The Christian Science Monitor

Macron asks a restive France: What would you like to change?

It’s a chamber usually dedicated to governmental debate, but this time, things are different.

Here in the assembly room of the Hotel de Ville, Paris’s town hall, council members have been replaced with local citizens, and law proposals have given way to public comment. There’s a “videomaton,” a makeshift video-recording booth for people to express their thoughts on camera, as well as a whiteboard to jot down suggestions for change.

It is all part of France’s “great national debate,” an effort to quell the raging “Yellow Vest” protests that have shaken the nation since mid-November. For the next several weeks, French President Emmanuel Macron has called on the people to offer up their suggestions on better ways of governing in terms of the economy, education, the environment,

‘Better to talk than not to talk’Growing inequalityCould the debates work too well?

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