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We can look at Libération, too. Ni Putes Ni Soumises demonstrates in favour of the burqa ban in front of the PS headquarters because the PS is too ambiguous for their liking. While the PS "absolutely and firmly condemns the wearing of the burqa" they oppose the UMP's initiative purely on expediency ("ineffective, circumstantial, unenforceable law") and NPNS demand that the PS walk the walk.
«On attend du courage politique»

Le PS, qui, comme l'ensemble des partis représentés, a remis sa contribution sur le sujet à la mission parlementaire mi-janvier, refuse une loi d'interdiction qui serait, selon lui, «de circonstance» et, probablement, «inapplicable». Et la semaine dernière, les députés socialistes, membres de la mission, ont prévenu qu'ils ne prendraient pas part au vote de son rapport final. Tout en «condamnant absolument et fermement le port du voile intégral», ils refusent une «démarche de diversion et de manipulation» et ne «participeront pas à cette gesticulation politicienne», expliquait, jeudi, dans un entretien à Libération.fr, la députée Sandrine Mazetier.

Une position qui «inquiète» Sihem Habchi: «On attend du courage politique: pas seulement condamner mais aussi agir.» Favorable à un «dispositif législatif» sur le voile intégral, la présidente de NPNS estime qu'«on ne peut pas être sur une position laxiste». Et dégaine sa formule: «Non au droit à la différence quand elle amène à la différence des droits, non au relativisme culturel, on nous met dans un ghetto ambulant», lâche-t-elle.

Superficially, le Pen sounds just like Aubry.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 26th, 2010 at 07:14:55 AM EST
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There's no doubt the issue divides the left. It even divides the UMP (which is why I still don't think I know what will really transpire in terms of legislation).

But that capacity to divide is one reason why it's being shoved out there, like the "great debate on national identity". Cosy up to the Le Pen electorate, which Sarkozy needs; get impassioned culture-war debate going as a smokescreen for all the real problems; divide and weaken the opposition. Except that it also divides more than just the opposition, and the notion that it is all a cynical ploy has gained ground until the "national identity" thing has failed and been pulled back. That's one part of the culture-war stink bombs that didn't work, at least.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jan 26th, 2010 at 07:57:24 AM EST
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Migeru:
Superficially, le Pen sounds just like Aubry.

Quite the opposite: Le Pen says that existing laws are enough (to enforce a ban presumably), while Aubry calls the proposal "inapplicable", "not efficient" (pas d'efficacité) and possibly unconstitutional.
by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Jan 26th, 2010 at 08:00:08 AM EST
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Aubry talks about law as debated and passed by the legislature (and examined by the Constitutional Court), while Le Pen speaks chillingly of police measures decided without public oversight.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jan 26th, 2010 at 08:05:27 AM EST
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Speaks volumes, doesn't it?
by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Jan 26th, 2010 at 08:20:10 AM EST
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Right, so the PS opposes the ban on expediency grounds, and Le Pen says if you want expediency, just get the police some Kärchers.

As Colman says, the PS's opposition seems predicated either on opposing whatever the UMP is doing, or on implementation (agreeing on the princple), rather than being an opposition of the principle. After all, the PS "strongly, categorically oppose the wearing of the burqa", they just don't think this is the way to go about it.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 26th, 2010 at 08:28:34 AM EST
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Hey, I strongly, categorically oppose the wearing of burqas. (I also strongly, categorically oppose the wearing of blue ties with pink flowers on them.)

But I also strongly, categorically oppose telling people what they can wear on public streets.

Where I can see an issue is in those cases where one has to identify oneself - passport checks, personalised tickets, exams, courts, etc. Courts are probably the most contentious one - anonymous witnesses really are not fitting for a democracy that claims to observe the rule of law.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jan 26th, 2010 at 09:07:33 AM EST
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