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French Presidential Candidates (with poll)

by afew Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 03:18:22 AM EST

[UPDATE: José Bové will run, the Conseil Constitutionnel has just (19/03/07) announced the validation of his 500 signatures. So the list of twelve candidates below is complete]

Migeru asked for a breakdown along political lines - economic/social left/right, attitudes to Europe - of the official candidates for the French presidential election.

See below the break for the list and main points of their programmes.


I took Europe, social, and economy and tried to find the main points under those headings, not always an easy task... Of course, there's more to the candidates' programmes, positions, and history than I have put down, so please add in comments whatever you feel is missing.

I added appreciations like "ecology" or "productivism" under the "economy" heading, since that's definitely an important distinction to make on the French left, imo.

I've ordered the candidates roughly from left to right according to my lights.


  • Arlette Laguiller (Lutte Ouvrière)

    Europe: for a united Europe once capitalism has been defeated; referendum non; constitution vague

    social: immediate €300 rise on all salaries and pensions; improve health, education, and pensions; nationalise housing, massive building programme

    economy: state control; productivism

  • Gérard Schivardi (soutenu par le Parti des Travailleurs)

    Europe: anti-EU; referendum non; pro-withdrawal

    social: rural France, villages, public service (Post Office and school in every village)

    economy: anything but liberal

  • Olivier Besancenot (Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire)

    Europe: anti-EU as is; referendum non; constitution total rewrite by constituant assembly then referendum in each country

    social: increase social safety net, make the bosses pay, raise taxes

    economy: "anti-liberal"; public-sector, lip-service to ecology

  • Marie-George Buffet (PCF)

    Europe: anti-EU as is; referendum non; constitution total re-founding of EU

    social: raise wages, pensions, increase social safety-net rights; public service for housing; increase state and public sector; raise taxes, cut loopholes

    economy: "anti-liberal"; public sector, productivist

  • José Bové (29 May Collective)

    Europe: anti-EU as is; referendum non; constitution total re-founding of EU

    social: guarantee jobs, increase workers' rights, raise wages; seek gender equality; develop public services (inc. housing); promote sustainable development

    economy: "anti-liberal"; ecology/internationalism

  • Dominique Voynet (Verts)

    Europe: pro-EU; referendum, oui; constitution, redefining the objectives of the EU (in English), newly-elected EP to write a constitution

    social: concept of social usefulness, ecological sustainability; so tax to be progressive and anti-pollution; raise minimum wage; all activity to be taken into account and given financial support, not just salaried work; promotion of social, co-operative/mutual, etc organisations

    economy: social democrat, ecology, some protectionism

  • Ségolène Royal (PS)

    Europe: pro-EU; referendum, oui; constitution, rewrite followed by new referendum

    social: negotiated reform without social regression; maintain social protection, increase minimum wage; participative democracy; no sweeping tax changes

    economy: social democrat; ecology

  • François Bayrou (UDF)

    Europe: pro-EU, (federalist), referendum yes. Constitution: negotiate a new treaty including institutional changes embodied in the first, submit to new referendum.

    social: maintain social safety net; maintain taxation level; weaken 35-hour week; allow new payroll-tax-free jobs, two per business; pay unemployed to work on community-useful jobs.

    economy: liberal

  • Nicolas Sarkozy de Nagy-Bocsa (UMP)

    Europe: pro-EU as single market (but is not against political intervention eg ECB); referendum oui; constitution, wants a mini-treaty Merkel-style, ratified by parliament.

    social: restrain immigration, law'n'order, weaken 35-hour week and labour-market guarantees, weaken social safety net, replace only one out of two retiring civil servants, reduce taxes (50% tax ceiling), "create a new generation of family capitalists"

    economy: liberal (but dirigiste when it suits him)

  • Frédéric Nihous (Chasse, pêche, nature, traditions)

    Europe: anti-EU; referendum non; constitution, no thanks (but in favour of EU reform, not withdrawal)

    social: rural France, villages, public service + traditional rights (shotguns and cheese in every village)

    economy: what?

  • Philippe Le Jolis de Villiers de Saintignon (Mouvement pour la France)

    Copy/paste Jean-Marie Le Pen; add Catholic-aristocratic-rural into the mix; take out some, but only some, tax reduction.
  • Jean-Marie Le Pen (Front national)

    Europe: sovereignist Europhobe; referendum non; constitution burn it

    social: foreigners out, social net for French only, suppress income tax, reduce company and wealth tax, increase VAT, privatize retirement pensions, double defence budget, women stay home have children

    economy: ultra-liberal, protectionist

You could regroup on the left by putting the three Trotskyite movements together: Schivardi, Laguiller, Besancenot. But, of these, only Besancenot gets the "anti-liberal" tag that comes from the movement (after the referendum on the EU constitution) that gave itself that name and attempted to field a single candidate, in vain. The three "anti-liberal" candidates, in that sense, are Besancenot, Buffet, and Bové. However, Bové could conveniently be grouped with Voynet as having genuine ecological concerns.

