Self-service scooters in Paris: a vote “neither sincere, nor egalitarian, nor impartial”
Thursday, February 16, the town hall of Paris finally clarified the contours of the referendum on whether or not to maintain self-service scooters in the capital that it intends to organize. An announcement that caused a strong reaction from scooter operators, who believe that this vote will not be “neither sincere, nor egalitarian, nor impartial”. For several months, the mayor of Paris has been engaged in a standoff with the operators so that they take measures to clean up their presence in the capital. Unconvinced for the moment, the authorities have announced that a vote will be held on April 2, 2023.
No electronic voting or proxy
To participate in the ballot, Parisians will have to fulfill a certain number of criteria. First, voting will be physical only: electronic voting has been left out of the equation, as have proxies. This referendum will also only concern intramural Parisians. The deadline for registration on the electoral lists is set for March 3, and the vote will be done in a number of offices limited to one or two per district, according to the operators, this last point remaining to be confirmed.
“The vote therefore provides for the conscious exclusion of people with reduced mobility, who are overweight or sick, as well as young people who, as we know, do not take part in the polls and are the first to shun the ballot boxes.responded Dott, Lime and Tier in a joint statement. In short, the mayor of Paris and her team affirmed, on February 16, 2023, that in Paris some Parisians are more important than others, and that not all deserve to have a voice.. They thus denounce a decision “shocking”estimating for example that “electronic voting is authorized for the participatory budget of the City of Paris” via France Connect and that “the power of attorney is designated by this same town hall as a simple and useful device”.
Of the “doubts about the sincerity of the ballot”
In an interview given to Parisian, the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, had called for the outright abolition of fleets of self-service electric scooters, while ensuring that the decision of Parisians would be respected. A vote with an uncertain outcome since some polls show that 70% of the inhabitants of the capital would be in favor of maintaining these light self-service vehicles. A mobility that is all the more appreciated in a complicated period for Parisian public transport.
“We regret such a crude instrumentalization of the citizen vote and all these points cast doubt on the sincerity of the voteconclude the operators. The unequal modalities of this referendum show that it is a missed opportunity to bring participatory democracy to life properly, and that it cannot be improvised”.