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That's the Political Ideals vs Political Realities debate.

After two terms of Clinton people were complacent enough to believe that democracy actually might exist for real, and a vote for an alternative candidate might have an effect on policy.

I suppose it was an understandable mistake.

But still - in real world terms - ouch.

As for France - I don't trust Royal. She reminds me of Blair and Hillary. This is likely to be prejudice based on ignorance, but there's something a little too mythical and not quite human enough about her. She comes across as more of a narrative than a candidate, and I don't trust narratives.

I know nothing at all about the other candidates beyond what people have said in their comments.

Assuming Fabius doesn't get the nod, what are the chances of a Left-ish victory in the main election?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 4th, 2006 at 08:18:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd give you an 8 if I could: 4 for the political ideals bit, and 4 for articulating my own feelings/thoughts about Royal.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Thu Oct 5th, 2006 at 12:42:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The chances in the main election: I think either Royal or DSK stand a fair chance of winning. Both have a centrist appeal Sarkozy doesn't. And the left side of the electorate will probably be motivated by

  • negative feelings re Sarkozy
  • memories of the stinging failure of 2002
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 5th, 2006 at 02:13:52 AM EST
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What are the odds of Sarkozy-Le Pen in the second round?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 5th, 2006 at 05:23:06 AM EST
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According to current polling, they appear low.

Royal and Sarkozy poll at around 30% each in Round One. Le Pen at around 15%, though he can be expected to do better because advance polls always underestimate his real final vote.

What happened in 2002 was not that Le Pen got a surprise high score, it was that Chirac and Jospin did badly.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 5th, 2006 at 05:53:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't have any illusions about voting for "realistic candidates" any longer, or about real democracy rather than Democracy™, so I might as well vote for the candidate I think is best. So far I've been lucky in Spain.

My first general election in Spain was in 1996. I abstained. I was not going to vote for Aznar, I wanted Felipe out (not because I thought he was corrupt but because I thought the PSOE should renovate itself) and I couldn't reward the United Left's [Communist] Anguita's years-long "pincer" with Aznar by which he hoped to damage the PSOE so much that he would take over ("il sorpasso", he called it). The outcome was not bad: Aznar won a slim plurality of seats and needed to make alliances with his hated Catalan and Basque nationalists, bite some bullets, and generally make good of his promised "journey to the centre".

In 2000 I was scared shitless of an Aznar absolute majority and so I voted for Almunia, who was an honest, hard-working former minister and not at all a lesser evil. Nevertheless, PSOE sympathisers were generally depressed after the "primary" experiment had blown up, and 3M socialist voters stayed at home, so my vote didn't make a difference and Aznar got a majority of the seats in parliament and ruled Spain like his private ranch [como un cortijo we would say in Spanish].

In 2004 I voted for Zapatero by post as I was abroad, so I was not influenced by the events of March 11-13. Again a minority government resulted, which has been great.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 5th, 2006 at 05:35:20 AM EST
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