Poll
Who's your first-round choice?
. Arlette Laguiller 0%
. Gérard Schivardi 0%
. Olivier Besancenot 0%
. Marie-George Buffet 0%
. José Bové 19%
. Dominique Voynet 9%
. Ségolène Royal 39%
. François Bayrou 26%
. Nicolas Sarkozy 4%
. Frédéric Nihous 0%
. Philippe de Villiers 0%
. Jean-Marie Le Pen 0%

Votes: 41
Results | Other Polls
Display:
I am well informed now.  Can I vote?

That´s excellent and would be nice if the press printed overviews like that for an election.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Mon Mar 19th, 2007 at 01:27:48 PM EST
Of course you can't vote, especially since you're well-informed.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 19th, 2007 at 02:50:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Only those who do not have any knowledge at all should be the ones with the right to vote.

Oscar Wilde .. revisited.

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 Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 08:37:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Small note : Schivardi isn't really a trotskyite. Supposedly the mostly trotskist PT has Anarcho-syndicalist, former-PCF communists and former-PS socialists of which Schivardi is a member...

His platform is also obviously aimed at getting the 500 parrainages from small villages mayors.

And he'll get his 0.5% of the vote... If he's lucky.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Mar 19th, 2007 at 02:57:05 PM EST
Quite right. I meant that the three Trotskyite movements were represented in the three candidatures. But the Lambertists are so secretive I don't know much about them - you know more... ;)
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Mar 19th, 2007 at 03:01:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am sorry about this punt.. and I should refrain.. but three troskysts recall me of a famous "Life of Brian" scene..

Sorry... but... geee, three??

The Popular Front of Trosky

The Troskian Liberation Front

and

The Trosky Popular Liberation Group

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 Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 08:41:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd probably go for Bové/Voynet in the first round and Royal/Bayrou in the second.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 19th, 2007 at 03:46:56 PM EST
Do you think that Bayrou will be in the second round?  In this environment, it seems that would likely make him the next President.  But, it seemed to me from what I was seeing that he was in a strong third place -- yet third place.  Has this changed? (While aware, not watching "closely".)

Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart. NOW!!!
by a siegel (siegeadATgmailIGNORETHISdotPLEASEcom) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 06:33:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bayrou's rise in the opinion polls seems to have slowed if not peaked. (But it's very much a matter of personal belief, and others may say he's about to leap ahead again).

So he's currently, as you say, a strong third, with a definite chance of getting into the run-off, where he would be the "lesser evil" for the right if he were against Royal, or for the left if he were against Sarkozy.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 07:16:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Where's the poll?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 19th, 2007 at 03:48:55 PM EST
Aaarrggh, no polls, I'm tired of polls!

Do you really want one?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Mar 19th, 2007 at 03:51:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you polling me?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 19th, 2007 at 03:57:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm polling your leg.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Mar 19th, 2007 at 04:04:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seconded! I want a poll

Maybe a poll on polls?

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

by Melanchthon on Mon Mar 19th, 2007 at 03:57:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pollocks!

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Mar 19th, 2007 at 04:28:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... there should be a poll to poll whether there should be a poll on polls.

* someone drops 16 tons weight on Nomad*

by Nomad on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 12:42:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
poll n 1. Human head...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 12:56:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What about a poll tax?

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 03:21:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
you should add a category :

Dictatorship :

Laguiller
Shivardi
Besancenot
Buffet
Bove
Lepen

Democracy :

Royal
Sarkozy
Bayrou
Devilliers
Voynet

by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 03:26:42 AM EST
Nope.

Fascism:

LePen
Sarkozy
DeVilliers

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 03:45:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I dont even find it funny, Fascism like Communism killed quite lot of people, it is not joking matter.
by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 03:58:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't find it funny either.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 04:07:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One of the most heard cliche of this election is the accusation of fascism against Sarkozy. Are you saying I am a fascist if I am enclined to vote for him? I wish people would bother to substantiate a bit more.

I also find your summary of economic programs somewhat biased (but it was not an easy task in the first place):
 - requesting unemployed people to accept jobs (even if not in the sector they are looking for) features quite prominently in Royal's programme, so why have it in Bayrou's only?
 - can you also substantiate why Royal deserves an 'ecology' tag more than any other candidate (but Bove or Voynet)? Is that because she suggested to close down some of the country's nuclear facilities? She backed down subsequentely, we all know it will not happen, and many here doubt this is a good thing for the environment in the first place. Once we have seen action in that field from the PS (nothing meaningful in the past 30 years), I am happy to reconsider. But to date, they are on a par with UMP (who actually quite significantly relaxed the framework for wind energy in the past two years, with 'visible' results).

But thanks for the post, it is certainly helpful to trigger a good discussion.

'La fin désastreuse a répondu aux moyens indignes' Germain Tillion

by Rom on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 04:18:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarkozy as the fascist :

He has a constant need to threaten non-favorable press. He called Liberation's owner, saying that state subsidies would disappear once he is elected if the paper remains against him. He had Paris-Match's director fired for daring to speak about his troubled wedding.

One of his main policies is brutal treatment of illegals, pointing the blame for crime on the "stranger". He is constantly supporting the police forces, destroying the balance between the executive and the judicial branches of government.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 04:40:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Political pressures on the press, politically motivated subsidies (in every field) has been a common practice of all French governments since I was born (and I suppose before as well). You are not arguing that lefty press cannot express itself in France or that you are denied free speech, are you?

