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Roots versus MSM, synthesis?

by afew Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 05:52:37 AM EST

Bringing together what I wrote about Nicolas Sarkozy's control of the media (11 in a row for Sarko) and yesterday's piece about the grass-and-netroots campaign run by Ségolène Royal (Royal and the Roots), along with comment in the threads, this morning Libération publishes a poll by LH2 that hits a spot we're concerned about: public perception of the two campaigns. The results highlight the (in my opinion, at least) dangerous position Royal is now in.

Erreur interdite. Alors que Ségolène Royal doit présenter son projet présidentiel dimanche, à Villepinte (Seine-Saint-Denis), l'attente de l'opinion est telle que le moindre faux pas pourrait être payé cash. <...> Les personnes interrogées se montrent fort dubitatives quant à la méthode choisie jusque-là par la candidate socialiste : 37 % préfèrent la façon dont Nicolas Sarkozy mène campagne contre 28 % pour Ségolène Royal. Et la candidate fédère difficilement son camp, puisque seuls 58 % des sympathisants socialistes assument leur préférence pour la méthode Royal.

No mistakes allowed. As Ségolène Royal gets ready to bring out her presidential project on Sunday in Villepinte, (Seine-Saint-Denis), the expectations of public opinion are such that the slightest slip-up could bear an immediate cost. <...> Respondents to our poll prove to be extremely dubious about the method chosen up to now by the Socialist candidate: 37% prefer Nicolas Sarkozy's way of campaigning to 28% for Ségolène Royal's. And the latter is hardly backed by her own side, since only 58% of Socialist sympathisers state their preference for the Royal method.


At first sight, one could scream that, obviously, since public opinion today is made by the MSM, and the MSM have not covered Royal's roots campaign, while Sarkozy's classic media-based campaign has been given added visibility by his influential position (both in government and as a friend of media moguls), it's not freaking surprising people are uncertain about her campaign: they haven't seen it happening. So aaarggh scream yell gah kick spit. Then notice that the "Royal method" doesn't seem hugely convincing to Socialist sympathisers -- those whom one would expect to know more than the MSM is saying about the "participative democracy" debates and the Internet campaign.

62 % des Français, et même 68 % des ouvriers et employés, considèrent que ces débats vont «faire émerger de bonnes idées». Mais ils sont presque aussi nombreux (respectivement 60 % et 66 %) à pronostiquer que ces débats risquent de générer «beaucoup de déception». Un semblant de renoncement. Comme si l'espoir que Ségolène Royal a fait naître parmi les Français, et d'abord parmi les catégories défavorisées, était déjà condamné à être déçu.

62% of the French, and even 68% of blue-collar and lower-ranking white-collar workers, think these debates will "bring out good ideas". But almost as many of them (respectively 60% and 66%) predict these debates risk producing "a lot of disappointment". Looks like giving up. As if the hopes Ségolène Royal awakened among the French, and primarily among underprivileged groups, were already certain to be dashed.

Libé goes on to list points it says (from the evidence of the poll) the underprivileged want to see handled by Royal -- in a "concrete" fashion, meaning detailed promises she will keep. Unemployment, purchasing power, retirement pensions, social justice, are in the lead. We're on traditional ground for the left, that the left's electorate feels have not been taken seriously in the past. The problem is that anyone can come hunting on these grounds, and does.

Mais ce terrain social censé être étiqueté de gauche pourrait s'avérer piégé. François Miquet-Marty, directeur des études politiques de LH2, note que «Ségolène Royal doit répondre à une exigence sociale d'autant plus décisive que Lionel Jospin n'y avait qu'imparfaitement répondu en 2002, et d'autant plus complexe que l'extrême gauche, Nicolas Sarkozy et Jean-Marie Le Pen se positionnent eux-mêmes sur cette question».

But this social ground supposedly labelled "for the left" could turn out to be mined. François Miquet-Marty, LH2's political surveys director, points out that "Ségolène Royal has to respond to a social demand all the more decisive in that Lionel Jospin gave it an incomplete response in 2002, and all the more complex in that the extreme left, Nicolas Sarkozy and Jean-Marie Le Pen have taken up their own positions on these questions."

