March 10, 2017

Are political parties less popular than the kayak federation?

For the writer Alexandre Jardin, on the initiative of the “Primary of the French”, the political parties have fewer members than the French Federation of petanque or canoe-kayak. One way or another to make aware of their weak representativeness.


He is one of the instigators of a movement that hopes to change the face of the 2017 presidential election. Alexandre Jardin is the founder of the collective citizen Bleu, Blanc, Zèbre , which brings together associations, town halls, companies and Mutuals for a better political life. A ” do-tank” oriented towards the solving of social problems by the involvement of citizens.

The movement militates alongside five other organizations ( Citizen Generations , CAP 21-LRC, We Citizens , Transition , and Civic Pact ) for a primary independent of political parties, soberly called “the Primary of the French”.

To justify in the media this need for alternative and renewal, the writer has repeatedly used a comparison between major political parties and sports federations, such as April 11 at the microphone of France Info .

“The question is whether, in the autumn, we will end up with the primary of the small right-wing parties and the primary of the small left-wing parties. I say small parties because, in reality, if you add up the people who are in the Socialist Party or the Republicans, it is less crowded than in the French Federation of petanque or canoeing. “

The formula is effective, but does the comparison really tilt in favor of bakers and kayakers? The Socialist Party and kayak list, gathering some 100,000 members – according to the latest estimate of the first secretary of the party, Jean-Christophe Cambadélis – and the Republicans counting238,200, the total amounted to 338,200. What about petanque players and canoeing enthusiasts?

The French federation of petanque that we contacted counts 296.390 players of licensed balls inscribed on the federal lists, while the French federation of canoe-kayak counts 43.839 paddlers in its ranks. There are more members of our two political parties – according to the official count – than licensed in these two sports practices.

A media trap that works

So why have you set your sights on canoeing and pétanque? When asked the question, Alexander Garden expressed his annoyance: “That is exactly what I do not like in public life. I do not want a logic of small sentences to outweigh the action on the ground. ”  He nevertheless admits that these comparisons make him ” laugh a lot “,  their true purpose being to express a ” distortion Extraordinary between the image that the French make of political parties and what they are in reality “:”

“If we remove the number of people who are elected from those numbers, I do not think there would be much left. And among the members who are supposed to be up to date, how many have a real involvement? “

According to the founder of the movement Bleu, Blanc, Zèbre, these parties want to “lock up the constitutional system” while they represent only a minority of voters.

Alexandre Jardin could therefore use other examples. As France Info says , there are as many volleyball licensees as members of the PS, and as many karatekas as adherents to the Republicans, if one keeps to the official figures of the parties. The latter are far behind football, which counts in France two million licensed, and tennis, which has one million.