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Not being in France my impression is that this election is not about "facts", but is about something else.

I would guess it is about fears of loss of cultural identity and the usual intergenerational tensions that occur in every age.

For the first time France (and other parts of the EU) is seeing non-western (that is "non-white"), non-Christian population growth and this has produced social strain and xenophobia. The US which has had a mixed population for 400 years hasn't learned to adapt without discrimination so it's not surprising that France is having problems. Earlier influxes such as Russians and Poles during the 1920's and 1930's (and earlier) were small, the immigrants were mostly intellectuals, and they had no trouble fitting in (or at least fitting along side).

I'm guessing that Sarkozy is the politically correct version of Le Pen and is banking on jingoism and xenophobia for his support. This is an appeal to raw emotion (especially fear) and can never be countered by references to logic and factual information.

Royal just doesn't radiate the sorts of head breaking persona that Sarkozy does and there is nothing that can be done about it. Let's just hope that France doesn't have to live through 40 years of Reaganomics before it realizes its mistake.

PS. Jerome, next time you put something like this together get a job on the campaign of the leftist candidate where you can influence the dialog from the beginning.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Fri May 4th, 2007 at 12:21:07 PM EST
PS. Jerome, next time you put something like this together get a job on the campaign of the leftist candidate where you can influence the dialog from the beginning.

Jerome, have you sent a copy of this to the Parti Socialiste, and why didn't you send it to Segolene before the debate?

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 4th, 2007 at 12:29:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Somehow, I have a hard time believing that Royal and the PS do not already know the reality behind neolib propaganda.
by Fete des fous on Fri May 4th, 2007 at 01:08:56 PM EST
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If I am not mistaken, Royal failed to make these points at the debate, and in particular failed to call Sarkozy on his bullshit about the economy in his opening statement.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 4th, 2007 at 05:29:45 PM EST
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I think Royal hit a few aspects of the argument, such as about work time and productivity, but what's missing is a full-fledged denonciation of the grand-master plan to assymetric globalization. I assume that in addition to the traditional left, Royal also wants to appeal to the political center, the middle class and business interests ..
by Fete des fous on Fri May 4th, 2007 at 08:13:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i think a denounciation of his "BS" whould have deverved her as showing her as willing to keep the status quo, when a large part of the French want changes, whatever the changes.

Sarko is winning because is prensented himself as a dynamic guys who want make changes.

5 or 10 years (presidents are often reelected) of Sarkozyms will probably wake up this bored france.

by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Fri May 4th, 2007 at 08:36:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a really interesting comment.

Are you saying that "a large part of the French want changes, whatever the changes" because France is "bored"?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Fri May 4th, 2007 at 08:59:40 PM EST
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i think a denounciation of his "BS" whould have deverved her as showing her as willing to keep the status quo, when a large part of the French want changes, whatever the changes.

I fail to see how exposing Sarko's drivel on "full employment" in the UK implies that no reform should be made in France, especially with respect to preparing against unfair competition in a globalizing world

Sarko is winning because is prensented himself as a dynamic guys who want make changes.

He'd be winning because he is a demagogue who exploited the fears and insecurities of the elderly in a fast changing world. In fact, he would have no mandate from the active, vital population.

by Fete des fous on Fri May 4th, 2007 at 11:36:06 PM EST
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Sarkozy voters are the majority in all parts of the population but 18-24 !!!

18-24 are always wrong, not a news, and at this moment they are lazy enough to dream only about being public workers.

by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 01:41:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IPSOS 03/05 (it is likely to be even more toward Sarko now since he is going above 55% in all more recent polls)

AGE             SR      Sarko

  • 18 à 24 ans   62++     38--
  • 25 à 34 ans   47       53
  • 35 à 49 ans   48       52
  • 50 à 64 ans   44       56
  • 65 ans et plus 34--     66++
by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 01:52:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarkozy voters are the majority in all parts of the population but 18-24 !!!

The IFOP poll from April 28 contradicts this: Royal would win. were it not for the +65. by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer on April 29th, 2007.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 04:44:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
get real mates, 75% are not realistic, and with more than 55% voting for Sarko, it cannot be only those who are 65+, they are not that many.
by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 10:57:21 AM EST
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18% of voting age population is 65+.

I'd say they're likely to vote relatively more than younger voters.

by Laurent GUERBY on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 12:32:27 PM EST
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As I suspected all along, here is another exit poll (TNS-SOFRES) which contradicts IPSOS about the 25-34 age group.

the exit poll numbers (age group, Royal's %, Sarko's %):

  • 18-24 60 40
  • 25-34 54 46
  • 35-49 51 49
  • 50-64 41 59
  • 65+ 36 64

tns-sofres exit poll, see page 2

There is now even less doubt that Sarko is the president of the retirees who were most sensitive to his security/anti-immigration propaganda. The IPSOS exit poll numbers ascribing the 24-35 age group to Sarko at 57% didn't make much sense, and the difference with this poll is so large (an 11 point difference) that one can only wonder what happened ...

by Fete des fous on Mon May 28th, 2007 at 02:35:49 PM EST
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These exit polls are all over the place, so it's hard to know what really happened. Two things are cristal clear in all:

  • the young voted strongly for Royal
  • the old voted even more strongly for Sarkozy

In between, it's a lot hard to say.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon May 28th, 2007 at 04:38:46 PM EST
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Which exit polls are you talking about? I looked for other polls a couple of weeks ago and couldn't find any apart from the IPSOS one. A 10 point difference among the 25-34 y.o. between 2 polls is huge and cannot be due to random error. Either the methodologies are very wrong or worse.

