French presidential vote - they're off and running!

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DaveW
French presidential vote - they're off and running!

 

FLASH

France votes April 22nd, Socialist Hollande leading early race, status of far-right FN candidate still uncertain, left of left flirts with 10 per cent,

now Sarkozy declares, stay tuned:

http://www.liberation.fr/politiques/01012390241-sarkozy-oui-je-suis-candidat

 

 

DaveW

a good info site for the whole campaign:

http://www.liberation.fr/election-presidentielle-2012,100092

 

featuring today the parodies by Young Socialists of Sarkozy's campaign poster/theme:

 http://www.ecrans.fr/Les-jeunes-socialistes-detournent,14099.html

 

 

DaveW

 

Sarkozy continues weak presidential campaign, distinctly second-place well into first month of campaign;

 Question du jour: has Merkel convinced other Conservative European leaders (Cameron, Monti) not to receive Socialist candidate Francois Hollande in runup to April vote?

http://actu.orange.fr/politique/le-ps-denonce-le-boycott-de-hollande-par-merkel-et-ses-homologues-italien-espagnol-et-britannique-afp_513788.html

Le PS dénonce le "boycott" de Hollande par Merkel et ses homologues italien, espagnol et britannique

 

Le Parti socialiste français a vivement réagi samedi soir à une information de presse selon laquelle la chancelière Angela Merkel et d'autres dirigeants européens se sont entendus pour refuser de recevoir François Hollande, candidat socialiste à la présidentielle.

 

NDPP

'Get Lost' Hundreds Shout During Sarkozy's Election Campaign

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/229509.html

"French President Nicholas Sarkozy hides in a bar to escape from hundreds of angry protesters who booed him during an election campaign in France's southwest Basque country. Shouting 'Sarkozy, president of the rich' and 'Sarkosy get lost!' the protesters chased him into the Bar du Palais in central Bayonne where he was campaigning for reelection in the city on Thursday.."

DaveW

here is a candidate more to the liking of many at Babble, doing very well at 10 per cent putting him 4th/5th depending on the polls, a former Socialist minister leading the united Left including Communists:

http://www.jean-luc-melenchon.fr/

 however, there is a deep taboo now against vote-splitting in the first round April 22, as in 2002 that led to the early ouster of the then Socialist PM Lionel Jospin, and the accession of Jean-Marie Le Pen to the final runoff vs Chirac ... won 80-20 by Chirac with the nose-holding support of all "republican" voters

 hence the very strong 1st-place showing of Francois Hollande, the ex Socialist party secretary, a moderate and sort of the Brian Topp of the party

 

DaveW

 

I said above that Melenchon was sneaking up,

but rather today he's settling at 5th place and the 8 per cent range, according to latest yahoo election poll:

http://fr.news.yahoo.com/presidentielle-sondage-exclusif-yahoo-sarkozy-stagne-hollande-reste-en-tete.html

 

 

 

 

DaveW

and

mathematicians now project Sarkozy will win a squeaker:

http://fr.news.yahoo.com/maths-donnent-sarkozy-gagnant-134232071.html

Nous vous parlions déjà en novembre dernier des deux chercheurs d'ElectionScope, qui tentent de donner une estimation du résultat de mai prochain en utilisant deux variables: l'évolution de la popularité du président et du chômage sur un an. Leurs derniers calculs donnent Nicolas Sarkozy l'emportant au second tour avec 50,3% des votes, une tendance qui devrait se confirmer si le chômage ne remonte pas d'ici mai, expliquent-ils à L'Expansion:

«Si le chiffre du chômage était remonté au-dessus de 9,6%, Hollande aurait pu l'emporter, expliquent les deux chercheurs. Mais l'Insee a annoncé un taux de 9,4% le 1er mars. Quoi qu'il advienne, le score sera serré: un 57-43 en faveur de la gauche est totalement exclu.»

 

 

 

NDPP

Gaddafi ' Contributed $50 M To Sarkozy's 2007 Presidential Election Fund

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/12/gaddafi-contributed-sarkozy-...

