Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

It Could Happen Here: Chronicle of a (not so) Foretold Election

by Bernard Tue Apr 19th, 2022 at 08:20:31 PM EST

It was pretty much written in advance. All pundits agreed. Emmanuel Macron was leading the polls, far ahead of his challengers. Politicians from the French Social-Democrat party, the Parti Socialiste (PS), moved to support Macron, leaving the official candidate, Anne Hidalgo, in the dust. So did other politicians from the mainstream right-wing, the former Gaullist party of Chirac & Sarkozy, Les Républicains, this time, to the detriment of the Les Républicains candidate, Valérie Pécresse.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine even boosted Macron's lead in the polls, leaving his main challenger, Marine Le Pen, several percentage points behind, with the only left-wing candidate,  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (France Unbowed) far behind, and fascist firebrand Eric Zemmour numbers sinking fast.

For the second round, coming up next Sunday, 24 April, every polls showed Macron leading by a wide margin, regardless of his opponent. All pundits agreed: Macron was all but sailing to re-election.

Not so fast.

The Schrödinger Candidate

As I mentioned in my first diary, Macron has been doing little campaigning, watching the situation in Ukraine, phoning Zelensky and then Putin a couple of times. Why spend time campaigning if the result was, well, foretold?

Shortly before the first round however, worry started to run through team Macron, quickly turning into panic: the second round polls were showing an ever closing gap between Macron and Le Pen. Even if no poll ever showed a Le Pen victory, the spread between the two were getting into the margin of error,

The lady with cats

In contrast to Macron who did close to no campaigning, Le Pen has been running a PR campaign for years to smooth up her image before starting the presidential campaign in earnest. Publicly, she did everything to tone down her anti-immigrant discourse and some of her more radical positions that never got any traction, like Frexit, or getting out of the Eurozone.

She did a lot of PR to erase her and her party's toxic image, starting with her father's name: her campaign material never mentioned her family name or her National Rally party's name; only her first name: Marine. She also tried to develop a low-key image with talk-show hosts on TV, hosting interviews in her apartment, where she lives alone (she and partner Louis Alliot have split-up some years ago) with her cats: cats are cute and fuzzy, who doesn't like cats?

Another strong point in her campaign: Macron was talking EU, Ukraine, meeting with Putin & Zelenski etc... Le Pen has focused on everyday, immediate preoccupations of many French voters, like jobs, purchasing power in the face of growing inflation, fuel taxes. She was also quick to distance herself from Putin following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, even sending millions of leaflets to the pulp, because they were featuring a picture of her shaking hands with Putin. In any case, her would be core voters were more interested in domestic, daily issues than her international posture.

As a result, Macron's wide advance a few months ago was steadily shrinking and there was a real possibility that Le Pen might get more votes than him in the first round. This didn't happen, as we know: Macron got almost five percentage points more than Le Pen, with Mélenchon coming close (400,00 votes) in third place.

Macron: Going Green

Climate scientists in France have studied the program for all twelve candidates for the first round. According to them, only two candidates had a program consistent with the climate and emission targets to keep temperature rise below 2°C: Jadot (Greens) and Mélenchon. It is no coincidence that Macron, who ran five years ago on the motto of "make our planet great again", is now trying to woo the first round Mélenchon voters with a newfound religion on environment - unlike, say, the past five years of his first term, when he systematically favored the big industry and intensive agricultural interests. He has taken on board a Mélenchon's proposal of "ecological planning" by his new cabinet.

Harsher scrutiny for the second round

Now that Le Pen is effectively facing off Macron for the second round, her program is attracting harsher scrutiny from the people (and the media). Beneath the popular measures like salary increase of retirement at 60, there are other, more unappetizing things: assumed discrimination between French citizens and foreigners, even EU citizens, which is running against the EU treaties. Despite her officially giving up on Frexit, she plans to do without most of the EU regulations, by putting them on a referendum, like her model Viktor Orban of Hungary. In fact, France, the second population and GDP of the EU, would turn into a Hungary on steroids.