Would not you expect him to support the police, being their boss? As I said, his policies are hard-line, but I really do not think they threaten democracy (which the accusation of fascism implies).

Do you really think France was not a democracy for the past 5 years or will cease to be one if he is elected?

'La fin désastreuse a répondu aux moyens indignes' Germain Tillion

by Rom on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 04:52:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The fact that he considers himself "the boss of the police" is one of my main beefs with him.

Chirac was sometimes very right wing, but his historic clientele was the peasantry... His support for the PAC might have hurt the EU, but not that badly.

Whereas Sarkozy, with the police as his clientele, is letting it develop some very bad habits, such as unpunished bavures in the projects, random violent arrests of people with a darker-skin... His policies undermining the separation of the judicary and executive branches do undermine democracy.

I'm not going to claim Sarkozy would suppress free speech for the left wing, but the Berlusconian way in which he treats the press and the press treats him had not been seen in France since de Gaulle. 5 years of this will mean little access for left wing -or critical- ideas in the mainstream press. See how easily the various scandals of this campaign have been defused - the press dares not questioning him.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:50:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
[Chirac's] support for the PAC might have hurt the EU, but not that badly

Chirac's stubborn support for the PAC has hurt badly France within the EU, and jeopardized The EU position in global talks.

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

by Melanchthon on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 06:28:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That makes him an authoritarian, not a fascist. Fascism is a specific political system which includes corporatism and a militarisation of the society.

I agree (for once!) with fredouil and Rom: I think it is not relevant and even counterproductive to use the word fascism to qualify an authoritarian politician like Sarkozy.

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

by Melanchthon on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 04:57:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Come on, don't be ashamed !

I am not disputing authoritarian (nor control freak).

'La fin désastreuse a répondu aux moyens indignes' Germain Tillion

by Rom on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:04:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was not referring to you. I seldom agree with fredouil...;-)

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:15:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To the extent Bové or Laguiller want dictatorship, Sarko represents corporatism and militarisation of society.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:19:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ARe you kidding ??

They are totally open (much a sect can be) about their dictatorial ambitions.

you should get to know them.

by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 06:03:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If they're so open, how come anyone needs to get to know them?

Cut the crap, fredouil. Last time you guaranteed Le Pen wasn't going to get his signatures and be forced to stand down. As usual, Le Pen was making himself out to be a victim. You should get to know what you're talking about.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 06:43:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll stipulate that the socialists have not been much better than the right on green issues, as noted by L'alliance pour la planète:


Les partis politiques français, mauvais élèves de l'écologie

Le 12 décembre 2006, les quatre porte-parole de l'Alliance pour la planète (plus de 70 ONG d'environnement et de solidarité, soit plus d'un million de membres) ont révélé les notes attribuées aux partis politiques, à la suite de l'évaluation des décisions prises au Parlement et au gouvernement entre 1997 et 2006, en matière d'écologie.

Cette notation s'est effectuée à partir des 24 propositions que l'Alliance pour la planète estime fondamentales. Les résultats sont les suivants :

UMP : 4,5 / 20
UDF : 5 / 20
PCF : 5,5 / 20
PS : 6,5 / 20
Verts : 11 / 20

Ces notes permettent de relativiser les déclarations d'intention des candidats aux élections présidentielles de 2007 qui rivalisent dans la surenchère en faveur de la défense de l'écologie.

In a US notation system, UMP gets a F, UDF, PC and PS a E, and the greens a C.

I would continue to expect slightly better results form Royal than from Sarkozy in the future.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 04:51:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"slightly better expectations" sounds reasonable.

now given how pressing the matter is, it may be enough of a difference to vote for Royal.


'La fin désastreuse a répondu aux moyens indignes' Germain Tillion

by Rom on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 04:56:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
L'alliance 2007 has also graded political platform for their ecology bent and the difference is more significative : PS gets a 13 whereas UDF gets a 9 and UMP an 8,5

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:28:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fascism is probably a bit too much, but Sarkozy has shown some pretty ugly sides.

His discourse on immigration, which stigmatizes immigrants and blames them for our deficits, is substantially similar to Le Pen's ; his discourse about criminals is similarly concentrated exclusively on repression (while not doing anything in practice - there are fewer police forces in Seine Saint Denis (93) than 5 years ago, despite Sarkozy being the minister in charge for most of that period).

And his control freakery and agitated interventionism in the economy (cf his few months in the ministry for economy) display little real liberalism and lots more corporatism.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 04:55:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think he turned eaglier over the past 2 /3 years, thus making more room in the centre for Bayrou. I maintain however that the accusation of fascism is excessive (especially in a country when it is still not politically correct to link far left politicians to the atrocities committed in the name of communism).

'Liberal' applies to very few French politician indeed (in terms of economic policies) and you are right, Sarkozy is not one of them.  And obviously it does apply to right wing politicians when it comes to social/cultural policies (in the US sense).

'La fin désastreuse a répondu aux moyens indignes' Germain Tillion

by Rom on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:02:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good to see you around.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:06:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rest assure I never ceased to be a regular reader.

