A by-election that has already changed everything

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In a week, the Geneva Council of State will be full again. The Genevans will have chosen, in their soul and conscience, the one who will represent them at the highest political level and the craziest campaign of the beginning of the century will have come to an end. One week before the deadline, a man sentenced by justice at first instance, considered by a former federal judge as unfit to lead his department, is in a good position to succeed himself. And the fact that Pierre Maudet, convinced of tax evasion, is the herald of the largest economic umbrella in the canton is not the least of the paradoxes of this savage outfit. The presence of the PDC Delphine Bachmann and the SVP Yves Nidegger certainly divides the camp of the right, but they also offer those who would like to avoid seeing Pierre Maudet again at the Council of State alternatives which could, in fine, strengthen it by diverting ballots from its most serious competitor.

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The talent of the resigning independent minister will have been to have redefined, in times of crisis what is more, the idea of ​​an electoral campaign. The strategy of this pure political spirit was accentuated in the campaign of the second round. To echo, since it is now its own media, sectoral and even individual interests. Restaurateurs, watchmakers, night entrepreneurs: everyone had the opportunity, via the candidate, to express their needs. All are of course honorable and legitimate. Do these particular interests, put together, do they for all that make a social project? Each voter has their answer.

Corollary of this speech which depicts, despite the facts, Pierre Maudet as a providential man: the excess with which the green candidate is described. Fabienne Fischer is an extremist, assure her right-wing competitors, and her election would put the canton in danger, by tilting the government majority to the left and hovering the threat of a tax hike. It is true that the ecologist did not say that she would fight against such a measure. But it is lending a lot of power to this novice to link her presence in the government college to an immediate explosion in compulsory deductions. Similarly, the permanence of Pierre Maudet at the Council of State in no way guarantees the contrary. This decision rests with parliament, and even with the people as a last resort. In its current composition, it seems unlikely, even if the whirlwind we are experiencing teaches us that we are not immune to anything.

This last week promises to be disconcerting. The following months also, until the cantonal elections of 2023 and beyond. Whatever the outcome of the ballot box, this by-election has already changed the game of Geneva politics.