Give up power, a democratic gesture

Renunciation of the head of state has created some amazement, that would itself be interpreted, we are inclined to think that the political man is ready to make the attempt of power at all costs, regardless of the odds failure and humiliation; our degraded vision of public affairs makes us think that the professional politicians have no taste than the power for power. However, as noted by Paul Ricoeur in Memory, History, Forgetting, the policy is sometimes a place of “gestures” are possible, the scope other than the simple struggle “Machiavellian” for power. The decision by Holland gave it a certain dignity: he will not go at all costs. (One remembers that his first mentor, Jacques Delors, has not presented a presidential gave where the winner because he felt he could achieve the reforms which it felt necessary. Other configuration, but where we already saw sometimes a sign of insufficient political determination, sometimes that of an ethic of responsibility become rare in politics). But the gesture of the President he could have greater political significance? In three dimensions, in any case, he suggests.

On the “type of leaders.” This withdrawal could lead to a meditation worried about the dreaded contrast than today introduced the Western world: the “popular” leaders seem to be authoritarian, identify leaders, Putin Orbán through Trump, while the “weak” leaders lose democratic referendums they launch (badly), resign or give up. Marine Le Pen is concluded that the future is authoritarian and xenophobic leaders; but these triumphs are also sham, and the idea of a neo-populist wave of right, if it corresponds to a real movement, not declared by the overwhelming success in obscuring a part of the things that iareto the east, a “popularity” obtained by silencing opponents and destroying opposition newspapers? Trump h,e has “triumphed” in terms of the popular vote? The candidate of the extreme right in Austria he won? No, nothing is, and must avoid feeding storytelling an irrepressible aspiration of peoples to authoritarianism and xenophobia. The Holland renunciation recalled here that in a democracy, the popularity of the leader depends on a public that does not control, and that “fragility” is the very sign of democratic authority. The possibility of failure is included in its structure, while authoritarian powers organize its denial. (Note that this left that overwhelms Holland, not without reason, but at the same time braided wreaths Castro seems to lead a strange understanding of democratic authority, which is flush with another indulgence for authoritarianism – “left “). Of course, this does not mean that any president should be unpopular!

On unpopularity. Holland failed to embody a principled opposition to neo-liberalism and its social havoc, an alternative way to austerity. He disappointed his constituents by an economic policy that seemed to turn his back on his campaign promises and absurd legislative projects, such as entrench a state of emergency or develop the deprivation of nationality. It is hoped that democratic leaders will meet the expectations of their peoples in the protection by the state without using recipes right neo-populism.

On the Fifth Republic. What lessons from the unlikely figure of “normal president”? Was it incompatible with the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, as the function seems to summon the exception of attributes? No doubt, but one can advance another hypothesis: the sense of the organization of powers designed by the Constitution has been obscured and, despite appearances, Holland persisted in the confusions of the “hyperprésidence” Sarkozy on this point . Until his last speech, advances and laws were presented about how “I did this”, “I did that.” Where is constitutionally provided that the Government – including Prime Minister “directs the action” (Art. 21) – “determines and conducts the policy of the nation” (. Art 20) and Parliament “voting law” (art. 24), the President is today in the source of all action and all law. Focal point of inflated expectations, it rapidly becomes that of hysterical attacks. We must clearly redraw the respective areas of action. Given the presidential system ego combat this pre-campaign, unfortunately we, do not take the way.