Quitterie de Villepin, a candidacy to restore a taste for politics

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Candidate without label in the legislative elections in the very chic second district of Paris, Quitterie de Villepin offers her voters to be elected for a mandate which will be based on the collective intelligence of the citizens by establishing a “deliberative mandate”.

Legislative 2022 © FMM Graphic Studio

“We have led the longest and finest legislative campaign in France.” The self-satisfecit of Quitterie de Villepin, candidate without label in the legislative elections (June 12 and 19) in Paris could make you smile at first sight. But it is clear that it is rare to see a campaign independent of any political party arouse so much enthusiasm.

Leaving for the campaign from October 10, Quitterie de Villepin has been working for eight months on the ground for the second district of Paris, which includes the 5e district, part of 6e and most of the 7ewith one idea in mind: to give citizens a taste for politics with the promise of establishing the first “deliberative mandate” in the National Assembly.

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The principle is based on a new method: involve citizens in legislative work by providing for a local deliberative assembly bringing together 100 people drawn by lot from the 100,000 inhabitants of its constituency. These would meet every month to draw up, with their deputy, legislative proposals and amendments to the texts examined in the National Assembly. All with a “compass” to guide Quitterie de Villepin’s political action: to ensure that France respects the Paris climate agreement and the 17 sustainable development goals signed with the UN.

“I started from the observation that the French claim to have no connection with their deputy, that today there is a loss of bearings and that the role played by the National Assembly is worrying”, explains the 44-year-old candidate, mother of four children and niece of former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, committed for 20 years to make the voice of citizens heard.

“As much as there was a strong aspiration to bring civil society into politics in 2017, the practice that has been that of power over the past five years has accentuated a form of crisis of the Ve Republic and national representation, she continues. Today, people are losing their bearings when it is possible to have a more successful democracy.

Former close to François Bayrou

Involved in the early 2000s in associations such as Max Havelaar, Greenpeace or Les Amis de la Terre, Quitterie de Villepin joined the UDF in 2003. She became known during the 2007 presidential campaign by being the spokesperson for the young UDF and head of digital communication for François Bayrou. Known then under the surname Quitterie Delmas, the young woman took more and more place within the centrist party, which became after the presidential election the Democratic Movement (MoDem), until seeing a head offer a list in the European elections of 2009 But rather than accepting a European mandate which stretched out her arms, she slams the door of the MoDem.

“I loved the six years I spent at the UDF and the MoDem, but on the one hand I disagreed with François Bayrou on the structuring of the party, and above all, I lived like a deep fracture the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.Even if I had voted “yes” in the constitutional referendum of 2005, that governments ignore the will of the citizens shocked me.At that time, I questioned for the first times the word democracy”, recalls Quitterie de Villepin, who has since resumed his birth name following his divorce.

After trying to bring participatory democracy to life within the MoDem, she then chose to renew democratic practices outside of political parties. It contributes to the creation of citizen initiatives and new approaches within parent-teacher associations in particular. She is involved in the #MaVoix movement, which tries to have citizens elected during the 2017 legislative elections. Then, in 2020, she launched the collective Les Investies, which aims to promote the emergence of new citizen candidates.

“Democracy for me is not a question of trust, but of effort. You have to dedicate time to it. And my fight is to re-establish the links between people and politics by betting on collective intelligence. Just look at the work of the 150 citizens of the Citizen’s Convention for the Climate. It’s hot what they’ve done!”, she says, convinced that people left and right can work together to bring out proposals.

“Does field work still count?”

His eight months of campaigning seem to prove him right. After dozens of public meetings, towing operations in the markets and meetings with the inhabitants, Quitterie de Villepin generated enough enthusiasm to raise 35,000 euros in donations from 165 donors – an average donation of 212 euros. per person. Enough to make any candidate labeled by a major party pale.

“We were able to have the same means as the big candidates to campaign. This money allowed us to have a permanence, to send three leaflets to mailboxes, to be present on social networks and to create a dynamic around my project that the others do not have”, assures the candidate.

Reaching the second round would however be a feat, especially since the boss of the group La République en Marche in the National Assembly, Gilles Le Gendre, but also the mayor Les Républicains du 6e district, Jean-Pierre Lecoq, without forgetting Marine Rosset, socialist candidate of the New Popular Ecological and Social Union (Nupes).

“Based on the results of 2017, we showed that 8,500 votes were needed to reach the second round, explains Quitterie de Villepin. This is the objective and it is possible. ‘ is created on the ground with the people. And moreover, what we do appeals far beyond our constituency. We have already shown that we could make a hyper professional and hyper well-funded campaign, activated on meetings with citizens and their involvement. That’s why I really like this campaign. It will provide an answer to an essential question: does work on the ground still count?”

The current context, with a President of the Republic who will not benefit during the legislative elections from the same electoral wave as in 2017 and a left united around the figure of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, could be favorable to him, wants to believe Quitterie de Villepin . Answer Sunday, June 12.


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