Another policy that's not making her any new friends: she plans to ban the headscarf in all public places. Today, religious symbols like hijabs, kippas or even large crosses are only prohibited inside public schools (not universities) and by civil servants in offices open to the public. The leopard cannot hide her spots.

Le Pen is not popular with French Muslims (estimated to about 5 millions, give or take), who voted in majority for Mélenchon. Macron is also trying to capitalize on Le Pen's weakness, but his track record on discrimination of Muslims and ethnic minorities in France is not so great either.

It could happen here

Since the first round, the spread between Macron and Le Pen in the polls has started increasing again: today it is about 54-55 for Macron and 45-46 for Le Pen. As per tradition, a presidential debate between the two candidates is scheduled for Wednesday night. Five years ago, Le Pen did poorly: she was tired by too much campaigning and ill prepared. She vowed not top make the same mistake this time.

In any case, even if all the polls are now clearly showing a Macron's lead, the results are not assured and a Le Pen presidency remains a real possibility. Let's remember other "foretold" votes six years ago, like Brexit or Trump: it could happen here...

"Third Round" in June

Parliamentary elections are scheduled for June 12 (first round) and 19 (second round). Whomever will win the presidency will need a majority at the parliament to form a cabinet. This is where things could get interesting, should the voters not give the newly elected president a majority to govern with. But this is another story. I'll just not that Mélenchon, who is decidedly thinking ahead, is trying to organize a left wing coalition to eventually win a parliament majority and become, in his own words "Macron's Prime Minister".

A quote attributed to French politician Georges Clemenceau: One never lies so much as before an election, during a war and after a hunt.
by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Apr 19th, 2022 at 08:24:11 PM EST
Among Le Pen's not so popular proposed policies, I didn't mention this one, because her core voters are focused on immediate daily life issues like cost of living. But to win the election, Le Pen must enlarge her electorate beyond her core voters and to people who are also interested in European and international issues.

When questioned about her ties to Russia (her party contracted a loan with a Russian bank) and her relationship to Putin (2017: 'I support Putin's policies'), Le Pen argued for an alliance between Europe and Russia, "once the Ukraine war is over" she added, to ensure that Russia and China do not form an alliance of their own. Apparently, she didn't realize that ship has sailed already...

by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Apr 19th, 2022 at 08:58:06 PM EST
With Macron we live in misery. We hope with Le Pen she cuts our gas and electric bills ... we are unable to cope, our car of 20 years old we can't afford ... there is no job for our son of 21 years old ...

49% of this town voted for Le Pen in the first round.

Greatest adversary for Macron

'Screwed' either way: Macron-Le Pen presidential duel leaves young, leftist Mélenchon voters cold


'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Apr 20th, 2022 at 07:42:31 AM EST
Le Pen has been successful at presenting herself as close to the people and looking at their interests rather than the "president of the rich". In that regard, Le Pen and the RN have sort of replaced the role taken by the Communist party back in the 2nd half of the 2Oth century: the party of the working class, those who can never make both ends meet. We can remember a former ET member who switched from a Communist supported to a Le Pen supporter.

Something interesting is starting to happen though: LFI (France Unbowed) and Mélenchon have attracted a large share of the working class vote, mostly in main urban areas.

The difference with Le Pen? Le Pen's vote is concentrated in small & medium size cities and rural areas; voters are largely white working class.

LFI's voters, on the other hand, while also largely working class, tend to be more ethnically diverse, which also explains the geographical differences: Minorities in France tend to concentrate in large urban areas; travel out of these urban areas, and you'll hardly see any black or brown face (so much for the Great Replacement theory).

We may be seeing LFI starting to take the place the Communist party occupied in the French political landscape some decades ago, with a much larger and more diverse population base, and minus the racist, exclusionary identity politics of the far right.

by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Apr 20th, 2022 at 10:51:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How is Le Pens's economic policies below the headline level?

Is it the standard far-right mix of neoliberal economics with a paint layer of white preference on top?

by fjallstrom on Fri Apr 22nd, 2022 at 08:07:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's pure populism, with the emphasis on "cost of living" : for example,
  • VAT at 0% for 100 essential items;
  • price controls;
  • zero income tax for everyone under 30;
  • retirement age 60...  
  • [laundry list of everything nice]

All to be financed by eliminating immigration, of course.

