Will spring begin in Marseille on 22 March 2020?
Local elections will be held in France on 15 and 22 March. I’m looking forward to this ballot in my city of Marseille with curiosity but also expectation. Not only because we can use a breath of fresh air in this poorly governed city, but especially because a new participatory approach is being experimented with during these elections. It started with the appeal of a committed businesswoman who founded the Mad Mars movement (because she thought it was too crazy herself). This ended in le Mouvement sans Précédent (because it never happened before). And this eventually resulted in the list Le Printemps Marseillais (because it is allowed to be spring). In Le Printemps Marseillais, a number of parties joined forces with various grassroots movements. But it is much more than just another collaboration between parties. After all, the list is divided into three parts. A third is reserved for the political parties. One third goes to representatives of the grassroots movements. And finally, one third of the places on the list are reserved for all people who want to stand as candidates. The programme is currently being put together by 28 project groups, spread throughout the city, in which all citizens can make their contribution, supplemented with suggestions online. I like this because this is one of the first times that political parties themselves have broken with traditional participation and really involve citizens in their political action. This is Wetopia at the ballot box with policymakers, activists and citizens reaching out to each other and committing themselves to a better policy. New alliances. In fact, this citizens’ initiative is already spreading in about ten cities in France, where citizens’ movements and political parties go to the ballot box together. On 22 March, we will know if it works. Aux urnes citoyens!
* Le Printemps Marseillais est un mouvement politique sans précédent réunissant l’ensemble des partis de gauche (le Parti Communiste Français, le Parti Socialiste, la France Insoumise, Place Publique, Génération.s, Les Radicaux de Gauche, Ensemble!, le Parti de Gauche,Gauche Républicaine et Socialiste, et Nouvelle Donne), le Parti Pirate, des écologistes, l’UD CGT 13, des collectifs citoyens (Mad Mars, Marseille et moi, Réinventer la gauche) et des militants associatifs et syndicaux.
Son objectif est de proposer un projet d’alternative écologique, sociale, économique, démocratique pour la ville de Marseille pour les élections municipales de 2020.