5/ What if you don’t recognize yourself in either of the two finalists?



For some voters, including the most critical, to choose between Macron and Le Pen is to choose between plague and cholera. “The result of a political system out of breath, believes the sociologist Jean-Louis Schlegel, which does not prevent discerning between the degrees of danger. »

In the aftermath of the first round of the presidential election, the disappointment is great for more than half of the voters who voted for a candidate other than the two finalists. The big question is therefore to know what they are going to do in the April 24 election, knowing that from disappointment to disinterest, there is often only one step.

As usual, most of the eliminated candidates gave their voting instructions, while taking care to specify that the votes of the voters did not belong to them. How many will follow them? First mystery.

And then there are all the others, those who are tempted to wash their hands of the final result. Especially when, for the third time in two decades, after the Jacques Chirac-Le Pen father duel in 2002 and the Emmanuel Macron-Le Pen daughter duel in 2017, the proposed confrontation can give the unpleasant impression of having to choose, as in a bad remake, between white cap and white cap.

However, the situation is nothing extraordinary in itself. It is part of the very logic of the presidential election under the Vand Republic which wants, according to the adage, that we choose in the first round and that we eliminate in the second. “But this system seems increasingly out of breath for several intertwined reasons”emphasizes Jean-Louis Schlegel.

Firstly because we have gone from an opposition between a right and a left, which proposed alternative policies, to a split between two radically antagonistic visions on the institutional, European and international level. Then because France has become a very fractured country, a “archipelago”, in the words of political scientist Jérôme Fourquet, of people who no longer speak to each other. Finally, because we lack “of third-party institutions and somewhat recognized sages who help to discern”.

This feeling of being cornered, taken hostage by the system can arouse, in some people, the temptation to abstain or vote blank. “It allows you to express your dismay, your dissatisfaction or your rejection, but it does not indicate anything that you want in a positive way”shade Jean-Louis Schlegel.

So how do you get out of this dilemma? “I don’t have the solution ready”he recognizes with humility, even if, for him, the choice is made. “At 76, I come from a generation that has assimilated the lessons of 20th century totalitarianismand century and anti-totalitarian criticism, for which the defense of democracy, rights and freedoms comes first. But I understand that for others, it is not so simple, firstly because the question of totalitarianisms and their criticism is largely ignored. Without giving a lesson, I would simply say that it is sometimes necessary to know how to discern between the degrees of danger, even if the media noise does not always help in reflection. »

Hoping, ultimately, that a majority of French people will end up “choose the reasonable even if it is not necessarily exciting”.

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