Oh and economic patriotism : relocalising the economy, reindustrialising France. Everything nice.

It could be said that her economic policy is to the left of Macron's, but it's sheer fantasy.

The principle of the RN's economic policy is to follow the money. Le Pen père financed his party for decades by fleecing rich widows and eccentric inheritors who liked his classic fascist economic policies; his electors were racists who didn't care about those policies.

Marine has turned this on its head; she concentrates on the disgruntled poor, to maximise the vote and public political financing : hence, populist economic policy; while soft-pedalling the racism which is still the exclusive motivator of her activists.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Apr 22nd, 2022 at 10:29:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course it's all bullshit. It's same awesomeness the UK was supposed to experience after Brexit: more money for the NHS, cuts to VAT, better pay, lower rents, free kittens for everyone who wants one, and they don't even bite.

Then the bastards get in and start handing public money to their sponsors and personal friends.

Services are trashed, the economy crashes (because immigrants turn out to be essential), businesses close, and you can't even get fresh food any more.

If someone reminds the crooks about their promises they say "That's not what we meant."

Complete banditry.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 09:58:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't think he ever actually switched to Le Pen, rather he just wasn't all that bothered by the idea of her winning?  Although he and I had a falling out and haven't spoken in a year or two, so I may have missed it.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 08:14:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, you probably remember him better than I do. I just remember him defending Le Pen's arguments and discourse (not the anti-immigrant part though, didn't mention that).
by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 09:14:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
La tendance dessinée à midi s'inverse puisque la participation est en baisse par rapport au premier tour du scrutin. Elle s'établit à 17h à 63,23%, contre 65% le 10 avril dernier. C'est aussi moins qu'en 2017, où 65,3% des électeurs s'étaient déplacés à 17h. Selon un sondage Ifop-Fiducial pour BFM TV, l'abstention devrait s'établir à 28% à 20 heures, ce qui serait un record depuis 1969.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 03:28:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This evening we're having a viewing party for the second-round debate between Macron and Le Pen.

The invitees (all close friends) :
An engineer from Marseille, voluble Mélenchonist
A retired senior policeman from eastern France, mainstream right
A recently-naturalised Russian, who adores Macron
A young local-authority manager, Green
My wife and I, both immigrants, one of us Muslim.

There is a famous French movie, "Le Diner des Cons" (The Dinner Game). A group of friends take turns to invite some idiot to dinner with them so they can laugh at him.

There is a proverb in French : one is always someone else's idiot. Tonight will perhaps be like a circular firing squad. I'm looking forward to it.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Apr 20th, 2022 at 10:31:48 AM EST
I've got a sinking feeling about today's vote.
Firstly: turnout was lower in many areas favourable to Le Pen, so that may be a couple of percent who didn't vote in the first round, but will turn up today.
Secondly, the Mélenchon vote will split four ways: Macron, Le Pen, blank, no vote. Judging on what I've seen and heard, I would guess a fairly even 4 way split. Macron hasn't made many friends among them in the past couple of weeks.
Thirdly, it's going to rain pretty much everywhere. It may be enough to discourage many reluctant Macron voters.

850 voters last time; I would be surprised if we get 750 today. And I haven't yet seen a single racialised one so far.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 06:40:51 AM EST
It's not raining everywhere, far from that: many regions in the Southwest and Northwest have some sunshine today. In any case, good weather on a Sunday in spring is supposed to be bad for the turnout.

As for Mélenchon voters, polls showed those who will go and vote, to split two thirds for Macron and one third for Le Pen. As much as many people don't care much for Macron, they care even less for Le Pen.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 01:18:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
High turnout here, with lots of proxy votes (school holidays). A turnover in those who vote: lots of people who didn't vote in the first round; very few of those who I profiled as Mélenchon voters in the first round.