Essentially, Libé is piling on the pressure for SR to turn up the volume on the left-wing speaker of the stereo. No doubt the subjects coming up through the debates in meetings and on the Web, combined with the need to unite the Socialist Party and the traditional left electorate behind her, will mean that, on Sunday, Libé's wishes will be fulfilled.

But a broader question remains, one that was put in the comment threads here: the roots campaign is just great, but what happens if the MSM are against you? What hope of victory is there? Royal's campaign to date seems (to me at least) to have been lacking in the kind of standard media organisation campaigns usually have, while she probably (again, imo) would need double in present circumstances. That now puts her pretty much up against the wall: a huge amount hinges on Sunday's meeting. Unfortunately, the media will be more responsible for determining perception of the results of that meeting, than she herself will be.

What would you do? How can we alter very broad perceptions that, in our societies, are created and managed by the punditry and the foot-soldier journalists through mass outlets, especially TV?

Display:
If BHL can be convinced that it is a good idea...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 06:17:48 AM EST
I didn't read that piece as you did. Anyway, BHL isn't in any way representative of the electorate...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 07:07:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Call me a pessimist, but if BHL thinks something is a good idea, then it's doomed...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 07:13:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Then I'm glad I think he prefers Sarkozy...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 07:22:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I my view it is written by an arrogant patronising prick (you said French?). Only the last sentence is positive...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:35:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now I'm doubly glad to see someone reads it like me...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:40:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I agree that he is a patronising arrogant prick. His comments about SR's feminism made that pretty clear.

Thus, taking that into account (and the fact that this was in the WSJ), the overall result is unexpectedly positive - but that's a relative judgement.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 09:42:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the final sentence surprised me.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 10:05:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
She appears to have rekindled hope, which is a good start. Of course, dashing - once again - these hopes would be deadly.

But the 'I'm listening to you' bit is valuable, I think. We'll see how it is reflected in her proposals.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 06:19:30 AM EST
by oldfrog on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 06:34:30 AM EST
I am having flashbacks to 2000 and 2004.  Please don't let it happen in France, too.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 06:54:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm getting a flashback of 2002.

Someone should start writing diaries under the title "countdown to President Sarkozy".

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 06:56:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 07:11:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought Jerome was going to do "Countdown to President Le Pen".

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 07:19:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm concerned that media-created perceptions may deaden Royal's message, not that "obviously" the French aren't buying it.

When are you writing a diary about Bayrou's message, by the way?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 07:10:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
as soon I have a liitle time. It's difficult for me to write a longer essay in English without really checking the language. I can try to do a summary.
by oldfrog on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:01:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Two points now I've had time to look at this ;)

  1. this is about Sarkozy's appearance on TF1 in a show tailormade for him, in which a chosen studio audience ask him questions. The show is on the channel that always runs for the right in France and is owned by Martin Bouygues, personal Sarko-friend; it is produced by a private production company run by Dominique Ambiel, UMP former PM and Sarkozy supporter Jean-Pierre Raffarin's communications adviser (spin-merchant) at Matignon (who had to resign when he was caught with an under-age prostitute); and the show is overseen by Sarkozy's communications specialist, ad-man Frank Tapiro. It's not surprising Sarko seemed convincing. François Bayrou, btw, is protesting about this, and saying he won't accept an invitation to this fake debate show. (I think Royal would be wise to refuse too -- let the thing be exposed as a Sarkozy puff...).

  2. This poll only proves that that show went down well, not that the French are obviously not buying Royal's message.

However, there's no doubt it's an example of how the media are rolling out a carpet before Sarkozy -- and creating the perception that he's a walk-away winner.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:27:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think "the public" doesn't want to be listened to, but they want an authority figure that will tell them how (s)he's going to solve their problems. And the authority figure should not have to listen to them, because they should either be "in touch with the people" already, or simply have the superhuman ability to read their minds. [recall kcurie's comments about Zapatero's need to "assert his authority" whether or not the policy is sound]

Please refute this.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 07:00:05 AM EST
Refutation: aren't you an anarchist?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 07:12:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Counter-refutation: are the majority of the public anarchists?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 07:14:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
c-c-r: aren't anarchists supposed to believe in the people?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 07:20:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hopefully in the people as they are. If I have to let ideology get in the way of my best understanding of mass psychology as it is now, I suppose I can't be an anarchist.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 07:22:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm still struggling with this. the people as they are, or as they will be?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:14:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Political action or utopian vision?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:20:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose anarchism is about the people as they can be. But political action has to be based on people as they are, even if the political goals are based on what you wish the people to be (which is hopefully something they can be).