"Damaging new claims have emerged about the funding of Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 election campaign and his links with former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi emerged. The French investigative website Mediapart claims to have seen a confidential note suggesting Gaddafi contributed up to $50 M to Sarkozy's election fund five years ago.

Similar allegations emerged a year ago when Gaddafi's son Saif al Islam claimed Libya helped finance the 2007 campaign and demanded the French president, who led the war on the Libyan leader, return the money. The latest allegations come at a crucial time for Sarkozy who is seeking a second term in office in a two-round election in under six weeks..."

Make big loan then have the lender murdered. Here's hoping Mossad's little French President loses as a result of this..

NDPP

Rally Shows France's Far-Left Nearly as Strong as Far-Right (and vid)

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/232367.html

"An estimated 120,000 people rallied in Paris to support France's far-left and their call to replace the nation's constitution. The Karl Marx quoting presidential candidate of the Left Front coalition, Jean Luc Melenchon, continues to gain popularity thanks to his program of boosting social spending and calling for an end to France's 5th Republic.."

DaveW

 

quite a crowd, the left of the left is surging past 10 per cent so far in the first-round polls:

http://www.liberation.fr/politiques/01012396735-si-hollande-avait-la-verve-de-melenchon-ca-serait-extra

 

 

 

josh

Good to see. His very presence has pulled the discussion to the left. It's something the "left" in North America could take a lesson from. The right already is expert in doing it.

DaveW

 

he was a Socialist minister 10 years ago and the youngest Senator in France, so he is in no way an outsider,

but he is catching a wave the way no one in the Europe Ecologie or various Trot mini-groups on the left have been able to this year; in any case, close to 100 per cent of his votes wil return to Socialist candidate vs Sarkozy in 2nd round, polls say

Fidel

This is an unfortunate incident at this time of election campaigns in France. The recent school shootings should be cause to instill enough fear in French voters that they demand more domestic security and crackdowns on lawlessness in general.

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

If like me your French language skills suck, "France 24" is a mainstream French TV news site with services in English.

The election news page is here

JKR

Opinion polling for the French presidential election, 2012

The last 7 polls by 7 different pollsters have Hollande beating Sarkozy in the 2nd round by at least 54-46%.

Wilf Day

DaveW wrote:
hence the very strong 1st-place showing of Francois Hollande, the ex Socialist party secretary, a moderate and sort of the Brian Topp of the party.

Very much the Brian Topp. Never elected to anything. Likely to become President of France. Hmm . . .

JKR wrote:

Opinion polling for the French presidential election, 2012

The last 7 polls by 7 different pollsters have Hollande beating Sarkozy in the 2nd round by at least 54-46%.

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Quote:
Left-wing leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon led thousands of supporters in a festive campaign march to Bastille square in Paris on Sunday. With five weeks left before the first round of France’s presidential election, Mélenchon has been gaining increasing support from voters and threatening incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy's most serious challenger, Socialist Party candidate François Hollande.

The Left Front candidate for president is now at 11% in the polls.

The rest of the story on France 24 here

 

DaveW

 

Melenchon up-ends Le Pen, Bayrou to poll in 3rd-place for 1st round vote:

http://fr.news.yahoo.com/m%C3%A9lenchon-devient-le-troisi%C3%A8me-homme-avec-14-selon-181809289.html

PARIS (Reuters) - Jean-Luc Mélenchon devient le "troisième homme" de la campagne présidentielle en France avec 14% d'intentions de vote au premier tour, devant Marine Le Pen (13%) et François Bayrou (12%), selon un sondage BVA pour Orange, la presse régionale et RTL diffusé jeudi.

 

 

 

NDPP

Children 'Forced to shout Long Live Sarkozy!' When French President Visited Their School

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2101337/Children-forced-shout-Lo...

"The French president has caused an outcry after dozens of infant school children were forced to chant 'Long Live Sarkozy!' when he visited their school. Parents complained about the youngsters being used as 'propaganda tools' after they were made to treat Nicolas Sarkozy as a hero, waving Tricolour flags and constantly shouting his name. Some were even kissed by Mr Sarkozy, who is hugely unpopular and widely expected to lose the presidential election being held in France in the Spring.."

not looking good for 'Monsieur Mossad'..

