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The Crowdsourced Platform Trying to Revolutionize French Elections & a Look at One Determined Candidate

French citizens, just like Americans and citizens around the world, are fed up with their politicians and the election process. A new French election platform called LaPrimaire.org seeks to change that by creating a crowdsourced platform that encourages non-traditional candidates to run for office. We spoke to one candidate, Marianne-Ségolène Gindrey, about her hopes for LaPrimaire.

LaPrimaire’s origins

LaPrimaire.org launched in April of 2016 with the aim of running a candidate for the 2017 French presidential elections. According to a Forbes article published in May of 2016, just one month after LaPrimaire’s launch, the platform had attracted 164 candidates and 26,000 plus voters. As Forbes explained, anyone can be elected, as long as they live in France, do not belong to any political party and have a clean criminal record.

The 2017 French Presidential election passed, so how did LaPrimarie do?

Charlotte Marchandise was the winner of LaPrimaire’s civic election, but she fell short of the 500 sponsorships necessary to run in the national election. In France, any candidate running for President needs to secure 500 signatures or sponsorships from already elected members of office to be on the ballot in the first round of the election. Marchandise got 135 sponsorships. The 135 sponsorships is perhaps still a remarkable accomplishment when you consider that she obtained the 135 sponsorships in just two and half months, which was all the time she had.

LaPrimare.org remarked, “It is almost certain that if she (Marchandise) had been able to enter the campaign a little earlier and rely on a more mature network, she would have very probably obtained and could have been present in the first round of the presidential election.”

LaPrimaire.org is now setting its sights on 2020 with a determination to have a candidate in the first round of the Presidential election.

LaPrimaire candidate Marianne-Ségolène Gindrey

LaPrimaire candidate Marianne-Ségolène Gindrey

We spoke directly with, Marianne-Ségolène Gindrey, one very determined and non-traditional candidate hoping to be on the ballot for the European Parliament elections in 2019. Note, we conducted the interview in English, which is not her first language.

Gindrey told us that she is 23, lives in France and is the coordinator for the NGO Désirs d’avenir (Desires For The Future), an association created to help support French socialist party efforts. She also is a big Hillary Clinton fan, “I lead the Hillary Clinton’s supporters in France. I am a future head candidate on a free Group to the European elections in France for 2019”.

Gindrey also has borderline personality disorder (BPD), but she is not letting that stop her. When asked if she didn’t want us to share that info, she said no, she wanted people to know. “I want to show that peoples with psychic illness can lead nations with a real progressive program in politics.”

When asked if she was afraid the public would know about her BPD or think less of her because of it, Gindrey replied that she was not afraid and she wanted the public to know as she thought they would be more understanding and supportive. She also thought revealing her struggles would allow the public to support and help her as together they advanced her progressive platform.

So what is Gindrey’s platform?

Gindrey stated that she had left the socialist party because the party had turned against Francois Hollande, the former leader of the socialist party, and she thought the party had no future. Having good mental health resources in France is an issue she supports as well as closing the gender pay gap in France, investing in alternative energy development, and implementing facultative tax structure where people can choose to pay more taxes if they want. Gindrey not only wants to tackle the wage pay gap between genders in the workforce but between worker’s and bosses wages as well.

Gindrey has found support among other political activists she has met at various political conferences, meetings and even concerts.

Thanks to platforms like LaPrimaire.org more populations are becoming involved and considering running for election in France. LaPrimaire.org is an innovative approach to elections that allows for more civic engagement in the election process. It’s open primary model lowers the barrier to entry for potential candidates which LaPrimaire.org hopes will result in a “National Assembly that is more representative of French diversity and wealth.”

Good luck to Marianne-Ségolène Gindrey and all the much needed non-traditional candidates running on LaPrimaire.org!


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Lauren von Bernuth

Lauren is one of the co-founders of Citizen Truth. She graduated with a degree in Political Economy from Tulane University. She spent the following years backpacking around the world and starting a green business in the health and wellness industry. She found her way back to politics and discovered a passion for journalism dedicated to finding the truth.

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