiovisual license fee. It also proposes to introduce a food voucher to combat food insecurity, “a quick measure” to cope with the rise in fuel prices and the extension of support measures in the light of gas and electricity price inflation.
So that “work pays more”, the outgoing president proposes to triple the “Macron bonus” without fees or taxes. And finally, on educational issues, Emmanuel Macron wants a reform of the secondary vocational school, “Experience 30 minutes of exercise” daily in the morning at primary school, give the opportunity for students to practice computer code from 5th grade and “more rewards and more pedagogical freedom for teachers”†
Emmanuel Macron also reserved some announcements for the program “Face aux Françaises”, organized by LCI and Shewhere he promised, in the event of re-election, gender equality once again a “great cause of the quinquennium”† “We have done a lot in this area, but we are well aware that the work is not finished, because we have started from afar”, explains LREM deputy Sacha Houlié. Emmanuel Macron thus proposed to “amount of fine for sexist offenses”the “create file of perpetrators of domestic violence” or even the creation of a specialized judicial center for the reception of female victims of sexist and sexual violence.
The opposition will not fail to point out that all these projects could have been launched in the past five years. “Candidate of Emmanuel Macron tells us: ‘I will do everything I have not done, President.’ But who can still believe it? in particular the candidate LR Valérie Pécresse stabbed. “A lot of things explain that we couldn’t do everything, with obstacles during the five-year term. We have to explain transparently what we didn’t do”replies Sacha Houlié, recalling the crisis of “yellow vests” and the Covid-19 crisis.
The reforms that could not be implemented within the five-year deadline are thus back on the table, starting with the pension reform. In his program, the candidate wants to raise the retirement age to 65 years. The previous project, halted due to the health crisis, provided for a “crucial age” of 64 years. According to the echoes, the president is considering a new, simpler version, abandoning the idea of retirement with points. The new Macron is therefore moving away from Revolution which he advocated in a 2016 essay.
The candidate’s entourage also calls for the reform of the institutions, an area where the balance of the five-year term turns out to be far from the initial ambitions (territorial reform, reduction of the number of parliamentarians, proportional dose, etc.) . A second five-year term could make it possible to: “continue with what you have done and do what you have not done”sums up one member of the majority.
“You have to keep working on many things. On others you have to have some simple and clear ideas.”Emmanuel Macron
during his meeting with French in Poissy
As for the method, Emmanuel Macron also wants change. “I think moving forward also means associating, also during the five-year period and the action, the French women and the French”, launched the president in the campaign in Poissy. In macronistic spheres we already think of a new device halfway through the Ségur de la Santé and the example of the Citizen’s Climate Convention. To associate both citizens and players in the relevant sector on a particular subject. “This participatory democracy could be used, for example, to reflect on the issue of the end of life”says one LREM deputy.
Even if he trusts his balance sheet, Emmanuel Macron will therefore try to reinvent himself. Five years ago, to win, the former economy minister had bet on disruption, overcoming the left-right divide, modernizing France. The presidential candidate does not intend to deny his DNA, but he will also be able to bet on the continuity of his action and put on the costume of the father of the nation who protects the French in multiple crises. “Continuity is not the end of reforms”, his team warns. So the president wants to make proposals “disruptive” every time he raises his candidate cap, such as the abolition of the audiovisual license fee.
By remaining president “until the last quarter”according to his formula, Emmanuel Macron will have to juggle between four agendas, his campaign team explains: “That of President of the Republic, that of Chief of the Armed Forces, that of President of the Council of the European Union and finally that of Candidate”†
“I’ll be president (…) as much as I have to, but I’ll be a candidate when I can.”Emmanuel Macron
during his meeting with French in Poissy
With the Ukrainian crisis, the outgoing president, who stepped into the campaign at the last minute, now seems to want to put himself above the fray. He has already announced that he will not participate in any debate with the other candidates for the first round. “Out of the 120 minutes of debate there would be 110 minutes against Macron and he would have 10 minutes to react, it would be unbalanced”justifies those around him. “He cannot consult with Poutine, then immediately afterwards with Poutou”slips Renaud Muselier, the president of the Paca region, who has just acceded to the president.
The fact remains that less than 30 days before the first round of the presidential election, the absence of debate coupled with the lack of a poll favorite program is numbing this presidential campaign. The head of state’s entourage understood that the project would not be voted on.
“In 2017, the program was a matter of credibility. This year Emmanuel Macron is not judged on that, but more on the incarnation, on his person.”A member of the Republic on the move
The result of the war in Ukraine reassures Emmanuel Macron and can therefore bet on his image. According to a recent poll by the Ipsos Institute, the majority of Macronist voters (55%) want to vote for him “because they trust him”at only 32% “because he is close to their ideas”† “These are image characteristics that motivate the vote, but the adhesion, the ideological mood happens with other candidates, such as Mélenchon and Zemmour”confirm Anne Claire Ruel.
The political communication teacher is concerned about the lack of dialogue in this campaign. “In a society where we talk less and less with each other, every candidate is on his path and we don’t see the time of pool coming”she believes. “In the case of re-election, I fear a ‘burnout’ presidency, because normally the campaigns are times of democratic breath, which make it possible to raise the stakes, to chart a course…”
“It’s not the president’s fault if the other candidates don’t stimulate ideas”, his team replies. Without debate about social projects and with a short campaign, the risk for Emmanuel Macron is to go to a “renewal” more than one “re-election”warns in The world Brice Teinturier, Deputy CEO of Ipsos, “with great potential weakness for the remainder of his term”†