In my own personal flavour, proselytism is borderline coertion. It is the slippery slope to trying to force them to adopt anarchism, as happened with the forced collectivisations carried out by Anarchists in Aragon and Catalonia during the Spanish civil war.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:26:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. That's pretty much what I thought you were thinking. My point above (half-serious) was of course that what you were saying about current mass psychology made anarchy look like a d-i-s-t-a-n-t prospect. In fact, it makes democracy look pretty pale.

The "public" wants, finally, a charismatic authority-figure who says what the public wants to hear. Don't make me think of past examples, I'll get Godwin called on me ;)

If this is true -- and I can't really refute it, it's no doubt true of a significant proportion of the electorate -- then I wonder why we think we'll change much from the roots, from the bottom up. We should all be practising in front of a mirror in military uniform or with little moustaches.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:34:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's one thing to change something and quite another to attain power.

Not only "the public" wants a charismatic authority figure who agrees with them. One hears regular yearning for leadership even over here on ET, supposed home of the anti-authoritarian left.

Does democracy not look pretty pale around your parts?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 09:30:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]

ET, supposed home of the anti-authoritarian left.

I suppose I find it a high form of praise that the anti-authoritarian left finds ET its "home" despite the fact that I never hide my leanings towards technocratic (and implicitly elitist) solutions...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 09:38:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are, after all, an extreme point of the ET political spectrum on the libertarian right edge...

You're the highest point in that little cluster on the lower right.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 09:43:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
regular yearning for leadership

I suppose you'll find examples if I object, but, frankly, I don't know what you're talking about.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 09:42:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How many times have people said "what we need is a leader?".

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 09:44:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't think of a single example.

More generally, I see the evidence every day that this place is far more influenced by a collaborative ethos than by top-down authority.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 09:54:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But this place has a frightening concentration of PhDs, who are - at least - used to various kinds of collaborative working.

And even then we still have occasional problems deciding practical stuff.

I don't think all of the population is authoritarian. But I think enough of the population is for it to be considered a powerful swing-vote influence on democracy.

In the UK at least, most of the population feels utterly disenfranchised and cynical, to the point where even if someone with charisma and genuine integrity appeared in an election race, the reaction would 'Yeah - whatever.'

I don't know enough about France to understand how participatory democracy is over there.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 10:50:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Have we actually ran a poll of educational attainment in a diary yet?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 10:52:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely and completely and utterly wholly..agree with you.

I would say it is nto only your impresion.. it has been proved in serious research (not the kind of pshycho-socio bubble or babble in the media). I would need a link to support tht stuff. I know

There is research about the rate of population and their power narratives... and the authoritative figure or the "once-in-a-while shove it" figure is really relevant for a part of the electorate who votes.

it is really important to recall that the authoritative figure must not be confused with the dictature figure of the only-one--leader-my-way-or-the-high-way Franco/mussolini/stalin style. They are compeltely different. In a sense, somehow opposite.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 11:14:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's one thing to change something and quite another to attain power.

It would be good if you'd tease this thinking out into a diary when you have the time and the inclination.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 04:45:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I had a thought about this today.

Basically, if you want to attain power in a modern democracy you'll be most successful by adopting positions which fall more or less on the median of voters' opinions. On the other hand, if you want to influence discourse you will have to adopt an extreme opinion. The more extreme, the smaller the size of your immediate sympathetic audience, but the larger the strength and clarity of your message. There's likely to be an optimum balance somewhere. You are most likely to have an impact on actually changing things if you are centrist enough to be in a group that actually attains power and you have some influence within that.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 16th, 2007 at 10:08:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder why we think we'll change much from the roots, from the bottom up.

