Thursday, May 26

Presidential 2022. Popular primary: what is majority judgment?

When to vote is to judge… For the popular Primary, nearly half a million voters are called upon to decide between seven candidates (including three running against their will) with five mentions available (from very good to insufficient ) to choose the best unifying profile of the left and ecology for the 2022 presidential election.

And this, despite the official nomination of the main contenders. Unprecedented, this online vote from this Thursday 10 a.m. to Sunday 5 p.m. is also unprecedented by its “majority judgment” voting method in one round.

A ballot “made in France”

This mode of designation is not the far-fetched invention of the citizen collective at the origin of the Primary. It is that, in 2007, of two French researchers from the CNRS: Michel Balinski and Rida Laraki. Since 2018, the Mieux Voter association has been working to promote this alternative voting method. The municipality of Paris – a city whose PS candidate now rejects the Primary – used it in September for the selection of projects for its participatory budget.

The presidential majority party LREM has adopted it since 2019. “Universities use it every day. But the popular Primary will be the biggest political election ever carried out by majority judgment, ”notes Chloé Ridel, senior civil servant, co-founder and president of Better Voting, interviewed by our newspaper.

How it works ?

With majority judgment, voters no longer vote for the person, project or decision of their choice… » until « to reject ». The winner is the one who obtains the best majority mention, that is to say the best mention approved by at least 50% of the voters.

For the Primary, voters will have the choice between five scores – very good, good, fairly good, passable, insufficient – in order to decide between the candidates selected by the citizen collective: the former Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira, the socialist Anne Hidalgo, the ecologist Yannick Jadot, the leader of the Insoumis Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the MEP Pierre Larrouturou and two personalities from civil society (the environmental activist Anna Agueb-Porterie and the associative activist Charlotte Marchandise). And this, even if Anne Hidalgo, Yannick Jadot and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, registered automatically, announced that they would not take the result into account.

“We excluded the mention ‘to reject’ because the idea is then to create a team dynamic”, argue, candidly, the organizers of the Primary. According to the principle of majority judgement, the winning application will, on the other hand, be the one that has been best evaluated by the majority of participants. “It’s a ranking, a survey in real situation, not an election”, denounce its detractors. “This scientific theory is recognized internationally, objects Chloé Ridel. From experience, we see that the winner dominates all the others. »

How would that be better?

Because it allows the voter to evaluate several candidates positively at the same time or, on the contrary, to express their disappointment by giving a negative mention to all those in the running, majority judgment is supposed to put an end to useful votes and whites, or even to eradicate abstention. “We have known for 200 years that voting methods are biased and that there are other ways to vote,” defends the representative of Better Voting. In an Opinionway poll

65% of French voters surveyed say they are in favor of majority judgment for the presidential election.

Produced on December 8 and 9, 2020 for the association “Mieux Voting” with a representative sample of 962 people.

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