Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Bayrou's dream is that the electorate will accept his pretended "non-aligned" posture and allow him to wipe the slate clean. That they may accept some form of the quantitative thinking you lay out, and accord him a position smack dab in the middle. And that this will be sufficient for him to get into Round Two, in which case he is in a strong winning position as the "lesser evil" of the two.

My point is not to deny Sarko is further right than Bayrou, or Royal further left. It is to say Bayrou is right-ist in his leanings, and historically on the right in terms of his personal tradition and political career - including the symbiosis with the Gaullistes in which he and his movement have always lived (until his decision to break off to make this run). That was the meaning of the journalist's question about the centre - are you really trying to tell us you're the centre, and not the right?

Now, the electorate may be sufficiently fooled by his posture to put him in Round Two. But political parties and personnel do not have short memories like the TV-gazing masses. They won't give him a free ride.

The truth, imo? Bayrou at the Elysée would mean he had created a new balance on the right. He would ally with the UMP again, but this time on new terms, with him as boss. I'd rather see him than Sarko in that position, but then again I'd rather see neither.

(Otherwise, I know you can produce a graphic representation of political views and thus define a "centre". I think it may be useful in a time series, to compare changes and trends. Not as anything other than an oversimplification, though, if it is meant as a description of the extremely complex dynamic system we might call history.)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 at 09:42:10 AM EST
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