Because humanity has changed in this way numerous times in the past. As little as two millenia ago, infanticide used to be widespread. Nowadays it's relegated to backwards dead-end cultures.

Furthermore, such change can be extremely rapid. During the 60s revolution, many countries experienced a whole step up in psychological evolution within the span of a single generation. Germany was most notable since it had started the 20th century as one of the most psychologically backwards of the European powers.

By most accounts, we are just one evolutionary step away from anarchism. In the advanced countries of course. Large swathes of the USA have been remarkably stagnant over the last two centuries, which is why that country is so backwards and poverty-ridden. The head start it had at its foundation has been completely eroded and then some. Developing countries are even worse off.

by richardk (richard kulisz gmail) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 09:34:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL!!!
Great one-liners!!!

Both of you

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 07:54:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you want to be an overpowerful technocrat selected because of his brilliance at math, come to France.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:24:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds enticing.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:27:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A special advisor's office in President Jérôme's Elysée will be nice. Free cheese.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:39:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Was true a decade ago, now it's no longer true AFAICS.

We'll pay later for that :)

by Laurent GUERBY on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 02:24:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"the public" doesn't want to be listened to, but they want an authority

Question : isn't this statement a little condescending, indeed elitist?

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:41:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the statement contradicted by the poll afew quotes?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:43:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you build your vision of the people from the polls ?

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:47:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Among other things. That over half of Socialist sympathisers don't like Segolene's strategy is a bit damning.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:50:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, I read the 58% in the wrong direction. But what this says to me is that 40% of French Socialists lean authoritarian.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:51:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's interesting to note that Royal got around 60% in the Socialist primary, and here a similar score likes her campaign style.

Of course, the voters in the primary were PS members, and here it's self-identified "sympathisers". Still it may be that lingering resistance on the part of DSK/Fabius/Jospin supporters may explain the 40%, rather than an objection to participative methods. (OK, they may also be, at least partly, people who prefer an authoritarian daddy-figure).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 10:00:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On this, I agree with you, but jumping from this to the statement you made is a bit too hasty in my view. Knowing your love for scientific rigour, which I share, I am surprised you don't take this kind of polls with a barrowful of salt...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:56:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The most unfortunate thing is that the more I find out about 'the people', the more condescending and elitist I become. I think this is a common leftist problem. This is why I support A Very Elitist Revolution™. I don't think I could put up with the populist one.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:55:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Surprisingly, the more I come to know "the people" - my job has made me work with all kinds of people - and, above all, the more I come to know the "élites" whether business, political or cultural, - and I know a few of them - the less elitist I become...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 09:07:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The question, as always, is whether the "system" keeps people honest and encourages decency rather than graft.

Mass education, and mass media are playing havoc with the old regulatory mechanisms, creating a lot of confusion - and a lot of opportunities for dishonest people at all levels.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 09:40:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think nowadays elite (in the good sense) is anybody which understand how the dynamics of power play out.
The ones Who understands who has power and why in your surroundings.

Being elite in the bad sense is being one of those with power and money.. being the elite in the good sense is just knowing what is going around you.

I love the good elite.. the others, both non-elite and elite+elite.. well I decide my opinion in a case by case basis :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 09:56:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This topic really needs a diary of its own!
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 10:54:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
what???? :)

It is just my personal categorization of things....
I sometimes like to introduce it when someone uses the standard version.... je jeej

But thanks in any case.

a pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 11:08:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i second ThatBritGuy.  the issue of the function and formation of elites (and, relatedly, intellectuals) in society is one that has come up, at least for me, over and over reading this website.  and it is not an idle topic politically, having implications about power and equality in society at large.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 12:13:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see...

yes, I understand now.. a diary not about my particular definition but about the notion.. yeah .. you two are right.. it seems worthy of a diary.. but I do nto think I have the knowledge of the elite to do it...

I am sure here there are other people more fit to do the diary :) Iam not an elite+elite :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 12:23:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
here: The difference between being arrogant and matter-of-fact?


