It is not so much who wins the French elections, but what is lost to all French voters once again in the ‘super presidentialism’ of a system installed fifty years ago with a manipulated referendums (1958-1962) that created the Fifth Republic with ex-general De Gaulle – in power already – making his rule even more powerful. Le Cinquième République, a legal coup-d’état as it was seen by some in that time (as expressed in “Le coup d’état permanente” by François Mitterand 1964, who as a Machiavellian figure did not hesitated later to make use himself of these Gaullist inspired constitutional powers – after a first failed bid for power in 1965 – during two long presidencies lasting from 1981 to 1995, with the presidential terms of seven years, since 2002 changed to terms of five years)
Whoever wins coming sunday, this shadow of De Gaulle and his military and Bonapartist inspired top down constitutional rule is still looming….
How far away is the concept for a more democratic and ceremonial role of the French president, as a figure that helps bridging differences, with parties that are no longer captives of central-presidential-command and a parliament and prime-ministre that finally regain control and give space for more consensus and interaction with the electorate, putting an end to the frequent practice of rule by presidential degree?
Such alternative democratic concepts exist already for decades. Criticism of the the 5th Republic system is more often voiced “a regime that has become more and more monarchical with the passage of years” and ideas for a Sixth Republic that assures “political control by citizens and their representatives” are circulating. A detailed plan in French can be found on the web site of the Convention pour la 6e République.