As a result, I'm now feeling complacent about an easy Macron win.
(But I've been wrong before)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 01:28:18 PM EST
Latest polls on Friday were showing a 13-14% spread (and widening) between Macron and Le Pen: 56-57% Macron vs. 43-44% Le Pen.

Still, the Macronia has been sounding the war drum for weeks now, claiming that Le Pen might edge a win if not enough voters go to the poll. They also warned against premature complacency, citing the precedents of 2016 in the UK and the US.

Technically, it is possible of course, a low turnout in general except for the Le Pen voters might swing the vote. But the comparison to the 2016 Brexit referendum and the Trump election are misplaced: prior to June 24, most polls were only showing a narrow (3-4%) lead for Remain and at least one poll was predicting Leave. As for the US elections, Clinton actually won the popular vote (like Gore did in 2000); Trump was only elected thanks to the Electoral College.

The cynical me tends to think that the Macronistas are not so much worried by a Le Pen win, as improbable as it may be, but rather by a not so large victory of Macron: this would put a damper on Macron's momentum and perceived "legitimacy" to pursue his agenda. They are also planning for the Legislative elections in two months from now: Macron's election in 2017 carried forward into a large majority for his party, LREM, in the ensuing Legislative elections; a narrower than expected victory today could cast a doubt on pulling a similar majority this year.

Also, a large number of those casting a ballot for Macron today are doing so, not because they are supporting Macro, but rather because they do not want to see an extreme right president in the Elysée (yours truly very much included).

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 03:37:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ground zero Lyon: Looking like a high turnout and wide winning margin for Macron. This may backfire on him, because the left electorate is mobilised and wants to wash away the shame of being forced to vote for him.
Legislatives in June, and the big news is a united front of the left to present common candidates, unlike 2017. A real chance of forcing Macron into minority.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 04:07:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ha! That sounds better!
by Katrin on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 04:12:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I could imagine so, since your analogy is incorrect. Why you discard Trump's 2020 re-election defeat by a candidate, Biden, who has never survived primary selection, I couldn't say. I will note, in both cases a majority of voters' rejected the greater evil.
by Cat on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 06:50:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From Belgium & Switzerland, where there is a number of French language media, but are not subject to the French law embargoing any early projections & estimates until 8 PM CEST: they are calling it for Macron.

Note: Taking polls is not illegal in France, it's just publishing that is under embargo since Friday midnight and until 8 PM, when polling closes in large cities.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 05:44:48 PM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 06:01:58 PM EST
First estimates (these are still estimates - many polling stations only closed a few minutes ago at 8 PM):

Macron 58.2%
Le Pen 41.8%

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 06:11:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Count the blanks please! Does Macron have 50%, or less?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 06:25:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Counting still in progress... There will be updated results later this evening.
by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 06:31:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Final results here.

Taking the "blank" ballots into account, Macron got a little over 53.5% of the total vote.

by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 08:32:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There will be a historic record of blank votes (I felt a lot of empty envelopes when counting them)

At a wild guess, at least 10% in my polling place. We'll see when we open the envelopes.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 06:24:00 PM EST
Is there any mechanical consequences of blank votes, or just the moral marking of "I went to vote and refuse to vote for either of the options"?
by fjallstrom on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 08:18:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just the moral marking, we are French after all...

The results are compiled over the "expressed suffrage", leaving aside the blank votes or the "null" votes: marking on the paper ballots, two ballots in the same envelope, not one of the official candidate ballots,... I have helped counting the ballots a few times over the years (this is always done by volunteer citizens), and I've seen it all.

by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 08:40:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Technically : a vote blanc is when there is a blank white piece of paper in the envelope, OR an empty envelope. It is Case 11 in the enumerated "non expressed" vote counting methodology. Cases 1 to 10 are different categories of null : There was one in my polling place where the voter had spat on his Macron ballot.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 11:09:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Despite past campaigns to have them counted, they generally end up in the column "non-expressed" votes in the media, along with spoiled ballots and ... registered voters who didn't vote.

But they are totalized locally and nationally.
Some graphs here :
Of those who voted, Macron won a majority : 54.7% / 38.8%, 6.5% respectively.

