The yellow waistcoats crisis
What is striking about the "yellow waistcoats" crisis is the support the movement has received from the French people over the last two months. The initial demands (abolition of fuel tax, increased purchasing power, abolition of the CSG increase for pensioners earning more than €1,300) were greeted with understanding and then approval by a large majority of citizens. Depending on the time and the poll, this sympathy ranged from 51 to 75 %. Moreover, despite the evolution of the demands, some of which have become more than extravagant (resignation of the President, the Prime Minister, dissolution of the Assembly, and so on...) and above all the violence and outrage that have accompanied the demonstrations, there has not been a massive turnaround or rejection on the part of the public.
So, unlike the conflict generated by the SNCF reform where public opinion showed 75% understanding in favour of the government which enabled it to hold out, for this crisis the latter has not benefited from the sizeable ally constituted by the so-called silent majority. When we add to this the difficulty or refusal of the various 'yellow waistcoat' movements to designate representatives capable of being credible partners in the negotiations proposed (admittedly with delay) by the government, it is easy to understand why the latter seemed disorientated and plunged into total embarrassment.
To put it another way, on the one hand the government has been deprived of the so-called "MESORE". third party On the other hand, he has another type of MESORE, called the "public" (made up of the rest of the citizens), which would have legitimised his decisions. On the other hand, while he has another type of MESORE called " punch "The French government has the right to call on the forces of law and order to ensure the safety of people, property and the law, but it must do so with a great deal of discernment (despite the provocations and violence of the rioters opposite). Indeed, it had to avoid at all costs any tragedy that might later be blamed on it. However, despite the "restraint" shown by the forces of law and order overall, some "angelic" people find fault and do not hesitate to accuse the government and President Emmanuel Macron of being repressive.
The "Grand Débat" certainly offers the best way out for the government, even if the complexity of the process makes the outcome uncertain in terms of the expectations that will be expressed. E. Macron has nevertheless avoided the trap of giving the answers before the end of this original and unprecedented consultation.
These three examples indisputably demonstrate the relevance of the theory of conflict management through negotiation developed by the Negotiation Centre at Harvard and which has been disseminated in France for over 35 years by the European Negotiation Centre. To have power in a negotiation, it is essential to before the need to identify and constantly improve the MESORE of a negotiated agreement. To have a better chance of success, you have to foresee and anticipate failure. That's the paradox.