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Why don't you back Bayrou? It would seem like his views are good match for you. Besides, I don't think Sego can win. If Bayrou doesn't make it to the 2nd round, Sarko is the next President. Its that simple. Sego hasn't led Sarko in a 2nd round poll since 2006.
by Ben P (wbp@u.washington.edu) on Sat Mar 10th, 2007 at 02:06:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ben, don't underestimate how much of a rightist Bayrou is. AT least has been his whole career. He's trimming sails now but he's always sided with the right, even during moments of "ouverture" such as under Rocard and when Delors was considering a run for President in 95 and asked Bayrou to back him (so he could govern without the PCF). Both times, Bayrou not only refused to join a prospective center/left coaltion, but publicly shot the idea down.

As education minister, he tried to move more public money to private (ie, Catholic) schools, he's never been particularly well respected by public or private sector unions (unlike someone like Borloo) and his economic proposals would amount to deep cuts in public services.

Another question -- even though I think Royal may be down for the count (see my pessimistic analysis below), its also the case that presidential elections in France have been much more unstable than, for instance, the US. Just to give 2 quick examples -- in 95, Chirac came back from the dead in late February to take a big lead by mid-March, then barely held on to beat Balladur for 2nd in April; in 02, Jospin and Chirac both fell from mid-30s in Feb to 20s by election day. Here's one reason why -- when the formal campaign starts after March 20, all the qualified candidates (even the ones <1% in the polls) get equal time for ads as well as equal time on the news. And they can use it anyway they want -- the far left candidates may well use it to beat up Royal (as they did to Jospin in 02) and if LePen stays out and Sarko moves to the far right (as he seems to be itching to do), Bayrou may decide, for instance, to try to occupy the center-right. Or the consverse.

As one PS tactician said in LeMonde this week, "its an ice-skating rink right now and anyone call fall down" (my very free translation).

by desmoulins (gsb6@lycos.com) on Sat Mar 10th, 2007 at 04:09:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for this.  I had not heard about the fair-time rules.  This explains a great amount.

Please note that in the US there is no such thing.  Even a major third-party candidate is nobody unless they are rich as far as the media is concerned.

by paving on Sun Mar 11th, 2007 at 03:02:56 AM EST
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This is exactly the kind of head-up-your-arse thinking that has destroyed the Democrats in the US.  Recognize that not voting in this manner is one of the things the French seem to do right in their Presidential elections.

US polls are like the gambling spread - they move the herds.  The polling history in French elections seems to indicate that when the numbers are as close as they are that anything can happen.

I also read the tea leaves re: Royal.  I think her support in the provinces is greatly underestimated as her campaign must be targeted toward SOMEONE.  It is also what her staff has indicated.

I think Sarkozy's moves to the right defy logic for the first round if his chances are as the polls show.  He must be worried about something he's seeing internally.  I suspect that the more people see of him on TV the more they realize he's a phony.  Naturally he looks terrible to me and I can't belive the far more reasonable French population would fall for his bullshit.

Royal/Bayrou in second round is not unfathomable at all.  Unfortunately for the Left Royal has yet to show much spark in this race.  It will be interesting to see if her tone shifts gear in a second round.

by paving on Sun Mar 11th, 2007 at 03:00:45 AM EST
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