How can riot-hit Macron save his agenda?
The key issue: French President Emmanuel Macron's humiliating climb-down over carbon taxes this week could have been avoided, had he listened to French voters in a smarter way.
Why it's important: As TV naturalist David Attenborough said in Poland recently, making a swift shift to a low-carbon economy is absolutely critical. But if the centrist leaders who understand this do not make better choices, they risk more election victories for extremists and climate change deniers.
Evidence: Unlike the French President's proposed carbon taxes, a Canadian province has introduced a carbon tax that returns all the money raised back to the public in tax cuts. It is both successful and popular.
Alternative views: Some think that changing the policy's name from a carbon tax to a "carbon fee" might help win over doubters. Advocates in the recent US Washington State referendum on this issue tried that, but it wasn't enough.
Conclusion: In order to win over the public on these critical issues, Macron and others should be utilising the latest smart opinion research techniques. These can help us better understand public opinion and more reliably predict what will happen given different scenarios. Then the optimum choices can be made.
Insight: These new techniques include political prediction markets - which utilise proven 'crowd wisdom' methods. Sub-conscience emotional message testing can also be useful, especially when emotions are running so high, as happened during the recent riots in Paris.
What's next?: Macron will try to recover some of his lost popularity. Centrists and progressives across the globe will want to frame the debate better so they can actually prevent climate chaos. To do this some are starting to utilise smarter opinion research techniques. Stratagem Global's opinion research team is at the forefront of this effort. Contact us if you'd like to learn more.