Jacob Richter

Here's hoping for more momentum for Jean-Luc Melenchon!

NDPP

Yes, delighted to see his rise..

DaveW

he is the 3rd man now, and an article here the other day about how this disrupts his campaign: the meeting halls reserved all too small, arrangements too underequipped,  etc.

among the 2 front-runners, Sarkozy pulled ahead, but 1st-round numbers have never meant much, with either of the 1-2 candidates eventually winning...

NDPP

French Left Rally Behind Anti-NATO Melenchon

http://www.france24.com/en/20120406-french-far-left-rally-behind-anti-na...

"French firebrand leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon made a show of force in the southern city of Toulouse on Thursday, drawing tens of thousands of supporters in a rally in which he called for France to withdraw from NATO and harkened back to revolutionary times. 'When there is no more liberty, civil insurrection becomes a sacred duty of the Republic,' he said, pausing for cheers to die down as the crowd waved dozens of flags.

Melenchon also made an appeal for French sovereignty over international groupings, like the European-Union, which he said 'strangle the voice of the people,' repeating his call to pull France out of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)"

 

DaveW

mods:

this other thread covers pretty much the same territory:

http://rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/french-election-marine-le-pen-and-jean-luc-melenchon-both-vie

 Ken Burch writes:

 Melenchon's rise in the polls challenges the working-class wing of the National Front's support...the voters (a large number of whom were former PCF supporters or the children of such supporters)who displaced their anger at the political/economic status quo off of the capitalists and onto immigrants.  Anything that threatens the FN ultimately threatens not only Sarkozy's party but the enture upper-class project both in France and throughout Europe.  For that reason, you might start seeing covert funding being slipped to the FN in the last days of the campaign.

If Melenchon succeeds in significantly reducing Le Pen's vote total, it ultimately threatens French and international capital, since both depend on deflectionist movements like the FN (or the far right parties in Germany, The Netherlands and other places)to divide working-class people and reduce the effectiveness of class-based resistance to neoliberalism.

Nothing new here...it's half the reason the captains of German industry started bankrolling the guy with the little moustache in the late 1920's.

 

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Quote:
Left Front demands include better pensions, a rise in the minimum wage, freezing rent levels, and a legally enforced maximum income for French residents. Their programme calls for strict limits on the use of temporary work contracts, building social housing, opening hospitals rather than closing them, high taxes for the rich, as well as the setting up of a Ministry of Women’s Rights, a welcome to immigrants, and a thorough reform of the parliament and presidency. In foreign policy, the Left Front demands a renegotiation of European economic treaties in order to defend public services, withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan and withdrawal of France from NATO. There are good reasons why the Front provokes widespread enthusiasm. Positive also is the idea that class struggle is important and a mass fightback need to be organized.

But Mélenchon’s mix includes ideas which are far from revolutionary. Just recently, he expressed his satisfaction that the Indian Army had chosen to buy dozens of fighter aircraft from France. He claims that the French Republic is not imperialist, but something to be proud of...

[url=http://www.counterfire.org/index.php/articles/international/15660-throwi...

NorthReport

It would be helpful to see Sarkozy defeated


DaveW
DaveW

 

Le Pen figuring out she has been bypassed as 3rd wheel in this race:

http://fr.news.yahoo.com/mélenchon-lidiot-triplement-utile-se-moque-marine-le-150454084.html

LYON (Reuters) - Marine Le Pen a ironisé samedi sur le "mythe du troisième homme" de la campagne présidentielle et Jean-Luc Mélenchon, qu'elle a qualifié "d'idiot triplement utile".

La candidate du Front national a souligné que le troisième homme s'était longtemps appelé François Bayrou, son adversaire centriste, mais que comme "il n'était pas crédible", le système en avait "trouvé un autre" : le leader du Front de gauche.

