French people, like the citizens of many other countries, have little confidence in their government or in their members of parliament. A recent study by the Center for Political Research of the University of Science-Po (CEVIPOF) in Paris, shows that while residents still trust, in part, their local officials, only 37% of them on average feel the same for those belonging to the National Assembly, the Senate or the executive. Three years before, when asked in another poll about of what sprung to mind first when thinking of politics, their first answer was “disgust”. With this sort of background, it is perhaps unsurprising that a number of activists have decided to try and find new ways to boost political participation, using crowdsourcing, smartphone applications and online platforms to look for candidates outside of the usual circles.
It’s an online platform whose main aim is to organize an open primary election, select a suitable candidate, and allow him to run for President in the 2017 elections.
Launched in April by Thibauld Favre and David Guez, an engineer and a lawyer by trade, both with no connection to the political establishment, it has attracted so far 164 self-proposed candidates and some 26,000 voters. Anyone can be elected, as long as they live in France, do not belong to any political party and have a clean criminal record.