I am looking forward to the next few weeks on Eurotrib.

'La fin désastreuse a répondu aux moyens indignes' Germain Tillion

by Rom on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:14:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is no history of French communists and Trots committing crimes against humanity. However, there is a history of such crimes committed by the Vichy administration, and the colonial regimes from Algeria (not even officially a colony during the war) to Indochina -- and of latter-day 'patriots' praising or excusing or giving rhetorical bones to those who took part in it, including Sarko.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:14:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
First, this was not the point I was trying to make. I was saying that the accusation of fascism goes too far and should not be made so lightly. I do not think that democracy will be threatened if he is elected to office. It does not mean I do not understand why people think that his policies are excessive.

Second, I find it a paradox that the far left and communists (in France at least) have absolved themselves from the crimes committed, not by them for sure, but in countries and by regime they have relentlessy praised (is not that giving rethorical bones?) and that at the same time, very light and easy accusations of fascism are made against someone else. There is an imbalance there.

I do not intend to diminish or ignore the 'patriotic' crimes. I am not sure how you relate Sarkozy to them, though. Please advise.


'La fin désastreuse a répondu aux moyens indignes' Germain Tillion

by Rom on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:35:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right now Sarkozy is regularly saying that "we shouldn't be ashamed of colonisation", etc...

And of course let's not get into how a fair share of the right defended Papon during his trial. (or still does, see Barre's latest declarations).

As for the far left, "trotskyists" (most of which don't necessarily defend trostky's policies nowadays) have never much approved Stalin nor Mao...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:41:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
First, this was not the point I was trying to make. I was saying that the accusation of fascism goes too far and should not be made so lightly.

What about the preceding accusation of dictatorship?

I do not think that democracy will be threatened if he is elected to office.

I think it will be corroded. He won't dissolve it like Mussolini, but will further turn some of its institutions into a mockery of their nominal functions.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:43:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not mine.

I was not relating this only to this thread, but the relentless accusation of fascism in the French lefty press and private circles.

"Mockery of their nominal function"

We disagree here.  If he wins, I hope I was not wrong and you were not right about this.

'La fin désastreuse a répondu aux moyens indignes' Germain Tillion

by Rom on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:52:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK. To get this discussion further away from flippancy with f, a different question: in which fields do you think Sarko trumps Bayrou?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:58:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
in countries and by regime they have relentlessy praised (is not that giving rethorical bones?)

It is, and AFAIK applicable to one or two on fredouil's list. Now, what does this have to do with you reacting only to my flippant rhetorical reply to fredouil's flippant rhetoric?

I am not sure how you relate Sarkozy to them, though. Please advise.

I better relay the question of a list of Sarko's recent underhand notes to afew (from whom I first heard of a large part of them anyway).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:51:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]

The only thing it has to do with it is that I am sick of hearing that Sarkozy is a fascist. It just fell on you.

'La fin désastreuse a répondu aux moyens indignes' Germain Tillion
by Rom on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 10:31:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Add to that Sarko's discourse about and treatment of homeless people and/or Gypsies in Paris.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:10:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]

  1. You are right that slinging words like "fascism" around is not productive. However, Sarkozy's current swing to the far right, in particular with the deliberate  reminder of Vichy implicit in the "Ministry of Immigration and National Identity", certainly provokes the "f----" taunt. He knows what he is doing and is fishing for extreme-right votes, so presumably any tears he may shed about being called a fascist will be crocodile tears. As to whether you should be called a fascist if you vote for him, it's rather up to your conscience to decide.
  2. Yes, it's hard to track the programmes and propositions, since they're not always explicit, or, when they are, new policy proposals may surface, or old ones sink, as the campaign liner sails ahead (please admire metaphor). But, as far as I know, Royal doesn't propose to make the unemployed work - see the relevant page of her propositions, where the nearest thing to it is that young people would be personally monitored and, after six months without a job, given either vocational training or one of the "youth jobs" she wants to create 500,000 of (along the lines of the last PS government, I suppose).

    Bayrou's offer is to have all long-term unemployed (he speaks of the RMI, the social minimum benefit) work in jobs useful to the community. He cloaks this in language to do with his village, forgetting most people don't live in villages, but in much more abrasive environments. He doesn't offer any major financing for his plan, either. He has a tendency to go in for Café du Commerce proposals like this, that you can hear anywhere but which don't really betray much thought.

    I think the difference between Royal and Bayrou is significant here.

  3. The "ecology" tag is not absolute. I'm aware that it's much more solidly pinned to Voynet and Bové than Royal. However, I think it's important, and worth underlining, that Royal represents a break-away from the traditional productivism of the PS, and that's why I brought her into the "ecology" group.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:22:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My understanding is that you have to go for the youth job or forsake further unemployment aide. It does not go as far as Bayrou's plan (whatever it is worth), but I think it is important to point it out because it is a real change in the unemployment regime as it imposes reciprocal obligations on the recipient of aide.

Personnaly I like the idea, and I think only a left wing politician will be able to implement it becasue it will be quite controversial. It could go hand-in-hand with an improvement in the benefits handed out  in order to make it more palatable (I give you more, but you need to do something about it).

