Could the ban vote be wrong for Anne Hidalgo?
The announcement of the April 2 Anne Hidalgo vote on whether or not to keep the self-service scooters came as a surprise to everyone. Starting from the operators. “That was a complete surprise! We expected everything but not that,” said one of them. The proof is, after sending out a press release welcoming the “decision to consult with Parisians”, they decided to do so dark total media, only to perfect their strategy. Likewise, the elected representatives of the Changer Paris group, if they say they are “surprised that Anne Hidalgo called Parisians to vote on the chaos she orchestrated herself”, have yet to take their place in this vote on Monday.
It must be said that this is the first time such a vote has been held on a capital city scale. Allowed by the 2003 constitutional revision, local referendums are rarely used by medium and large cities. However, this happened in Strasbourg in 2011 when traveling most of the city at up to 30 km/h.
“When we decided to put this proposal to a vote it was clear that yes would win, recalls Alain Jund, green assistant for urban planning with PS mayor Roland Ries. At the ward council, we feel the urge for action and all the arguments are friendly. It is very clear that only those who are against are campaigning, such as the Automobile Club, CCI…”
“Only the haters move”
And finally, after counting the 50,121 ballots collected by post, the winning number was 54.9%. “It is clear that we have not campaigned enough”, laments the ecologist, who is still locally elected in Strasbourg. “Roland Ries wanted to kill two birds with one stone with participation and ecology, commented a resident of Strasbourg who followed the campaign well. But in 2011, that’s perhaps too avant-garde and also a matter of participation, only stirring up the haters and not the supporters without much more. »
“We will think about how to get people to the polls”, we also indicated inside one of the operators, suggesting the upcoming mobilization. The latter are indeed concerned about the extremely low turnout that could work against them and most importantly, based on the last national election, they noted that “those who go to the polls are mostly old people”, not really into electric scooters. The municipality has indeed announced a physical vote although the modality of venue has not been determined. E-consulting will thus undoubtedly be much more profitable for operators even if during the recent call for testimony, 20 minutes has received nearly 70% of contributions in favor of the ban.
Environmentalists in battle order
Likewise with this vote, the municipality moved the confrontation for reasons it knows well, about the election, which is far less controlled by the operators. Immediately after the announcement was made, David Belliard, the environmental assistant who is in charge of the highway and adamantly against maintaining the service, posted on Twitter a link to the “Apaisonsnosrues” platform to start the mobilization. “We will talk about it this week, see how to mobilize activists”, said Frédéric Badina, Paris city hall ecological adviser. On the other hand Rémi Féraud, president of the socialist group at the Council of Paris, indicated that his group would push to vote but without having to campaign yes or no.
But local referendum weapons must be handled with care. Because if the 2011 loss didn’t preclude Roland Ries’ re-election to the 2014 municipal election, “the 30 km/h question has since become a taboo topic, even within the majority of new ecologies,” laments Alain Jund. This is probably why Grenoble decided to do without it in order to adopt a 30 km/h limit.
“It’s a micro subject”
And that’s also probably why Anne Hidalgo chose this little subject to be the subject of a vote: a failure on an electric scooter won’t keep her from sleeping. “This is a micro subject, argues Nelly Garnier, the opposition elected LR. There are much more impactful things that could be put to a Parisian vote such as crack, property taxes, redevelopment of the Trocadéro. “Even environmentalists would love a referendum on” a subject that more structured like the Olympics”, commented Frédéric Babina, even if he felt it was “good enough to put the Parisians back at the heart of the decision”.
Gilles Jund, he’s coming back from the local referendum. He wondered about the relevance of city-wide consultations on these kinds of topics: “We are in the process of launching the construction of a new tram line and some are asking us to hold a referendum. But the changes often created tension and, after the fact, the opponents found that the tram was, in the end, very good. Elected officials also wonder about voter coverage: users, lone residents, residents of other cities? A point that the operator did not fail to underline in their press release in which they deplored the exclusion of “residents of Ile-de-France and foreigners who live and liven up Paris every day” from this vote.
Finally, when it comes to the mayor of Paris, there is always a risk that the referendum will turn to personal matters. “I want it not to be a vote for or against Anne Hidalgo [qui a appelé à voter non] “, please Frédéric Babina. “There is hope for Parisians to express their dissatisfaction with Anne Hidalgo’s management of mobility issues”, winds up Nelly Garnier, who will not sulk with pleasure if the mayor of PS trips over the carpet. “The referendum crystallized all the difficulties, the inconveniences, concluded Alain Jund. And the answer is always different from the question asked. »