NewsWorldIn Nantes, Jean-Luc Mélenchon appeals to the senses and...

In Nantes, Jean-Luc Mélenchon appeals to the senses and traces his route alone

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The day after Christiane Taubira entered the campaign, the rebellious Jean-Luc Mélenchon proposed an “immersive and olfactory” meeting in Nantes on Sunday, once again assuming his strategy of going it alone, without taking into account calls for union of the left.

After the holograms, it’s time for an immersive and olfactory meeting. Customary of innovations and other experiments in the electoral campaign, the candidate for the presidential election (April 10 and 24) of La France insoumise, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, proposed, on Sunday January 16, to the 3,000 people who came to listen to him in Nantes , a political meeting of a new kind.

Inspired by the exhibitions of the Atelier des Lumières, in Paris, Jean-Luc Mélenchon had a structure installed whose four walls, 50 meters wide, and the ceiling were composed of screens, allowing the broadcasting of 360 images. degrees, while a system diffusing odors completed the immersion.

If the smells of space or the sea visibly had difficulty being felt by the public, the device put in place made it possible to “show in wide angle the vision of the world that we carry through the measures of the Future in common”, justified Jean-Luc Mélenchon. The candidate was thus able to talk about the environment, space, artificial intelligence, oceans and a break with the capitalist world while images illustrating his remarks – a small town in the middle of the countryside, space, the sea in particular – were broadcast in the background. plan.

“We need a firm, assumed, declared sharing of wealth that does not hide,” said the candidate. Then, referring to the 14 slices he intends to create for income tax and in particular the last one for which he promises a 100% rate: “We are going to confiscate everything else above 12 million euros and I give everything to young people, to the future of the country.”

“It’s not union that we need, it’s clarity”

Jean-Luc Mélenchon is convinced of this: to win, he must look straight ahead, campaign, unfold his program and not worry about the media agitation surrounding the entry into the campaign of the former Minister of Justice, Christiane Taubira, and the repeated calls for a union of the left.

“We are not concerned by the competition between the Radical Left Party of (Christiane) Taubira and the Socialist Party (of Anne) Hidalgo. (…) What am I going to do with them? what we need is clarity and popular mobilization. We are moving forward.”

His name will however be proposed against his will to the voters of the popular Primary, which will be held from January 27 to 30, just like those of Yannick Jadot and Anne Hidalgo, while four candidates participate with good heart – Christiane Taubira, who officially announced his candidacy the day before, but also Anna Agueb-Porterie, Pierre Larrouturou and Charlotte Marchandise.

No matter. “Trust a sagacious electoral turtle like me. There is no point in running, you have to leave on time. I have already exhausted a few hares”, launched the deputy of Bouches-du-Rhône, paraphrasing the famous fable of Jean de Fountain.

His supporters are of the same opinion. “I don’t see the point of bringing together the whole left without there being a common program”, judge Manon, 25, present in Nantes. “It is primarily for his program that I support Jean-Luc Mélenchon. I see messages on the ‘green rule’ which are displayed everywhere around and it is a good example. Our lifestyles must go towards more sobriety and it is the program of the Common Future which insists the most on this. The green rule is not to take more from nature than it can replenish, nor produce more than it can sustain in a year.

Talk to the working classes

“It’s a bit of a shame that there is no union, but I don’t know how we can do otherwise because after a while, the union ends up tearing itself apart”, estimates for his part Bascou, 68, support of Jean-Luc Mélenchon since 2012. “At least things are clearer like that. I do not see the point of a primary because it does not solve the basic problems, namely ideas, and in the end it’s just a front unit.”

Just under three months from the first round of the presidential election and with eight declared candidates – Nathalie Arthaud, Anne Hidalgo, Yannick Jadot, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Arnaud Montebourg, Philippe Poutou, Fabien Roussel and Christiane Taubira – the left is therefore advancing puzzle style and everything remains open or almost. Even if the rebellious candidate is regularly given the lead in opinion polls (around 10%), his lead is only a few points over his main competitor, the ecologist Yannick Jadot.

He hopes to widen the gap in the coming weeks by becoming the useful vote for the left-wing electorate, as in 2017. Five years ago, the rebellious candidate had thus achieved his breakthrough between mid-March and mid-April , passing in a few weeks from 12% to 19% in voting intentions, while the Socialist candidate Benoît Hamon stalled.

Will the scenario repeat itself in 2022? The rebellious hope so. “The main problem is not the scattering of candidacies because the total of the left is quite low. It is rather to manage to speak to the disgusted with politics and the working classes. However, there is only Mélenchon who manages to do that on the left since the others have deserted social issues”, tackles Elie, 26, an LFI activist since he was old enough to vote.

A vision which is also that of Jean-Luc Mélenchon. “I ask women and men from working-class backgrounds: this time, we have to move,” he urged them, knowing full well that this challenge is immense.

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