Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Hard to know how many people are members of the UMP, the other main French political party, but it is probably a little over the 200,000 mark.

In the UK (similar population level) New Labour (Wikipedia) : The party had 201,374 members on 31 December, 2004 according to accounts filed with the Electoral Commission. Does it still have as many, I wonder? The British Conservative Party is given at 300,000 members.

So I don't know :-) Maybe Sweden has a strongly participative democracy because... Just throwing out ideas: it's a small, well-knit society; up to now, it has been able to avoid some of the major dislocating effects of globalisation; there is in fact much less distance between the political class and the people (generally true of the Nordic countries).

The "elite system", by which I think you mean the tendency for top political personnel to come from particular grandes écoles and especially the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA), may well have something to do with the lack of participation compared to Sweden. But there's more largely a general lack of belief in the capacity of the political sphere to do anything against the economic, and more particularly globalising economic, forces in the world.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 03:15:22 PM EST
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