OPTASSEMBLEE Two specialized sites compile a whole lot of data on the work of each deputy in the National Assembly
Deputies on their phones during the QAG session at the National Assembly. — NICOLAS MESSYASZ/SIPA
- A few hours before the start of the World Cup in Qatar, the world of football is preparing to scrutinize the statistics of footballers in the smallest detail .
- You may not know it, but the political field also has its stats, which relate to the work carried out by each deputy in the Assembly.
- Some elected officials admit to having an eye on their personal data, when Others, on the other hand, are wary of figures that do not necessarily reflect the profession of parliamentarian.
Mbappé, Messi, or Neymar? Who will be the top scorer at the World Cup in Qatar? With the World Cup starting this Sunday, the football world will be immersed for a month in the stats, which fans and players themselves are often addicted to. The number of goals, of course, but also assists, duels won, distance covered… all the data will be monitored and commented on for a month down to the smallest detail. You probably don’t know it, but far from the lawns, other statistics also exist on the pitch… policy! MPs are indeed keeping a close eye on their “stats” to measure the work done; within the National Assembly, and turn them into political arguments against the their opponents.
“”&Cedil;a allows to measure part of the work””
Two websites are of particular interest to parliamentarians. On datan.fr, elected officials can assess their rate of participation in the Hemicycle, or “loyalty” to their group. Most deputies follow the line of their colleagues when they vote and therefore obtain the score of 100%, like the rebellious Mathilde Panot or the macronist Sylvain Maillard. On the other hand, in Les Républicains, there are many more “rebels” the image of the elected official of Orne Jérôme Nury, who only voted what’’ 68% like his colleagues. The right is the least “cohesive group” du Palais-Bourbon, with a cohesion rate of 0.793 during the votes, below the average for all the groups, 0.923 (the maximum mark is 1, if all the deputies of the group vote the same).
An example of statistics, here for the LR group. – https://datan.fr/Capture d'Écran
The website nosdeputes.fr, much more complete, reveals a whole lot of other data: attendance rate in committee, vote in public ballot, number of interventions in the Hemicycle, d’ amendments or bills tabled, oral or written questions put to the government… “Everyone consults them, looks at their figures, assures Thomas Ménagé, MP. of the RN. What is watched a lot is the presence in committee and in session and the percentages of participation in the votes. Stats for stats don’t make sense, but it’s proof of our work, çit allows to measure part of what we do for the French”. As can be seen in the table below, the elected representative of Loiret, for example, intervened at 14 times in committee (blue circle), has submitted 18 written questions to the government (green circle) and has not yet asked; of oral questions to the government (red circle) since the beginning of the mandate.
An example of the statistics on the site: www.nosdeputes.fr – nosdeputes.fr/thomas-menage/Capture d'Écran
On nosdeputes.fr, parliamentarians can also compare their stats to; those of others. In each column, if the number is green, the MP is one of the 150 most active parliamentarians. Conversely, if it’s red, it’s in the least active 150 (see below).
Screenshot of the website nosdeputes.fr – nosdeputes.fr/Capture d'Écran
“I watch regularly, once a week, where I'm one, in oral interventions or written questions, in particular. To know if I am in the average of the deputies, below or above, assures Antoine Léaument, deputy; rebellious of Essonne. Not to change the way things are done, but to see if my activity corresponds to the profession of deputy, to avoid being behind on a sector. Especially at the beginning, I was a little stressed””, confides the former digital manager of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who joined to the Assembly last June.
Does this data spark competition within groups, as is sometimes the case in some football teams? “We are 89 elected, so I’t be careful, replies Thomas Ménagé. Not to compare yourself with the neighbor or to be the good student. But ça allows us to give a trend of our activity, to situate ourselves in relation to the group. Am I getting enough of the parliamentary fight?”
Stats can, however, become political weapons. The National Rally thus claims “good figures” for his group, in the logic of “respectability” wanted by Marine Le Pen at the Palais-Bourbon. The RN is also aware that during the previous term, its eight elected officials were often criticized for their absences in the Hemicycle and in committee.
“ ;isn't just stats”
All of them nevertheless insist on the fact that the job of parliamentarian is not quantifiable, is not limited to the precincts of the Assembly but includes work in the constituency, mobilizations on the ground and in the media. Many are also wary of this quantified approach. “There is what we vote for, and all the work is done in circo. I do not measure my usefulness of parliamentarian with percentages. It’s an approach very far from what people”s expect,” sweeps away Maud Bregeon, Renaissance MP for Hauts-de-Seine. “Many judge the action of MPs on this, & that doesn’t interest me. I do regular work, for a specific purpose, not numbers to make numbers,” also criticizes elected RN Julien Odoul.
Pierre-Henri Dumont, MP LR from Pas-de-Calais, nuance. “You’n’n’t ever get elected or re-elected because stats, but you can lose if you're not good. You'll never value 3,000 public votes, but you may get slapped on the wrist if you're among the worst absentees, so keep an eye on it,' he said. “He’s like a truck driver, he doesn’t need to scan the speedometer to control his speed. Me, I have my rhythm, I maximize my presence. But I'm not going to inflate my stats by tabling meaningless amendments”.
Not necessarily a guarantee of success
This is also the opinion of the elected MoDem, Erwan Balanant, who sorts through all the data listed. “A good MP is not just about stats. Some numbers are ridiculous. In the majority, for example, you table fewer amendments than in the opposition. Besides, if you make thousands but none are voted on, what does ”that mean”?” from Finistère. Who still admits to keeping an eye on the nosdeputes.fr site. “In the previous term, I was watching from time to time,” he said. What matters is the long time. At the end of the mandate, I had all the figures in the green [therefore in the 150 most active], and in a classification on the parliamentary work, I had been classified fifth.”.
Centrist refers to a Capital ranking from last June, which compiled data from the previous mandate to assess the “hardest working MPs and those who do the least”. The newspaper noted in passing that several “good students” of Macronie had been called to the government by Emmanuel Macron. The stat, a guarantee of success? Not necessarily: Amélie de Montchalin, second in the majority ranking, who became a minister, was defeated in the legislative elections last June and forced to leave the government.