Some agitate for a significant blank vote  

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 09:48:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Macron has been the first president of the Fifth Republic  to beat the "incumbent curse" and win a second term while having a majority at the parliament. At least, since 1965, when Charles de Gaulle won re-election facing one François Mitterrand.

Technically, 1965 was the first election of the president by direct suffrage: for his first term in 1958, De Gaulle was elected by an electoral college of lawmakers and mayors. The direct suffrage was introduced by referendum in 1962.

Mitterrand and Chirac both won a second term, in 1986 and 2002, respectively, but they had lost their parliamentary majority two years prior, and the government was then run by their main opponent whom they had to appoint as Prime Minister: Chirac, PM of president Mitterrand from 1986 to 1988, and Jospin (PS), PM of president Chirac from 1997 to 2002.

Now, Macron's challenge will be to keep a parliamentary majority in the upcoming Legislative elections, 12 and 19 June. As eurogreen commented above, Left wing parties are talking about presenting a united front, hoping to get a majority of seats. Mélenchon, who is a shrewd and intelligent politician, has already started this campaign: a few days ago, in a newspaper interview, he called for the French people to "elect him Prime Minister" in June.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 06:28:51 PM EST
Total votes inmy bureau :703 out of 904, 78% of votes expressed.

Macron:519   74%
Le Pen:132   19%
Blanks:45     6.5%
Nulls: 5      1%

So, did Macron beat 50% nationally ?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 07:34:30 PM EST
In analysing what Mélenchon voters did yesterday: what I observed in my polling place shows a three way split... the numbers add up to 50% to Macron, 25% abstained, 25% voted blank.

The votes for Macron in the second round amount to the sum of ALL of the candidates except Zemmour and Le Pen, plus half of Mélenchon.

The votes for Le Pen in the second round are exactly the sum of her first round votes and those of Zemmour. Zero transfer from Mélenchon.  I'm proud of my hood again.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 10:22:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So ultimately this wound up not all that close, although the swing is pretty large and so somewhat worrying.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 08:54:49 PM EST
by generic on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 09:05:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to sound obvious, but in the French 2-round FPTP system, this is the only motivation left to voters of candidates eliminated in the first round. Those who were not motivated stayed home (or did cast a blank ballot). It has happened in all presidential elections.

This is nothing new, except that this time, the alternative was a far-right candidate who proclaimed her intention to turn France into a bigger version of Hungary.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 09:19:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hah, and the most likely sample size is 11. Still, for some reason we've been running into a lot of all-important elections that could spell utter doom for the country. Not important enough to not raise the retirement age and lower wealth taxes of course.
by generic on Sun Apr 24th, 2022 at 10:01:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Macron had a clear strategy for re-election, since 2017 :

  • Co-opt the more capable people from the mainstream right
  • Promote Le Pen as his only worthy opponent

I wonder what his strategy is for 2027? Perhaps he will run Jean Castex for President, and become his Prime Minister...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 10:26:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have no idea what Martin Longman is talking about ...

The French Results Are Welcome But Not Reassuring | Progress Pond |

I most definitely understand Steve M.'s frustration with headlines and analysis that treat French President Emmanuel Macron's 17-point victory over fascist Marine Le Pen as a win for the fascists. But maybe that analysis is prescient.

    By contrast, America's neofascist, anti-Muslim Putin ally gave it to us uncut and undiluted, won in 2016, came within fewer than 50,000 votes of an Electoral College victory in 2020, and is the favorite to win (and win the popular vote this time) in 2024.

The German parliamentary elections of 1930 were notable, in retrospect, less for the performance of the winners than the losers.

Is this just poor attempt for fear mongering? I hate these simplifications and comparisons to Hitler and the establishment of the Nazi era towards a devastating World War. Instability in US politics is a domestic issue.

Living in a parallel universe of fear and demonization, not realizing how foreign policy set by a Republican and Democratic administration are not so different. Blame the other half of Americans to lose track. Fascist ideology is ingrained in a more and more violent culture of America. Years of disinformation is taking its toll. Trust in US Congress and its members has been barely above the single digits. A divided America is becoming more red as time goes by.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 07:31:18 PM EST
Are you fucking kidding me, @nytimes? The Macron victory is a second-tier story?

