Paris: Ask Parisians for their opinion and will referendums become the norm in the capital?

Paris: Ask Parisians for their opinion and will referendums become the norm in the capital?

As announced this weekend, a “vote” has to be organized on April 2 on whether or not to maintain self-service electric scooters in the capital. An unusual practice in Paris that seems to give ideas to elected officials – of all political persuasions – who already see bigger things.

It’s an unprecedented practice. Could it become the norm in the capital to offer Parisians their opinion on an issue while socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo has multiplied citizen consultations since her re-election? At least that’s what elected officials think, some of whom would like to go further.

Extend voting to other topics?

This is the case of the mayor of the 6th arrondissement, Jean-Pierre Lecoq, who wants to take advantage of the organization of this referendum on April 2 to ask other questions. “Since Anne Hidalgo has decided to consult the Parisians, why not use this vote to expand on other equally important issues?” he wonders.

He pleads for each group in the Paris Council to “agree on a list of some questions on some questions on some issues that directly affect residents” to be put to the Paris Council. And to give examples: “Are you in favor of arming the new city police force?” or “Do you want a comprehensive metropolitan-scale transport plan?”

“An important tool”

Asked about this question this Monday morning on RMC, David Belliard, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of mobility, for his part recalled that he was in favor of this approach, since he was already “” in favor of holding a referendum on the Olympic Games ” , when Paris applied for admission.

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Regarding the possibility of resorting to this type of consultation again, the ecologist-elect assured that it was “an important tool” that would first be used on April 2 “on a subject under discussion”. Will this public participation tool be used again or will other questions be asked than Scooter? “We’ll see,” he replied.

“We, the ecologists, have always been in favor of this type of arrest,” confirms Frédéric Badina-Serpette, ecologist-elect in the 18th arrondissement, who even says he is “surprised” that Anne Hidalgo is now opting for it. “Normally it would have been interesting to do it for the Olympics, for example,” he notes.

He also hopes “that it won’t be a ‘one shot’ just to compensate for the fact that the mayor of Paris cannot make a decision on electric scooters” and even considers it “essential” to resort to this form of citizen consultation , which he believes should be “at the heart of public policy”.

Yes, but under what conditions?

The elected communists are particularly surprised at the organization. “We are not against it, but the question that arises is: ‘on what basis is the question asked?’ asks Nicolas Bonnet-Ouladj. For the leader of the communist group in the Paris Council, the main question is whether the referendum “will only be open to Parisians or also to people who work and come to the capital every day?”

In any case, the elected communist in the 12th arrondissement is rather positive about this initiative. “I like it because Parisians are quite divided on the issue of electric scooters, complaining about the nuisance they cause, their presence on the sidewalks…” he said. .

No further information on the terms of the consultation, nor whether other questions will be asked at the same time, has been leaked from the cabinet of Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, which announced this weekend that it would hold a “vote”. “The details of organizing the vote will be clarified in the coming weeks,” his entourage replied on Monday.

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