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 12:27:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It looks to me like she was possibly planning an end-run around the meeja by talking to people directly and relying partly on viral word of mouth.

And it hasn't worked, because in most people's perceptions, what they see inside the boob tube is more real to them and carries more weight than what happens in the village hall.

I'm not sure people want leaders who listen to them, so much as leaders who already know what they want to do. Then they can vote for the plans.

Dialogue doesn't seem to sell, as such.

Where's the French netroots in all this? Is there any significant netroots scene at all?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 07:00:48 AM EST
Where's the French netroots in all this? Is there any significant netroots scene at all?

Right, anything corresponding to DKos or something?

Also, sorry if I missed this in any recent diaries or threads, but have there been any polls broken down by age groups, and if so, any indication whether younger voters lean more towards Sarkozy or Royal?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 07:12:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
anything corresponding to DKos or something?

No. Perhaps tribeuro.fr may have an ambition of that kind?

I haven't got age breakdowns to hand.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 07:19:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just slide down the front page to yesterday, Royal and the Roots.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 07:13:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have discussed this part in the recent diary about Spain together Migeru.

what they see in the tubes is not more real than reality.. what they see in the tubes is the narrative.. so you must really know the narrative they want to hear.. either from the tubes, newspapers, face to face talk.

Only when the media distorts your narrative , then you have a problem with MSM and the control of the campaign..(te problem democrats face in the US) actually when there is a MSM consensus agaisnt your narrative. This becomes a problem. Given the dual nature of most European media markets I guess that is not a porblem for Seg.

And regarding Spain, I am quite positive about what the 10-15 % moving bloc wants (not so sure about the base of each party).. they want a listening figure that once in a while shoves it to someone....and keeps the economy fuming.

besides this bloc ,in Spain, there is an important segment of the lectorate which does not seem to exist in france or England. A 10% block of purely left-wing voters who hardly vote. There are on million peple in Spain who would never vote a right-wing party. NEVER. OVER their dead bodies... but they almost never vote!.. Creating a narrative of "all are the same" or "media noise" to state that the PSOE president is not worthy is key to block this electorate.

I am wondering what kind of narrative the moving block wants in France... and if there is such a thing as reliable left-wing-once-in-a-while voters.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 07:54:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Given the dual nature of most European media markets I guess that is not a porblem for Seg.

Unfortunately, French mass media are heavily tilted towards Sarko. The narrative that has gone over up to now (a sub-text narrative, not clearly stated) is that Royal is a woman and however nice she may be she can't cut it and makes blunders he-he-he, (and she doesn't have a programme), while Sarko is obviously a competent man in a suit (who has a programme, of course).

Otherwise, I don't really think either candidate has run a good campaign to date. Sarkozy can't get his image straight between authoritarian right and a need to look for voters in the centre; Royal has staked a great deal on the participative process and now finds herself up against a make-or-break moment I wish she and her campaign people had been smarter about.

There's not much talk about swing voters for the moment. (I take it that's what you mean by "moving bloc"). However, polls show about 20% undecided.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:10:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
there is no strong left-wing editorial group with Tv, radio newspapers.. well one.. more than one in France?

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 09:51:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
None. See bruno-ken's comment below that refers back to my Libération articles.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 10:04:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And Le-Monde ? and the radio station I have read here...

so theya re like small groups with no cohesion? well, that can certainly be true.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 10:07:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Le Monde is supposedly centrist, but, over the last fifteen years, has been taken over by a money-making set advised by neo-lib Alain Minc. The quality tradition -- newspaper of record -- means that Le Monde is a good source of information. But it's definitely not on the left, definitely not backing Royal. Some say it's sneakily backing Sarko. If I notice how, I'll tell you.

Public broadcasting is supposed to be neutral, but the more it is mass (the main TV channels) the less that ie really true. The information/news services of the two most popular public channels (France 2 and 3) pass Sarko's stuff unquestioningly.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 11:39:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Depressing. PSF should focus on building an media empire.. right now...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 11:44:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Where does Vivendi (the owner of Canal+ France) stand, politically?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 12:03:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Vivendi, you don't have to ask. Canal+ is a little more complicated, since it's historically a "young", intelligent, and funny channel. (And it's not in Vivendi's interest to bust up that image). There's a lot of satire etc, and so it's a channel that superficially doesn't support Sarko. I'd say it supports Ségo even less.