 

 

 

 

NorthReport
DaveW

 

Daniel Cohn-Bendit: "nothing in life is as simple as a Melenchon speech"

... criticizes him on late conversion to ecology, trust in the State, centralism, large-scale vs small-scale solutions, etc.

http://www.lemonde.fr/election-presidentielle-2012/article/2012/04/09/m-cohn-bendit-la-vie-ce-n-est-pas-aussi-simple-qu-un-discours-de-melenchon_1682565_1471069.htm

l

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

dp

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

dp

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

M. Spector wrote:

Quote:
Left Front demands include better pensions, a rise in the minimum wage, freezing rent levels, and a legally enforced maximum income for French residents. Their programme calls for strict limits on the use of temporary work contracts, building social housing, opening hospitals rather than closing them, high taxes for the rich, as well as the setting up of a Ministry of Women’s Rights, a welcome to immigrants, and a thorough reform of the parliament and presidency. In foreign policy, the Left Front demands a renegotiation of European economic treaties in order to defend public services, withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan and withdrawal of France from NATO. There are good reasons why the Front provokes widespread enthusiasm. Positive also is the idea that class struggle is important and a mass fightback need to be organized.

But Mélenchon’s mix includes ideas which are far from revolutionary. Just recently, he expressed his satisfaction that the Indian Army had chosen to buy dozens of fighter aircraft from France. He claims that the French Republic is not imperialist, but something to be proud of...

[url=http://www.counterfire.org/index.php/articles/international/15660-throwi...

So, Melenchon's bad position on one issue outweighs all the good his candidacy is doing?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

M. Spector wrote:

Quote:
Left Front demands include better pensions, a rise in the minimum wage, freezing rent levels, and a legally enforced maximum income for French residents. Their programme calls for strict limits on the use of temporary work contracts, building social housing, opening hospitals rather than closing them, high taxes for the rich, as well as the setting up of a Ministry of Women’s Rights, a welcome to immigrants, and a thorough reform of the parliament and presidency. In foreign policy, the Left Front demands a renegotiation of European economic treaties in order to defend public services, withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan and withdrawal of France from NATO. There are good reasons why the Front provokes widespread enthusiasm. Positive also is the idea that class struggle is important and a mass fightback need to be organized.

But Mélenchon’s mix includes ideas which are far from revolutionary. Just recently, he expressed his satisfaction that the Indian Army had chosen to buy dozens of fighter aircraft from France. He claims that the French Republic is not imperialist, but something to be proud of...

[url=http://www.counterfire.org/index.php/articles/international/15660-throwi...

So, Melenchon's bad position on one issue outweighs all the good his candidacy is doing?

I never said that, and neither did the article in Countercurrents. Nor do I believe that. I just think that uninformed, mindless cheerleading ought to give way to an informed and balanced view.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

OK...but if you read the article closely, you'd have noticed that it was written by a supporter of the AntiCapitalist Alliance, a party that has gained no traction whatsoever in this campaign, and isn't going to.

Melenchon isn't perfect, but it's important that he get a big first-round vote, especially since he's the only candidate who is swinging voters away from the racist and essentially fascist FN.  Those are voters who should be supporting a Left party, but went FN because that party was able to sound(fraudlently)like it cared more about workers than the Left did(especially than the French Socialists, a party that was Blairite a decade before Tony Blair was.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

OK...but if you read the article closely, you'd have noticed that it was written by a supporter of the AntiCapitalist Alliance, a party that has gained no traction whatsoever in this campaign, and isn't going to.

He's not just a supporter; he's a member. And he's far more critical of his own party's campaign than he is of Mélenchon's!

And have no fear: Mélenchon's first-round votes are all going to end up going to the Blairite "socialists" anyway.

 

Stockholm

Check out this ad for Francois Hollande. How come no one does anything this emotive on this side of the ocean?

http://dai.ly/HsYTmy

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

M. Spector wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

OK...but if you read the article closely, you'd have noticed that it was written by a supporter of the AntiCapitalist Alliance, a party that has gained no traction whatsoever in this campaign, and isn't going to.

He's not just a supporter; he's a member. And he's far more critical of his own party's campaign than he is of Mélenchon's!

And have no fear: Mélenchon's first-round votes are all going to end up going to the Blairite "socialists" anyway.