And thanks for the detailed and substantiated response.

'La fin désastreuse a répondu aux moyens indignes' Germain Tillion

by Rom on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:47:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, Royal presents it as a right rather than an obligation: either training/tutoring or a youth job. Everything, imo, hinges on the quality of training, the quality of youth jobs - and therefore the financing of the whole system. If it's done properly, I think it could be useful.

I honestly think Bayrou's proposal is demagogic. I wish I had a euro for every time I've heard someone ask why those on the RMI (minimum benefit) aren't forced to "work for it" by sweeping the streets etc. That's not quite what he says, but I think he's casting his hook in those waters.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 06:00:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This program, called "Workfare" in the United States is basically a disaster without employee protections.  It has led to cases where parents must travel by bus to two or three jobs for the same money they received before, leaving kids unattended, etc.

It is essentially welfare for corporations that pay the minimum wage.

by paving on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 03:57:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
in addition to providing cheap and compliant labor, it's also been great for reducing the unemployment statistics.
by Jett on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 06:53:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
These measures further the social and institutional oppression on the poor and the jobless.

For example, see (french) what the government is allowed to do when someone is on the RMI.

More and more, it is considered normal for the government to intrudes into the lives of those needing help. That's part of the development of contractual and individualised help, where instead of giving general help to those in need (in need only because the current organisation of capitalism requires a certain amount of jobless people to function, and produces them if need be), the poor has to forsake dignity, showing all the aspects of his life to the "Assistante Sociale" and beg for help. All this social control is in the name of finding those that abuse the system... But the financial cause of this abuse is much lower of course than that of people and companies not paying their taxes

Of course, the side effect of the RMA, giving very cheap labor to private companies or even non-profit or institutional employers, is to further depress the labor market.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 07:53:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You forgot Nihous.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 04:07:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The great victory of capitalism has been its ability to convince that any system that doesn't preserve capital's rent is illegitimate.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 04:24:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do not think is about legitimacy. It is just pragmatism.

The point is that it is a necessary condition for people to invest in the first place. You can easily observe that countries with stable political, tax and economic conditions receive a bigger share of capital investments, to their benefit (or dare I say the benefit of their people?).

You do not need to preserve capital's rent from all threats neither. Competition is ok (it is even preferable).

But what I am struggling most with your sentence is the implicit notion that capitalism is someone, that it has an aim or a goal ...  just a few steps away from conspiracy theory.

(I know I am being bad faith there.)

'La fin désastreuse a répondu aux moyens indignes' Germain Tillion

by Rom on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 04:42:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmm. Interesting issue.

To what extent is the metaphor accurate? Is the system unified enough to display intent, an aim, a goal? Does the global system have a goal, at least implicitly? Is the shared goal of self-enrichment dominating the system enough to give the whole system an intended goal, which may be different from the actual outcome?

You don't need an explicit conspiracy to have people act in concert ...

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 04:47:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the other hand, if 18 rich families in the US were able to grease up the politicians enough to get rid of the Estate Tax, what couldn't the likes of Murdoch do?

It is not conspiratorial to assert that there are a few (very few) people who had an almost unimaginable amount of influence on the consensus opinion. And a lot in economics and politics is the consequence of shifts in the consensus opinion.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 04:50:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's that at well. The herd instinct is quite strong - in fact, it's pretty much the default whenever you don't pay close attention.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 04:54:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Any advanced enough political system secretes its own justification. For example capitalism has had Hayek, etc...

Right now the narrative of capitalism, with unstated and stated goal of promoting the commpetion of individual "rational" desires in free markets, is less and less disputed in public discourse. It is considered as the only natural and legitimate mechanism for organising our societies. This wasn't the case 30 years ago, and was quite clearly the result of propaganda on its behalf - "Greed is good" in the 80's for example.

In France, the MEDEF (boss's union) is busy creating and promoting a narrative of "lets reward the risk taking of the entrepreneur" (ignoring the facts that the CEO's of large companies that are in this union bear very little actual risk themselves)...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:36:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can easily observe that countries with stable political, tax and economic conditions receive a bigger share of capital investments, to their benefit (or dare I say the benefit of their people?).

No. At best this is a very generous oversimplification. At worst it's simply wrong.

The countries that receive investment are those that promise the highest return on it.

Instability can be a negative factor because it obviously increases risk. However - there's absolute no evidence that directly links investment to stability.

In effect, stability is only one means to an end. As globalisation spreads it's clear that stability isn't required - at least not to the extent of the European model - because returns from developing countries are so high that increased profits more than offset increased risk.

Also, developing countries are easier to 'manage' by force because they lack democratic traditions, and because workers have much lower expectations of representation and democratic effectiveness and a much higher tolerance for sweat-shop working conditions.

When a country's labour costs are less a tenth of what they would be in Europe, businesses can easily tolerate a bit of extra security spending, and perhaps the occasional riot, because the bottom line still looks better at the end of the quarter.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 06:55:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 07:03:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, developed economies attract much more investments than developing ones:

Foreign Direct Investment (UNCTAD 2006)

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

by Melanchthon on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 08:48:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, wrong link!