It's a pay channel and not one of the (supposed) information/news purveyors.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 03:20:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Public broadcasting is supposed to be neutral, but the more it is mass (the main TV channels) the less that ie really true.

But you don't mean to say that the "masses" by and large incline rightward (and thus put pressure on the main TV channels to serve up more right-friendly fare), do you?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 12:19:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The public channels in France have a long history of government political control. There's less of it now, and it's much better concealed, but France Télévision doesn't have the independence of, say, the BBC (challenged though that may be by Megalo-Tony).

The chief managers are quasi-political appointees (meaning they are professionals but chosen for the side they lean towards) and the heads of news/magazines/political interview and debate programmes are carefully picked, along with news anchors etc. No one's around who might rock the boat politically, unless it's after midnight... ;) The left under Mitterand did the same (so it's not response to demand), but it's true the right has tended to view the Republic as their property, and public broadcasting with it, in a more consistent way throughout the half-century of the Ve Republic.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 03:34:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
besides this bloc ,in Spain, there is an important segment of the lectorate which does not seem to exist in france or England. A 10% block of purely left-wing voters who hardly vote. There are on million peple in Spain who would never vote a right-wing party. NEVER. OVER their dead bodies... but they almost never vote!.. Creating a narrative of "all are the same" or "media noise" to state that the PSOE president is not worthy is key to block this electorate.
The size of this block is really huge. 3M PSOE voters out of 33M registered voters stayed at home in 2000 as opposed to 1996 or 2000. Participation rates are around 2/3.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:13:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I should point out that estimates of a similar block have been showing up in the UK, but due to FPP it doesn't seem to have the same influence on events so far.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:24:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, that could be very well be the case. thnaks Metatone.

Actually, in Spain the level can reach the 3M people as Mig says in some ocasions.. but the ahrd-core almost never-voting group is around 1M (methinks).
Probably in UK it must be of the same order..and too disperse to have an impact? I dunno
Besides labor is not as left-wing as PSOE is on social,police,judicial, labour and foreign affairs issues.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 09:33:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Besides labor is not as left-wing as PSOE is on social,police,judicial, labour and foreign affairs issues.

True, but what brought it to mind is that it is largely those left-wing voters in the UK who are sitting and not voting for the Labour party.

(A quick explanation in case anyone can't decipher the code, the issue in the UK is that under the First Past the Post system, the spread of the disenfranchised is mostly across "safe Labour seats" and so Tony Blair (for example) loses little by ignoring these people.)

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 10:39:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How does this manifest itself in culti-seat PR systems like the EP elections, and the London, Welsh, Scottish, and NI Assemblies?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 10:46:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I should recant and state that I only really was talking about England.

The Scottish element that was feeling that way has sort of showed up in part in relation to the Scottish Nationalists. Although there are a couple of left-wing independents in the Assembly there.

I have no idea about Wales to be honest.

NI is dominated by sectarian issues.

Turnout for the EP elections is so low in general it's hard to separate out effects. 39% in 2004, but 28% in 1999. One could argue about the Green Party or the fact that the Tories + UKIP did so well...

London - I don't know the constituency breakdown well enough, but it looks to me like the effect is there somewhat.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 11:13:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
in 2000 as opposed to 1996 or 2004

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:29:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
kcurie, do you think the left block that doesn't vote in Spain is susceptible to being mobilised vie netroots?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:18:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Two answers

The 1M  heavy non-voter left-wing  bloc Answer: No Way .. if anthropology is at the slightest a science

The other 2 Millions who seem to get activated more often than the others... (they got out only acouple of tiems at the most)
 mmmhhh

mmmhhh......

Answer: No fraking clue!!!

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 10:00:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What is the narrative of the hard-core 1M? (IYHO)

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 11th, 2007 at 08:36:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmm, I smell pessimism...should we be? What can we be optimistic about? I hear its dangerous times...but the election is still 3 months away, yes?