I assume if Le Pen had won there'd be a screaming banner headline with sidebar stories about her exquisite understanding of voters' feelings. [Source: @Steve M.]

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 07:58:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 09:12:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US media are not interested in delivering news.  They are interested only in delivering readers/viewers to their owners.
by rifek on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 09:54:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pundits never recovered from the epic "freedom" fries in Congressional lunch room.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 09:58:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Instability in US politics is a domestic issue.

Not true. Instability in US politics concerns everyone on earth, because of American exceptionalism. I remember a slogan from the 80s : "When Ronald Reagan is candidate for president of the US, everyone in the world should get a vote.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 12:17:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... bonus : the last major wars instigated by the USA (Afghanistan, Iraq) were started by a Republican.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 01:13:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To qualify that :

Obama was wise not to intervene in Syria, foolish to follow Sarkozy and Cameron in overthrowing Gaddhafi. Black mark for Democrats.

Clinton intervened in Bosnia to break a stalemate, and it is to his credit. Shame on Europe for not dealing with it when war first broke out between Serbia and Croatia.

Clinton overstepped on Serbia/Kosovo. Another black mark for Democrats.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 03:53:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
American exceptionalism has always been bipartisan.  Vast scads of every election consist of the two sides trying to out-exceptional each other.
by rifek on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 05:16:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of "low turnout":

And, for entertainment value:

by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 08:23:48 PM EST
For context, Macron was reelected on a turnout higher than any British government since 1992 Blair took over Labour, permanently depressing voter turnout.

Fixed it for them.

by fjallstrom on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 09:15:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gardiner is a Transatlantic fascist hack who smokes way too much Thatchercrack.
by rifek on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 09:55:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An account from a Baltimore boy, immigrant and recently naturalized French citizen (his words):

by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 08:26:25 PM EST
And no voting machines.
by fjallstrom on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 09:20:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 09:09:18 PM EST
Melania won't be happy
by asdf on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 09:25:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually she will probably be happy to be here in the US, considering that the libs are taking over the old country. Florida is probably much better.
by asdf on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 09:26:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds good. But I am wondering how "green" the Freedom Movement is?
by IdiotSavant on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 03:34:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
French Lessons: What Emmanuel Macron Tells Us About Winning When People Don't Like You
Macron is unpopular and still won, but Joe Biden may yet have problems emulating his success.
by Cat on Thu Apr 28th, 2022 at 11:03:17 PM EST
Bilateral agreements between LFI (the new hegemon) and the various other parties of the left, are the order of the day. The idea is to have a single candidate of the Left in every electoral district.

Yesterday, the Greens signed an agreement in which they get a hundred or so districts. Julien Bayou mentioned that in the discussions, they had cleared up differences on EU issues (i.e. engaged in an exercise of creative ambiguity, because they are miles apart).

Mélenchon and Olivier Faure, head of the PS, shook hands yesterday during the May Day demonstration. This morning, LFI has apparently been in discussion with both the Communist Party (Fabien Roussel of the PC said he had set the question of nuclear energy aside; the PC is for, LFI against) and the PS.
This afternoon, the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA, trotsko-wokist) gets their turn.

So in theory we might get a united left front this evening, but it will probably drag on for a couple more days. Candidacies for the legislative elections need to be deposited in two weeks.  

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon May 2nd, 2022 at 10:40:31 AM EST
The dinosaurs of the PS (they used to be called elephants, in their glory days; but they are the people who turned the party of Jean Jaurès into a neo-liberal vehicule, resulting in a drastic downsizing) are very cross indeed with Olivier Faure, for negotiating with Mélenchon from the position of weakness they put him in.

A revolt of the remaining PS regional structures is quite likely, with dissident PS candidates running against official left-front candidates.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon May 2nd, 2022 at 10:48:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's interesting to see all the brouhaha, if not outright pearl clutching, about this intention of potentially "disobeying" some EU rules.