Here it is: Foreign Direct Investment (UNCTAD 2006)

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

by Melanchthon on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 08:55:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I did not mean to say that there would be more investments coming from developing countries to developed ones than the other way around.

I just meant that stability brings about investment.  I used country, I could have used company, or project or sector or whatever. And whatever the source of the investement (cross-border or domestic).

Now someone will tell me that investment brings stability, and not the opposite. Well, both are probably true.

And yes, stability of the tax / legal framework is not the only factor at play in the investment decision.

'La fin désastreuse a répondu aux moyens indignes' Germain Tillion

by Rom on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 10:20:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
excellent, afew!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 03:55:51 AM EST
Very useful descriptions -- and very interesting discussion thread.

I would add a dimension that I think may be more determinative than economic, social or foreign policy -- that is political reform. Bayrou's success, if its to be sustained, is based not so much on his economic positions (which are not very clearly laid out, but amount to big cutbacks in government spending to reduce debt - not a popular idea) nor his pro-European position (also not that popular in France now) but the perception that he represents institutional change.

Royal scored some good media with her call Sunday for a VIe Republique and its clear she's hoping to make this a centerpiece of the final phase of the campaign. And to a large extent, FN voters are (as is pointed out upthread) voting for a candidate who appeals for his authoritarian personality and hostility to parliamentary democracy.

So I think in effect, the big differences, for voters, may come down to a change in party system (Bayrou), a change in the republic (Royal if she sticks to this new "revolution douce"), etat-UMP (Sark), or no republic at all (LePen.)

How that arranges on a left-to-right continuum is pretty difficult to say. As an American liberal who follows French politics closely, I've come to the conclusion in the past few years that a directly elected president (or an indirectly un-elected President, in the case of the US) does not serve su well, and I was disappointed when the PS did not adopt Montebourg's reforms last year. I'm glad to see them back on the table (in modified form) and I hope this might be the silver bullet for Royal.

by desmoulins (gsb6@lycos.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:57:00 AM EST
How closely is Arnaud Montebourg associated to Royal's campaign?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:58:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's one of her official spokespersons.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 06:10:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've come to the conclusion in the past few years that a directly elected president (or an indirectly un-elected President, in the case of the US) does not serve us well, and I was disappointed when the PS did not adopt Montebourg's reforms last year.

I agree with you. I was infuriated when the PS made the change in the electoral calendar (i.e. putting the legislative elections after the presidential one)

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

by Melanchthon on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 06:35:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I laid institutional questions aside (originally, I started this just to respond to Migeru's request for a sort of Political Compass based on social/economic matters and Europe), but I thought of it as I was checking out the programs etc.

What Bayrou offers, I think, is not so much institutional reform (as far as I can make out, his proposals on institutions are to increase decentralisation at the same time as to increase presidential power over parliament!), as a reset of the party system. Voters are attracted by the idea of a non-extreme alternative to the two major parties, a third way. Personally, I think it's an illusion, another occurrence of the old French political chestnut known as l'ouverture, where the right or left in power is supposed to be ready to "open up" to the other side. It has never come to anything yet - unless it was in the coalition jockeying of the 4th Republic, which has in fact been brought up in connection with Bayrou... Who definitely says he'll split the existing majors up and form a government with the bits...

All this is far from the VIe Republic. I'm certainly in favour of a reduction of presidential power in France. It might sit well with Royal to be the one to offer that - elect me president, and I will scale down my own powers.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 07:02:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good points.  It is funny she is not highlighting the UMP-RPR scandals and corruptions to make this move (towards limiting presidential powers).  You would think that talking about Sarkozy's using his power as minister to lead improper investigations would be a big warning flag, but then Royal seems to be trapped by her own ideas and an unfriendly press.
by andrethegiant on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 08:47:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I agree entirely that what Bayrou seems to be offering is a change in the party systems, not in the institutions of state. (Eg, proportional representation is designed to undermine the UMP and PS and to strengthen, not check, the power of the President.)
by desmoulins (gsb6@lycos.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:45:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Le Monde today, in an article talking about a decision to build a centralized European finger prints database (in itself an intresting question...)

Christian Estrosi, Ministre déléqué à l'aménagement du territoire, qui remplaçait Nicolas Sarkozy lors de la signature de l'accord avec les ministre européens de l'intérieur, avait de son côté surpris ses collègues en déclarant que les citoyens seraient mieux protégés si leurs données ADN étaient recueillies dès leur naissance.

Christian Estrosi, delegated Minister to territorial planification, who was signing the agreement in place of Nicolas Sarkozy, surprised his colleagues by declaring citizens would be better protected if their DNA data were collected at birth

Ugh, welcome to Dystopia...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 08:33:32 AM EST
This would be an efficient use of public funds, since they could scan the baby DNA for anti-social genes (you know, ANTISOC42A, CRIM19b, SERIALKIL55x, etc) and take appropriate psycho-control action - all in one go!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 09:22:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is that starting this morning, TV and radio have to give strict equality of time to all 12 candidates - and this is monitored by the CSA, the regulatory body.