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 07:20:09 AM EST
I still think that the idea of dialogue with the electorate is a good one for Royal. It helps to define a character in opposition to Sarko's arrogance.

BUT, I expressed my worst fears in a previous thread and I am still filled with the fear.

I don't see how Royal can get a positive image out to enough voters whilst Sarko has such a dominance of the media channels.

There is an added problem however. People assume that there is a "French consensus" on the economy and various associated things. And thus, they believe Sarko can be voted for and it won't make much difference.

Only time will tell if that is the case, but that perception definitely steals a lot of Royal's momentum. I think a genuine majority are worried about the neo-liberal scheme to transfer ever more risk to the individual, but that's only a winner for Royal if people understand that Sarko might overthrow the "French consensus."

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 07:21:35 AM EST
Your worst fears are obviously mine. I like the roots campaign too, but it doesn't seem to be sufficiently visible given the media skew.

If Sunday goes off well, it may well become a trump card. There's just a lot hanging on Sunday, that's all...

You're right about the "consensus". But there I think Royal has seen the need to fight. Sarkozy has to be shown to be a neo-lib and a "Bushist" and therefore to threaten balances the French, overall, don't want to see disrupted.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 08:53:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At first sight, one could scream that, obviously, since public opinion today is made by the MSM, and the MSM have not covered Royal's roots campaign, while Sarkozy's classic media-based campaign has been given added visibility by his influential position (both in government and as a friend of media moguls), it's not freaking surprising people are uncertain about her campaign: they haven't seen it happening.

I was looking for more details on just which media moguls Sarkozy is tight with, which brought me to this breathless bit at AntiSarko.net (I kid you not):

Nicolas SARKOZY est donc au centre de l'actualité médiatique. Il faut dire que les médias sont très demandeurs de petites phrases radicales et d'apparitions fracassantes, mais rappelons que cette faveur est aussi liée aux relations étroites que Nicolas SARKOZY a construit au fil du temps avec les grands « patrons » des médias. Arnaud LAGARDERE et Martin BOUYGUES sont des amis très proches du ministre (Martin est même le parrain de son fils). Grâce à leur pouvoir et à la concentration monopolistique des médias privées, ces bons amis entretiennent une forme de dictature médiatique qui pour la première fois avec une telle ampleur, présentent un homme politique comme un pur produit de grande consommation.

And then searching on LAGARDERE and BOUYGUES, on EuroTrib, I found these clarifications in your Crisis at Libération -- Part One from last November:

Some of the names that feature above as whole or part owners or runners of newspapers have other media interests, and are closely associated with Nicolas Sarkozy.

Martin Bouygues runs the Bouygues public works and telecommunications empire and owns the Number One French TV channel, TF1 (totally pro-Sarko). Close friend of Sarkozy.

Arnaud Lagardère owns an empire that includes a chunk of EADS and above all most of French publishing and a nice piece of American (Hachette). Close friend of Sarkozy.

Alain Minc, ultra-economic-liberal pundit and consultant, close friend of Sarkozy.

Edouard de Rothschild downplays it, but is a friend of Sarkozy.

Sarkozy is certainly highly media-conscious and misses no opportunity to appear on TV, using his position as government N° 2 to get himself invited to TV news, or organising photo-ops and inviting TV and press. I think it's fair to say no French politician has done anything like as much of this in the past. And there are voices that insinuate, or say outright, that Sarkozy is using his influence and that of his friends to muzzle the press of the centre and the left - in view, of course, of the presidential campaign, and of the ten to fifteen years he can hope to have at the Elysée after that.

Goddess Democracy, look down and weep! indeed.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 07:47:07 AM EST
Thanks for looking that out, bruno-ken.

The fact is that the MSM are often favourable to the right anywhere, because one of the defining characteristics of what we call "the right" in political party terms is that it is there to defend money, property, business. But there's a particular set of youngish (at least, not-so-old) media bosses who are part of Sarko's personal circle. There are not many French media pies they haven't got their fingers in.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 09:00:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"MSM are often favourable to the right anywher"

i do not see that especially with a ridiculous 96% of the journalists voting left (Poll from Marianne few years ago)

by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 09:31:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It has nothing to do with the rank-and-file journalists personally salving their consciences by being bobos. It has to do with what those journalists know are the limits not to be crossed. And who the bosses are, and therefore what careers depend on.

