On Thursday evening, Hollande discuss four French during the show Citizen Dialogues , broadcast on France 2. Before him, Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac have tried this exercise supposed to give the image of a leader of the near state of its citizens and concerned about their fate. Perilous, the concept has already resulted in difficult times for those who venture. Precedents that explain the painstaking selection of speakers to avoid any clash or troublesome issue at this new show. A trade unionist and a farmer have been deprogrammed at the last moment, despite the agricultural crisis and the debate on labor law news feed. Why such caution? Back on previous editions
. 2005: Jacques Chirac does not include young people
In spring 2005, Jacques Chirac was a priority: to convince the French to vote “yes” in the referendum on the adoption of a European constitution. His daughter and communications advisor Claude Chirac invited him to participate in a new political program concept confront live strangers. Goal, play the card of modernity and proximity, in the background, the need to persuade the French to vote in favor of the European construction.
Six weeks before the election, Jacques Chirac thus find the plate referendum: Live with President , simulcast on TF1, France 2, France 3 and M6. Facing him, 83 French aged 18 to 30 said to represent the country’s youth. Quickly, the interventions of the panel derived from the European question to come on far less problems: unemployment, insecurity, education costs, etc. Embarrassed, Jacques Chirac tries to reassure, to the point of giving the impression of not being receptive to the concerns of youth: “I do not understand the fear of young people and that makes me sad, he said. It is a matter of mindset. I have confidence in the future and confidence in France. “
The spontaneity issues also cause awkward moments. When a young person says he must work illegally to pay his studies, Jacques Chirac is trying to kick for touch by humor, “Oh, no details. It was a joke, you’ll understand, “he says smiling. Stinging response of the young speaker: “It makes you laugh? Me, it makes me laugh. “Malaise.
These two hours of crosses for Jacques Chirac will be followed by more than 7 million viewers. For the president, the first season will be a double failure. Not only his unconvincing performance chips away his image and his popularity, but in addition, it will not be able to convince the French, who will vote “no” in the referendum two weeks later.
2010 and 2011: Nicolas Sarkozy and the union
faced with opinions polls less good, Sarkozy wants to revitalize its image when starting the second half of his term. So here, on 25 January 2010, on the set of French lyrics , broadcast on TF1 only and presented by Jean-Pierre Pernaut. Facing him, not 83 young, but 11 French. Each representing an identifiable social group. A retiree, a housewife, a businessman, a farmer, a trade unionist, etc.
Facing docile interlocutors, the president calmly lists the reforms initiated by his government while playing the proximity and understanding. Every problem a solution. When an employee of the retail complains of not being able to work overtime, Nicolas Sarkozy even undertake to contact his employer “tomorrow.” Only Pierre Le Mehanes will be harder to convince. Worker automotive sector in Britain and syndicalist CGT, he attacked Nicolas Sarkozy on relocations and job losses in the automotive sector, without failing to qualify Nicolas Sarkozy answers of “simplistic”.
Despite these bobs, exercise seems able to Nicolas Sarkozy. In fact, 8.8 million people watched the show and observers note the calm and pedagogical interventions. A positive but do not impact the popularity rating of the president.
While the presidential election on the horizon, Nicolas Sarkozy will retry the experience a year later, 10 February 2011, without wanting to relive the episode provided the union. The formula does not change, but this time with only nine French. The show is going well, too well, even. The head of state runs its program to face a panel reduced to the rank of tenure. For 90 minutes, the same loop is repeated. A participant exposes an issue with courtesy. Nicolas Sarkozy gives an answer with compassion. Everyone nods. Again, the audience is strong with 8.3 million viewers, but the lack of debate and opponents brand spirits. Even participants will complain after the broadcast. Nicolas Sarkozy is not convincing and his popularity remains terribly low
2014. François Hollande and his seven-league boots
In November 2014, François Hollande beats a record of it the lowest approval ratings for a president of the fifth Republic. With 13% support, it is urgent to redress the balance and to launch the second half of the five-year period on a good foundation. To do this, he agrees to participate in Live with French issued November 6 on TF1. Far from the 83 young Jacques Chirac, they are only four French to debate with Francois Hollande that night. And even. Of the nearly two hours of live, half is devoted to the talks between the President and the four guests. For the rest, it is a more conventional transmission between the head of state told reporters.
Of the four players succeeding facing François Hollande, Karine Charbonnier one dares show offensive against government policy. This northern entrepreneur France is well expressed disappointment about the “simplification shock” administrative promised by François Hollande at the beginning of his term. “The more complex machine is not stopped at all,” lamented Karine Charbonnier. “The reforms currently made are completely inadequate and counterparties requested companies are unrealistic,” deplores she faces an attentive president. Late in the interview, the entrepreneur invites the president to do more: “You make small steps. That’s fine, but be real reforms. “And François Hollande to meet ambitious:” We will put the seven-league boots if necessary. “
Overall comfortable, Francois Hollande avoids the trap of the show in front of 7.9 million viewers. But the absence of strong and concrete reforms ads disappoint the public and journalists. Like its predecessors, the illusion of proximity to the French will not allow the president to go back in the opinion polls. And the issue of Thursday night should not escape the rule.