They have to invite all of them for the same duration, and talk about each of them the same amount of time.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 09:00:27 AM EST

The final candidates for the 2007 presidential election

● François Bayrou - centrist UDF party - dubbed the Third Man of the campaign

● Olivier Besancenot - Trotskyite LCR party - a postman who likes to run for president

● José Bové - anti-globalisation campaigner - standing in his first election

● Marie-George Buffet - communist party - struggling to revive a flagging party

● Philippe de Villiers - far-right MPF party - claims to represent the "patriotic right"

● Arlette Laguiller - Trotskyite Lutte Ouvrière party - standing up for all workers

● Jean-Marie Le Pen - far-right National Front - he is 78, but still raging at immigrants

● Frédéric Nihous - the CPNT hunting and fishing party - appealing for the rural vote

● Ségolène Royal - Socialist party - has faded after a bright start to her campaign

● Nicolas Sarkozy - the ruling centre-right UMP party - the early favourite

● Gérard Schivardi - Trotskyite parti des travailleurs - representing far-left mayors

● Dominique Voynet - greens - has struggled to harness public interest in green issues

And of course:


The fact that the far-left accounts for half of the 12 candidates who appeared in the official list of election contenders published on Tuesday is a concern for Ms Royal's faltering campaign.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 10:50:38 AM EST
Please do not throw bricks at me. I confess I know little about the French politics.

Question: why bother running when you know you'll only attach 1% or 2% of the vote? Is it an ego kick or is there money involved?

I don't like Sarkozy because he seems to stand for a Blairite/Bush "right".

OTOH, I can't grasp what a Segolene government would be like.  (I discount "programmes" as being empty promises.)

I'm inclined to vote for Bayrou because he seems to represent the reasonable right, the Clinton center if you wish.

by Lupin on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 10:57:05 AM EST
Allow me to hazard a guess: Exposure of opinion? The low vote takers will get the same amount of TV time as the major runners. From a comment above, Jerome a Paris:
starting this morning, TV and radio have to give strict equality of time to all 12 candidates - and this is monitored by the CSA, the regulatory body.

They have to invite all of them for the same duration, and talk about each of them the same amount of time.

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 11:01:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, we don't watch French TV. The only French info I get comes mostly from our local rag, LA DEPECHE DU MIDI, which seems leaning towards Royal.
by Lupin on Wed Mar 21st, 2007 at 02:40:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I just realized I completely misunderstood your reply. I thought you were referring to my own exposure to TV news etc. Apologies.
by Lupin on Wed Mar 21st, 2007 at 02:41:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
With the way the system is set up, electing the national assembly with a 2-round first-past-the-post, the presidential election cristallises the moment where French society decides on its future.

It's the only campaign that really matters ; the legislative are pretty much an afterthought now.

So that every political party that wishes to matter has to have a candidate : it is the time to count everyone's support.

Oh, and Segolène would mean pretty much stuff like Jospin - Bayrou is very much a Blairite too.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 11:19:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you all for the thoughtful responses. Food for thought.
by Lupin on Wed Mar 21st, 2007 at 02:43:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  • ego, sure (how many electoral candidates have you seen who weren't on an ego trip?) ;) but more seriously:

  • exposure, particularly radio/TV time these parties would never otherwise get;

  • money: public financing is available even to small candidates - each candidate receiving confirmation yesterday from the Conseil Constitutionnel gets an advance of about €150,000. After the first round, if you come in with less than 5%, you can still get up to approx €800,000 in campaign expenses (the initial €150,000 included). This is set out here but it's a long legal document and you have to scroll down a bunch to get to the nitty gritty.

The second part: I'd hesitate (do I hear the tinkling glass of broken Overton Windows?) to compare Clinton or Blair to French politics. (Though Blair is often called in - almost always abusively - to disqualify either Royal, or Bayrou, or Sarkozy.) What would a Royal government be like? Well, she'd be President, and would call on a member of the PS to be Prime Minister. The government, I suspect, would be rather like Jospin's between 1997 and 2002 - which could fairly be called centre-left or social-democrat. Differences with Jospin (because Jospin, whatever he might have wished to do, was hamstrung by the forced power-sharing with Chirac who held the presidency), would be a greater emphasis on institutional change in favour of a more open democracy, and more openness to green issues like renewable energy and sustainable agriculture.

It's not insignificant that Royal represents a major party of government, while Bayrou runs a rump party that he held on to in order to mount this presidential attempt. The question one can fairly ask is, what would a Bayrou government look like? Currently, he can barely get a deputy elected to the National Assembly without UMP assistance. He floats the idea that he would gather people to him from right and left. But apart from possibly a few individuals breaking off to join him, the PS won't back him. His natural, historical family, in which he has always operated, is the right. To form a government, I'd expect him to build a new coalition with the UMP. Just how truly "centre" that would be... Well, it wouldn't... It would be the right with the UDF in the driving seat instead of the UMP, like back in Giscard's presidency.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 12:36:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Bayrou wins, the main question is: would a defeated Sarkozy remain president of UMP?

If (as likely) so, he would be the most powerful man of the majority, whoever is prime minister. And thirsting for revenge...