Your sourcing is vague. 96% is indeed ridiculous. But even if a majority of journalists "vote left", tell me where the left-wing media are.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 09:51:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Roots versus MSM is interesting dilemma and I suspect there is no quick solution. In this respect Ms Segolene camp can do nothing but to fight till whatever end according to their plans and execute her participative democracy meetings and in case if defeated gracefully accept the verdict.

I can offer for your consideration some examples from familiar to me Indian political life.
In India it's very difficult to remove any acting politician from his (her) post. Some politicians behave like old fashioned feudal lords (thank God not like warlords) thinking of their constituences as a pocket borough.

Why? Because in India most politicians deeply rooted in life of communities they represent and the role of MSM is marginal effecting only swinging urban votes. The Indian electorate usually follows its leaders in their highs and lows, corruption allegations or even imprisonment, hostile press do not make the weather.

For example Mayavati, firebrand leader of Dalits (former Untouchables) in biggest state Uttar Pradesh became chief minister of UP three times since 1995. She uniformly receives bad press, for her poor taste (her dress sometimes looks like Christmas tree), juridicial problems (Taj Corridor case is still pending) and especially for her anti Manuwadi (high caste) rhetorics. Yet she has been very popular with her electorate, people greet her as a goddess.

Chandrababu Naidu, former chief minister of southern state Andhra Pradesh, on the contrary, was a darling of Indian and international media. They loved him for his good look, hitech ideas turning Hyderabad into Cyberabad yet he forgot poor farmers, thousands of them committed suicide as they could not cope with mountain of debts. His rival from Congress party Rajashekhara Reddy capitilized on their grievances and thrashed Naidu's Telugu Desam party in 2004 elections but he had to undertake numerous yatras (a sort of participative democracy meetings) during Naidu's rule. He embarked on yatras not on the eve of election but in 2001 - three years earlier.

What does it mean in Ms Segolene case? Probably nothing, as I understand the electoral process in France reached its final stage. But in future European politicians and activists can take some leafs from their Indian peers books.        

by FarEasterner on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 01:30:48 PM EST
Former Russian PM Mr Kasyanov who sees himself as one of the prodemocratic adversaries of current regime today announced creation of his own newspaper which will be delivering his ideas and vision to electorate. IMHO his paper will go the way other preelection "newspapers" went - it will cease to exist right after the day of election so may be considered as pure propaganda tool. I do not mind if political parties and leaders have their pocket papers but it seems that Mr Kasyanov campaign fault started. He is allegedly rich man so he could spend years after his dismissal travelling over the vast country interacting with ordinary people if he wanted to put a fight to Putin's heir but Russian politicians used to attend few meetings only on the eve of elections promising gold mines, shaking few hands and smiling to cameras. He lost precious years and today announcement looks like futile enterprise. He'd rather start business career using his experience as PM. I wonder what does he expect at all? Some petty prodemocratic figures employed themselves in the West using their critique of current regime as a pretext. I don't know what kind of use the West can find for him.
by FarEasterner on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 04:18:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She gets to the second round, this is an evidence. Sure thing. Watching from a bit to the left of many of you, as far as I'm concerned, she's saying the right things, but then I've already voted so I may not be paying so much attention as others.

Remember - Libe needs to sell papers, now more than ever, and what better way to do so than to overhype how the left is "collapsing" to the Parisian navel-gazing "casual" left which reads Libe (virtually noone else does I might add).

Everything else is pure formality, so it is time to think of the dynamic between the two rounds and in particular, the second. The real left is not to be a factor because Royal is left enough and her rhetoric shows this.

Keep your eye on the ball and on what happens next, because there are twelve years to pay back for. Starting, rightfully so, with the media.

TF1 would look much nicer, I think, as an office of France Televisions, for instance. Paging Minister Lang, paging minister Lang...

by redstar on Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 11:42:05 PM EST


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