From scandals and surprises to two remaining candidates demonstrating the changed dynamics in French politics – the French presidential election campaign has been different from what we were used to see. Most striking the indecisiveness of the electorate: before the first round of the elections many voters did not make their mind up until shortly before casting their vote.
FNF Europe spoke to Benjamin Kurc, the director of the Vote et Vous App, which tries to help voters to make an informed decision.
The Vote & Vous App: what stands behind it?
The name “Vote&Vous” stands for an App, as well as an organization.
The app we created belongs to the family of the Voting Advice Application (VAA). They are tools helping people to “vote” by raising their attention on some important issues. The principle is simple: the “user” answers a certain number of questions by yes / no / indifferent. At the end of the set of questions it shows you a ranking, which corresponds to your proximity / distance to each party.
How did you come up with this idea?
The idea came up after a meeting with the responsible of the Wahl-O-Mat (the famous German VAA) at the German federal agency for civic education (bpb) in Berlin. The bpb was looking for a French partner for a European cooperation project called “Vote Match Europe”. The aim of it was to interconnect organizations from 13 countries in order to work with each other and offer a common tool for the European election. Due to the absence of such an organization and such a tool in France, we decided to create our own.
Your App seems to be successful: why?
Our app is successful because it enables people to have an easy access to politics. The “users” are giving primarily their opinion, which is then compared to one of the political parties. You don’t need to read all the programs. It is a more inductive approach. One of the big advantages of this app is the simplicity and the transparency of the tool. The questions were answered by the political parties itself, which doesn’t give room for interpretation. It forces the parties to take a position and to be clear and concise in their answers.
What is different in these elections, compared to previous presidential elections?
This presidential election is marked by the crumble of the traditional people’s parties. It is the first time in the history of the so called “V. Republique” that none of the big parties (the right represented by the “les Républicains” and the left le “Parti socialiste”) are represented at the second ballot. This time it is a final between the extreme rightwing party “Front National” from Marine Le Pen and a newly created “centrist” movement “En Marche” led by Emmanuel Macron, a former advisor and French Minister of the previous socialist government of Francois Hollande.
What is often overlooked: a month after the presidential elections the French are voting a new parliament. And without a clear majority the new Parliament may have difficulties in implementing his or her agenda, which would lead the country into a political mayhem.
To check out the questionnaire (they exist both in French and German) & find out who your preferred candidate is visit: https://www.vote-et-vous.fr/