If I am right that it means the elections were decided primarily by the security/immigration issues, it doesn't say much for the effectiveness of the declinist propaganda.

I note the unwillingness of the media to even mention the age divide in the vote. It seems the left should discuss this point as widely as possible before the legislatives.

by Fete des fous on Mon May 28th, 2007 at 05:20:48 PM EST
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The TNS/Sofres poll linked to just above (thanks for the link, btw) may not be an exit poll; according to the fiche technique its a telephone poll conducted on election day.

One could make that case that on a nice spring day, younger voters are less likely to be at home answering the phone and presumably, an actual exit poll has a much lower margin for error since it gets a better (and larger) sample of actual voters, but simple common sense suggests an error in the IPSOS age cross-tabs.

by desmoulins (gsb6@lycos.com) on Tue May 29th, 2007 at 02:32:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Both the TNS-SOFRES and the IPSOS-DELL were conducted over the phone on the evening of the election. They also share the quotas method, the only difference in the method appears to be sample size (1200 versus 3600 people interviewed).
by Fete des fous on Tue May 29th, 2007 at 07:42:30 AM EST
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"In fact, he would have no mandate from the active, vital population."

Pure speculation and indeed false. Where did you get such figures from?

by skovgaard on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 12:02:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How can Sarkozy, who was in the government for the past 3 years as Finance minister, as Interior Minister, as Ministre d'Etat... present himself as the candidate for "change", and succeed?

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 04:53:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is the talent to be a good politician but he had to follow what Chirac decided, and Chirac was everything but right-wing.

Chirac has been affraid by the leftists since May68, this period is going to an end, Sarko will be a non-ashamed Right-wing and one of the most, if not the most, important leader in Europe.

By the way, with the disappearance of Lepen, The left will find very difficult to get back in power.

It is really an new era.

by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Sat May 5th, 2007 at 10:55:21 AM EST
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Re: the PS; they certainly know all this -- a lot of them helped create the circumstances that led to this situation.

I know this is going to sound heretical but I wonder if a more receptive audience would not be Bayrou's soon-to-be-established parti democrate. Whats interesting about that effort is that he's not going to have big business and big financial support -- all that money is going to toe Sarkozy's line. Bayrou's not going to have the old Giscardiens around either; they'll all be palace eunuchs in the Sarkozy state. Bayrou's party, if it gets off the ground, is going to be driven by young people with new ideas about politics, media and economics -- and a desire first and foremost to renew French democracy by changing the major institutions of French public life.

My point is that France does need reform; that much is clear from how the last few months have played out. What it doesn't need is the destruction of its public services and a radical redistribution of wealth and power to the financial, commercial and business elites.

Great work, Jerome; here and every time you write these things.

by desmoulins (gsb6@lycos.com) on Fri May 4th, 2007 at 01:26:45 PM EST
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Bayrou economic program = reduce public spending and debt and all will go well for everyone.

Kind of stupid: public debt level has no correlation with economic performance and public debt alone is meaningless anyway since you have assets and total debt to take into account.

I'm pretty sure Bayrou knows this, but spreading fear about debt is well too easy.

by Laurent GUERBY on Fri May 4th, 2007 at 02:25:47 PM EST
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Yes, I agree entirely that the economic "program" he ran on was indeed "kind of stupid", and I'm sure he knows this. Thats precisely the point I tried to make above -- he's going to have to change that since his constituency will no longer be the vestigal Giscardiens but a new generation who have had enough of "kind of stupid" cliches and want to see someone who can assess issues lucidly and propose serious solutions.

Which is what I think JG was doing in his article. So my point was that Bayrou's party, since its new, may be the best opportunity to get past "kind of stupid" economics.

by desmoulins (gsb6@lycos.com) on Fri May 4th, 2007 at 02:34:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd be the first to applause if he changes his line, but he has been running on this "public debt is evil" for all his long political career so far, so I don't hold my breath here :).
by Laurent GUERBY on Fri May 4th, 2007 at 03:10:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Altemeyer - Have you read his web article ;-) - provides the answer.  Inculcating fear into the electorate drives up the RWA vote and shifts the vote to the Right.

I suspect it also tends to depress the moderate/centralist vote by spreading despair -- but I have no proof.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri May 4th, 2007 at 12:35:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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