Gleaning the 500 signatures of elected officials is a real pain for some aspiring presidential candidates. This system is imperfect. He doesn’t stop zozos from running for office, and he annoys important candidates who sometimes like to make a drama of their difficulties, proof that they would be prevented by the system, the famous system.

A quick reminder: you need 500 signatures of elected officials, mayors, parliamentarians, local elected officials … They are 42,000 to be able to support a candidacy. This is not said to be an obligation: in 2017, only one in three did. Also note that since 2017, the full list of signatures has been made public.

Precisely, it is this new rule that is causing the problem. Marine Le Pen explains that the mayors, with their names now published, have no interest in signing off, only trouble to recover, that residents come looking for lice in their heads.

According to the candidate of the National Rally, elected officials are even victims of blackmail in the subsidies: “you will not have money if you give your signature”. Marine Le Pen fears that one day there will be what she calls “a democratic accident”, that a candidate whom we will call “obvious” will not be on the starting line “.

Could this indeed happen? Yes, but that’s not the most likely. Some have accustomed us to maintaining an unnecessary suspense, like Jean-Luc Mélenchon in 2017. But there is for this Presidential a particularly increased competition to the extremes. To the left of the left precisely, Jean-Luc Mélenchon does not have many local elected officials, no longer has the help of the Communist Party, which has decided to have its candidate, Fabien Roussel.

To the right of the right, it is even more disputed: Marine Le Pen, Éric Zemmour, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan or Florian Philippot share a small pool of signatures. It’s almost certain: not all will succeed. It remains to be seen who it will affect.

There is a risk of an accident, but is this really a democratic accident? Does someone who is not able to collect 500 signatures out of a possible 42,000 have a serious chance of becoming President of the Republic? Obviously no. There has to be a sorting, and even with this sorting there were 16 candidates in 2002.

They were 11 in 2017, with nevertheless Jacques Cheminade or Jean Lassalle, candidates that we can qualify as “not very serious”, without insulting anyone. At the moment, there are around 30 aspirations for candidates for next year. We therefore need a filter, necessarily imperfect, and which can hold a big surprise.

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