Horizons: “Edouard Philippe wants to distance himself from Emmanuel Macron”
Martial Foucault – Edouard Philippe will have to face a task that has not been done by Emmanuel Macron: to define the political doctrine that is his and to say whether or not he is more on the classic idea of a fusion of right and center he occupied a new niche that would distinguish him from Macronism. If he has been sailing between LR and LREM for a long time, Edouard Philippe has a position on the Regalian that puts him closer to the right. It can give it a unique touch for Europe or the economy. Even if LR, LREM and Horizons are actually very close to each other on economic issues. All three defend a vision of the economy with freedoms but also of a very interventionist state, as we saw during the Covid crisis. On a cultural level there are differences to La République en Marche. Edouard Philippe, without joining Eric Ciotti’s positions, finds himself on the positions of a modern right that has abandoned the “third way” defended by sections of the centre-right and centre-left. It’s a far cry from the “cultural liberalism” LREM demonstrated in 2017. Finally, there is a difference on sovereignty and commemoration issues, for example in Algeria, where it is closer to the positions taken by François Fillon or Alain Juppé. I believe that Edouard Philippe considers the “Macronian” complexity to be perhaps a little counterproductive on these questions…
What is his real comparative advantage over Republicans? Your personality?
In fact, beyond the ideas that make up Horizons’ positioning, the party owes much to the person of Edouard Philippe, one of the rare prime ministers who left Matignon with a capital of sympathy as important and superior as that of the President of the Republic. And this one has not withered since its departure. This is a significant advantage at a time when political parties are being deeply challenged. Edouard Philippe protected himself, he saved himself from any decay of his accumulated political capital. He has a significant lead over the Republicans in terms of embodiment. We see him as someone who can take on the greatest responsibility. And at the same time he is not at the center of polemics, controversies that could damage his image. In his personal strategy, he was careful not to alienate any potential partners. Horizons can seduce the modem, Agir, La République en Marche… Edouard Philippe is not a divisive figure, just as he is not active in the politics of the conflict.
Edouard Philippe never misses an opportunity to demonstrate his local presence, notably with his “Assembly of Mayors”. Should it destroy the image of the vertical techno that made the 80 km/h?
Relying on networks of local elected officials, he is about to install the idea that it is possible to renew French society by relying on the decentralization of the state. He brings back into play the issue of local liberties, which he has made the core of his political project. It’s clever because the Covid pandemic has been a strong indicator of the deep crisis between the state and local communities. And a growing number of elected officials are claiming local experience that they believe should be extended to the national level. The sum of the local experiences that make up Horizons may allow Horizons to be distinguished from LR and LREM. This is the Achilles heel of LREM still struggling with this issue. Since the arrival of Emmanuel Macron, there has been a break with elected officials, associations and mayors, which has been marked by a great deal of distrust. As for the Republicans, they have suffered so many failures that the word of the great elected officials has died out. LR no longer embodies the great right-wing party of the territories. Edouard Philippe therefore has an ideal window of opportunity to position himself as a champion of this pragmatic political experience from the region.
Doesn’t Horizons remain a rickety structure with a few dozen elected officials and a few activists?
Should the power of a political party be measured by the number of its members? There is a test of strength: it is possible to persuade a large number of people to participate. His strategy will be to use the time. Will Macronism Survive Emmanuel Macron? If the answer is no, Edouard Philippe must come out alright. Because he will be the natural heir to Emmanuel Macron. If Renaissance does not install a successor for Emmanuel Macron, then it is all legitimate for Edouard Philippe’s company. The birth of macronism on the right favors it more than if it had drifted to the left. But unlike Emmanuel Macron, he does not manage to seduce within the Social Democracy, orphan of the mandate of François Hollande and dissatisfied with the nupes. This is also because Edouard Philippe was always careful not to use the formula “simultaneously”. As if the latter inherently produced ontological complexities to construct an ideology… This is also the story of Edouard Philippe.
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