Christiane Taubira, a project that looks just like those of its competitors

A thick winter fog has risen over Lyon. Ice. Sharp. A symbol is offered to us: this Saturday 10 January, the fate of the left will cloud a little more , its divisions sharpen. It is here, around a bend that climbs the Croix-Rousse hill, that Christiane Taubira made an appointment. It’s here too, there’s almost 157 years, that the canuts – silk workers – revolted against King Louis-Philippe, demanding to “live by working or die by fighting”. A symbol, yet another. The former Keeper of the Seals came to put an end to the false suspense that she installed in December. “I am a candidate for the presidency of the Republic”, she proudly launches from the top of the Aventin in Lyon.

Some 553 people throng the square, wrapped up in coats to counter the cold. A few windows open from the buildings surrounding the square, onlookers crowd onto the balconies or descend from the Croix-Rousse market a little higher to listen to the new candidate from the left, yet another. In a very calm harangue for a candidacy launch, Christiane Taubira justifies herself: “I see, I hear the anger in the face of injustice and discrimination and to which are added words of contempt. We could have become fatalistic but I see stubbornly nurtured hopes.” She will not apologize for being the sixth candidate on the left, she says she has heard demands for justice and democracy, and she is entering the presidential election to “satisfy” them.


In recent days, socialists and ecologists have already been attacking the candidacy of the former Keeper of the Seals accusing him of having no program, of simply disturbing the game on the left a little more than he is. “It’s not teasing that we did, I call it controlled time”, justifies Christian Paul, former socialist rebel in charge of the Taubira project. “She did not enter in a violent or messianic way, she saw people, she moved in the territories to confront social crises”, he assures before mocking without saying it Anne Hidalgo who presented its aux program 80 measures three days earlier: “His program is not a La Redoute catalog”.

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From the discreet desk, the new candidate presented the four main axes of her campaign, starting by the youth she knows she fled from the left. “Proof if it were needed, a large part of the young people of the Climate Generation today say they prefer to abstain than to vote Yannick Jadot”, explained a few days ago the entourage of the candidate. Christiane Taubira proposes an income of 553 euros for five years to enable young people to study without having to work.

“School is the crucible of citizenship”

But above all she wants to come back ” to the fundamentals” of the left, explain his lieutenants. By putting on the table a revaluation of the minimum wage to 1151 euros net per month, it follows in the footsteps of Anne Hidalgo, Yannick Jadot, Fabien Roussel and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who also propose their increase in the minimum wage. Christiane Taubira gropes her way into the field of ecological transition, if not through two hardly ambitious measures: a zero-rate VAT on organic farming products, an improvement in the ecological bonus; and a smart formula: “ecology is the business of the century, we know it”. A not very discreet foot appeal to the associations grouped under this banner of the same name and which have managed to have the State condemned for “deficiency” in the reduction of greenhouse gases.

She does not forget her childhood loves, the Radical Left Party era: the Republic. While some have accused her in recent years of having lost her clarity on issues of communitarianism or secularism, she intends to put the subject back at the heart of her program. “The Republic is secular and it is our most precious asset. It is what allows us to think about a common destiny (…). We must defend it with the greatest vigilance against the most underhanded attacks”, she says to loud applause, before calling for the school to be put back “in the heart of the Republic”. “School is the citizen crucible”, insists the candidate who wants to bring “schools under contract into the school map” and “ensure that those outside the contract respect the values ​​and principles of the Republic”.

“The dynamics will change”

Nevertheless, here is a program that looks like be mistaken for that of its competitors on the left. How to weave its difference? “She is going to make a difference by addressing people who no longer believe in politics, with a program that is aimed at the sociological left rather than the apparatuses, with her authenticity, with her talents as a speaker”, s wins Christian Paul, warmed by the speech of the former minister now aspiring president.

Christiane Taubira’s mission is far from over, especially on the left facing the other candidates who do not intend to leave her the field free. Never mind the popular primary of which she is the only one of the six candidates to have accepted the rules. His relatives, Christian Paul the first, nevertheless firmly believe in it: “We will wait for the result of the popular primary (the 30 January, editor’s note) then things will crystallize in February, at the beginning of the month I hope. You will see, the dynamics will change and we will not have six candidates.

As she engages in a walkabout on the square overlooking Lyon, the sun tries to break through the fog, in vain. What would we have said if he had illuminated the new candidate, she who loves it? No doubt the left needs something other than symbols in this race for the Élysée, which is almost vital for it.



by Christian Saint-Etienne, academic economist


Through Francois Bazin


857419208Christophe Donner


857419208857419208Christophe Donner