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

by Melanchthon on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 06:20:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A Bayrou victory would destroy the UMP. Its a pretty fragile coalition now and what holds it together is fear of Sarkozy and a shared desire to keep power. If Bayrou wins, lots of right wing deputies would give up the UMP label to run under BAyrou's label. And if the PS keeps its promise not to participate in his govt, Bayrou would make up his government of right-wing figures, who would bring factions of deputies with him.

There are those who argue the best thing for the PS (not for the country or the people who support the PS) would be a Bayrou victory -- it would force a real clarification of the PS, probably to the left, and explode the UMP.

by desmoulins (gsb6@lycos.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2007 at 02:24:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
who Bayrou is against in the second round.

Against Royal: I fully agree with you.

Against Sarkozy: he will need to woo the left, and effectively move there to some extent to get a majority in Parliament. Quite unpredictable, I'd say...

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2007 at 04:27:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If Bayrou is in the second round, the problem seems to me to be: what mandate can he claim to have to govern with the movement represented by his opponent?

This means he must base his government on his own small movement plus the movement that is absent from Round Two; the PS if he's against Sarko, the UMP if he's against Ségo.

I don't think either of these parties is ready to shatter, even if their absence from the second round would put them in serious difficulties. One of the main reasons for saying that is their electoral power in the first-past-the-post parliamentary elections which will follow the presidential, and which would be their main bargaining chip. These are parties with solid constituency organisations and a hold on most of the seats in the country. Why should they just fold and do Bayrou's bidding?

This, in any event, is why Bayrou's current talk, of taking some of the left and some of the right, is empty.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2007 at 07:56:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome, I was thinking about the effect on the legislatives of a Bayrou victory. I think that effect will be the same whomever he would have beaten since I would expect that only a few centrists -- Strauss-Kahniens or 'decus du fabusienisme' -- from the PS would agree to serve in B's government or run for the Assembly on his ticket. I think many more UMP would do so. So I think the effect would be the same either way.

That is to say, I think a Bayrou victory is necessarily a victory for the center-right even if he wins with left votes -- just like Chirac in 02.

by desmoulins (gsb6@lycos.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2007 at 01:57:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Le Monde has web quiz where you can test with which candidate you agree the most. It's not particularly comprehensive (19 questions), but what the hey.

I got Royal, followed by Buffet and Bové tied for second.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde

by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2007 at 08:11:50 AM EST
I got Royal, and Voynet and Buffet tied for second place.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2007 at 08:28:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I got Voynet (17 points), followed by 13 points for Besancenot and 12 for Buffet. But I'm not sure I understood all the choices correctly.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 22nd, 2007 at 08:45:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I got 11, 8 and 8 points. I suppose none of the candidates's platforms really, which is amazing considering there are 12 of them!

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2007 at 09:02:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I got 10, 8 and 8. Seeing as no candidate is even close, I'm hereby announcing that I'm not going to vote in the French presidential election.

Although Le Monde's web quiz is the primary reason, my decision was also influenced by the fact that I'm not a French citizen and have never even set foot in France. But it's mostly the quiz.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde

by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2007 at 09:10:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not a French citizen and have never even set foot in France

That's not an excuse...

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

by Melanchthon on Thu Mar 22nd, 2007 at 12:44:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I got 6 for Bové, 9 for Buffet, 13 for Royal.

I don't get how they weight the responses*. Nor why I didn't score even a single point for Voynet.

*  They "explain" under Methodology that each response may give points to one or several candidates, according to the importance of the policy in their programme.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2007 at 09:05:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They only display the three with the first three most points?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 22nd, 2007 at 09:13:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which obviously can be highly subjective.
I like what the Finnish media do: they have the candidates sit down and answer the same questionnaire, where they get to rate the importance of each question. Then it's quite easy to compare your answers to the candidates' answers...

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2007 at 09:18:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The quizz feels lousy : the answers are literally taken out of the candidates' platforms. I suppose you get one point per proposition that agree's with a candidate's platform

I had Buffet first then Laguiller and Besancenot. It seems the photographs at the end are automatic montages. So I had the three of them dressed in suits and skirts, looking straight out of an executive office... Pretty funny.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2007 at 09:27:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They have to look "presidentiable" to a Le Monde reader, after all...

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2007 at 09:29:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I got 14 for Royal, 12 for Buffet and 9 for Besancenot...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Thu Mar 22nd, 2007 at 12:51:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Regarding the poll in the diary, I can guess both of whom voted for Sarko, but only two of the surprising 11 voting for Bayrou.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 22nd, 2007 at 09:15:49 AM EST
Which, er, is meant to call them out of the woodwork and not let oldfrog be the only one making the case for him.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 22nd, 2007 at 09:17:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Surprising? There's a strong liberal (leaning left-liberal but also some right-liberals)  contingent on the site. Centre-right ETers are more likely to vote for Bayrou than for Sarkozy. And don't forget the strong pro-EU stance.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2007 at 09:26:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Centre-right ETers are more likely to vote for Bayrou than for Sarkozy

I should think so, given that Sarkozy is authoritarian hard-right with no qualms about snuggling up to the Xtreme right. (More Overton window-glass tinkling in the background...)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 22nd, 2007 at 10:19:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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