Listen to this article :


As the presidential campaign draws to a close, criticism is pouring in from all quarters about the lack of serious debate between all the candidates, and almost everyone agrees that the candidate president is responsible. To the point, for some, of questioning the legitimacy of his possible re-election.

In fact, it is true that Emmanuel Macron declared himself very late, that he made his programme known only three weeks before the first round, and that he plans to make only one real meeting before this same appointment; everything seems to suggest that the President has the greatest difficulty in donning the clothes of a candidate.

However, this accusation is rather unfair: first of all, because the current president has not delayed his candidacy any more than his predecessors; secondly, because he found himself caught up in an extremely serious international crisis that could not but monopolise his attention, in the interest of the country; and thirdly, because the entire political and media class also bears a very large share of the responsibility for this democratic fiasco: all of them could have, in fact, for at least a year, put themselves in battle order, proposed programmes and debated among themselves, and with the President whose candidacy was already certain, about his record, and about their projects and his, because Emmanuel Macron has never been stingy in presenting long-term projects. They could have even (and still could) prepare for the next legislative elections scheduled for June, but no party has proposed a legislative programme. To tell the truth, we don’t even know if today’s parties will still exist in June… However, it is through the election of the Parliament that the real capacity to reform, or not, the country will be decided.

This is not new. It is even the result of a long evolution, which began at least in 1995, if not 1988: during all these presidential and legislative campaigns, we have only seen more or less brutal oppositions of individuals, small phrases, tiny reform projects, and very few fundamental debates. Also, after his election, the elected president found himself short of imagination and could only accomplish modest reforms.

Each time, and now again, it is as if the country is so afraid of its future that it does not dare to talk about it. As if the nation were collectively in denial about what threatens its very existence; as do so many who refuse to see what threatens their own lives and refuse to see a doctor.

And yet, so many vital issues have been at stake for so long. And what new issues have emerged in the last two years!

First, health, when the current pandemic has shown us that our hospital system was, and still is, in total disarray. Then there is education, where we now understand that our system is becoming one of the worst in the developed world. And, more recently, those of defence, of which we were so proud: What would happen if we were attacked like the Ukrainians are? Do we have the anti-missile missiles to protect our cities? No. Do we have enough drones to observe and push back an offensive army? No. Do we have enough digital defences? Obviously not. And if another American president came to the White House, and withdrew from NATO, could we defend Europe? Of course not. Finally, do we have the same willingness as the Ukrainians to risk our lives to defend our way of life?

The candidates don’t tell us about all this. If they explain to us in detail what should be done to solve important problems (especially those of purchasing power), they never talk to us about the essential. Because none of them has, for the moment, the courage to tell the country that it is vulnerable to all the threats of the world, that it must no longer be satisfied with being a stowaway in the European project and globalisation, that it must move as quickly as possible into a war economy in order to give itself the means to build an economy of life. The country is ready to listen to the need to make many efforts, if they are fairly distributed. Only the candidates do not know this.