A national consultation in France, launched in response to protesters’ calls for more direct democracy, was denounced as having been “sabotaged” after citizens backed conservative policies.
Mainstream media networks over the weekend claimed the consultation had been “hijacked” by “militant conservative networks” after the initial results revealed a distinct lack of enthusiasm in France for progressive, globalist politics.
Journalist Vincent Glad, from the liberal-left newspaper Libération, highlighted that a proposal to repeal same-sex marriage had garnered the most approval, blasting the consultation as “a joke”.
“The ‘success’ of conservative motions is problematic,” complained state-owned France 24, noting that the other popular proposals included calls to scrap wind power subsidies and restore family allowances to middle-income couples with multiple children.
“For some, [the results] illustrate the dangers of Swiss-style direct democracy and the possible launch of a Citizen Initiated Referendum (RIC) demanded by many Yellow Vests,” it added, referring to a proposed initiative supported by 80 percent of the French public.
Pictures: Yellow Vests Return to Paris to Protest Macron’s Globalist Government https://t.co/XxvR3ryZrD
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 5, 2019
In a section asking whether the consultation results should be seen as “significant”, the broadcaster dismissed the more than 31,000-strong number of participants as “small” before insisting it was important to “relativise the ‘victory’ of the proposal to repeal [same-sex] marriage” because it was backed by “a minority” (19 percent) of citizens who took part.
The online consultation was launched by the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE) of France in December, following weeks of protest by the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) movement against the rising cost of living and perceptions of an out-of-touch political elite.
Promoting the questionnaire as open to all citizens “with or without a yellow vest”, the assembly invited French voters to “have their say” on topics including “social inequalities”, “fair taxation”, “regional inequalities”, “purchasing power”, “citizen participation”, and transitioning to a so-called “green” economy.
In a statement, the CESE said: “Based on the results of this consultation, as well as hearings and consultations with citizens drawn by lot, an opinion will be drawn up and submitted for debate in March 2019 to provide a comprehensive response to issues brought up by the yellow vests.”
But hopes that the consultation may bring about change are not high, noted L’Obs magazine on Friday, pointing to recent polls which showed almost half of French voters (47 per cent) believe the government will pay “no attention at all” to the results of the initiative.