Seen from Brussels, Politico.eu calls it "surprising".

Other right of center folks in France are whipping up a virtuous indignation, summoning EELV to remove 'Europe' (the first 'E' in EELV) from their name, for the unforgivable sin of hooking up with Mélenchon, who has shown quite a bit of euroskepticism.

It would be of course impolite to point out that "disobeying" some EU rules has been a discussion within EELV for several years, for those who were paying attention: Julien Bayou published a book about it back in 2018.

Also, many in Brussels, at the Parliament or the Commission, could easily point out several "EU rules" that Macron's government has also 'disobeyed', just like previous governments from Hollande or Sarkozy in the past (France is France).

Smaller EU countries haven't failed to notice that it's easier to get away with it when you are one of the biggest EU countries, like France or Germany.

by Bernard (bernard) on Tue May 3rd, 2022 at 05:30:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Note that Julien Bayou was a member of DIEM25 for a couple of years, I met him in Berlin.

And yes, there are issues where "it's OK if you're France or Germany". The main thing is to pull the whole thing in the right direction, rather than pulling exceptionalism.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu May 5th, 2022 at 03:31:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Macron's current parliamentary majority is not composed only of his party, La République en Marche. Several other allied parties have a "group" (and the attached public financing) in Parliament :
From right to left :
  • Agir (former Républicains),
  • le Parti Radical (the residual right wing of the 19th century progressive party)
  • Horizons, party of Edouard Philippe (ex Républicains)
  • A bunch of other Républicains who defected after the recent Presidential elections, and will be planning on keeping their seats in Parliament
  • LRM
  • MoDem, François Bayrou's party
  • Mouvement Territoires de progrès, former PS rats
  • Parti écologiste En commun of Barbara Pompili (Green traitress)
  • Le fondation républicaine, Jean-Pierre Chevènement (who inexplicably is not yet dead).

Unlike the left, they will slug it out in some arbitrary and opaque process to allocate the winnable seats.

On the far right : Several of Le Pen's lieutenants defected to Zemmour. She is insisting that there will be no arrangements with his party for the legislative elections; this is suicidal, so I hope she sticks to her guns.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon May 2nd, 2022 at 03:33:54 PM EST
For the sake of completeness :
Les Républicains, who currently have around 100 députés, are the "official" opposition to Macron in the outgoing legislature (despite the fact that he stole all their policies, and half of their competent politicians).

They will be struggling to maintain half of that in June.

Which pretty much guarantees that the "united" Left will be the Opposition for the next five years. This was my optimistic best-possible outcome, before the presidential elections.

(Because I'm an optimist by temperament and principle, but nobody really believes Mélenchon's punchline about being Macron's Prime Minister)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon May 2nd, 2022 at 04:25:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Manuel Valls (the Man who Missed the Boat), Prime Minister 2014-2016 during the ignominious Hollande presidency.

He was re-elected to parliament in 2017 (PS), promptly defected to Macron, then resigned to meet his destiny as Mayor of his home town, Barcelona.

Unfortunately they didn't need a Blairist, and with his centre-right Ciudadanos, he came fourth, well behind Ada Colau. He resigned in August 2021, but nobody noticed.

Big news of the day : he has been nominated by La République en Marche as candidate for the legislatives, in the 5th Foreign district (Spain, Portugal, Andorra and Monaco).

A fitting destiny? He should never have left Evry, where I've been told he was a capable mayor. The Peter principle.  

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue May 3rd, 2022 at 03:49:53 PM EST
He was Hollande's last Prime Minister, after Valls, and thus presided over the Socialist Party's last days in power (ever).

He is very cross about the accord the PS is about to sign with LFI. Worse : he threatens to resign from the PS if they do!

That'll make them think. Unless they have more important things to think about.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue May 3rd, 2022 at 03:54:10 PM EST
the national council of the Parti Communiste Français has just approved the accord proposed by LFI. .

Two micro-parties are still negotiating : the NPA and the PS.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue May 3rd, 2022 at 03:59:29 PM EST

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]