 

That's where the votes of the AntiCapitalist Alliance will go as well.  That's simply the way that French presidential politics goes.  I believe Melenchon has proposed a total rewrite of the constitution(to the point where France would end up in the Sixth Republic and didtch the Fifth).  Would you prefer that everyone to Hollande's left BOYCOTT the second round of the election?  All that would do would be to give Sarkozy re-election by default...and history proves that election boycots rarely, if ever, lead to genuine popular uprisings.

The point is, the higher Melenchon's vote total goes in the first round, the more this will push Hollande into pledging to a genuine radical programme in exchange for the votes of Melenchon's supporters.

And Melenchon's group will keep pushing as a radical social movement after the election.  It's not going to fold the tents. 

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

How much more radical do you think Hollande needs to be to get Mélenchon's voters to support him rather than Sarkozy on the last ballot?

NDPP

Far-Left Ready to Back Hollande in Run-Off

http://www.france24.com/en/20120406-france-surging-far-left-front-ready-...

"The anti-capitalist Left Front Party will urge its supporters to unite behind Socialist candidate Francois Hollande to beat Nicolas Sarkozy in the presidential run-off if its leader is eliminated in the vote's first round, a spokesperson said Friday.."

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

M. Spector wrote:

How much more radical do you think Hollande needs to be to get Mélenchon's voters to support him rather than Sarkozy on the last ballot?

Would it be more radical to boycott the second round...given that there has never been an instance in any country on the earth in which an electoral boycott actually led to a revolution?

That's what the AntiCapitalist Alliance is going to do as well-they're not going to abstain and you know it.

Giving Sarkozy a second term by default could not be a radical result.

They higher Melenchon's first-round vote, the greater the incentive Holland has to embrace their agenda.  He does actually have to get those people to turn up at the polls in May.

Doug

Stockholm wrote:

Check out this ad for Francois Hollande. How come no one does anything this emotive on this side of the ocean?

http://dai.ly/HsYTmy

 

Politicians would have to give better speeches thann they've been giving, for one. I liked this; it was very effective. I don't know if the approach would translate so well considering there was no Canadian revolution with values that are supposed to be reflected in government to this day.

NDPP

What Are The Politics of French Left Front Candidate Jean Luc Melenchon?  - by Alex Lantier

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/apr2012/mele-a10.shtml

"...Melenchon will inevitably disappoint the hopes for a left-wing policy that millions of people are being encouraged to place in him. The main risk is that if he is not politically exposed by a challenge from the left, the anger and demoralization  arising from the disappointment of these hopes will provide the basis for the emergence of a powerful far-right party."

DaveW
DaveW

 

entering the last week of first round,

Melenchon gives Marseille crowd a ringing endorsement of immigration, mixed mariage and Mediterranean metissage:

http://www.lemonde.fr/election-presidentielle-2012/article/2012/04/14/a-marseille-melencon-dit-vouloir-expedier-a-terre-sarkozy_1685683_1471069.htm

 &

Hollande viewed from US:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/magazine/the-soft-middle-of-francois-hollande.html?_r=1&ref=global-home

 

A close friend and adviser of Sarkozy's told me he still believes that his candidate will lose. But he notes that Hollande, like Mitt Romney, inspires little passion. Perrineau concurs - two-thirds of voters who say they will vote for Hollande in the runoff say it is a vote against Sarkozy. Hollande, who has run a very timid campaign, may be liked, but the French still wonder if he's tough enough, if he's "présidentiable."

This doesn't bother Hollande. He described how no one thought François Mitterrand, France's first and only Socialist president, had a chance of winning. "Often people told me, 'Oh, la, la, François Mitterrand, what charisma, what a president!' But before he became president, they used to call him badly dressed, old, archaic, he knows nothing about the economy." But the day he was elected, Hollande said, Mitterrand was transformed.

"In a moment, you are invested, you incarnate France - that changes everything."

 

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

GreenLeft Weekly wrote:

Melenchon’s opening rallies quickly showed that the campaign was in touch with popular sentiment. After his initial appearance before 3.2 million viewers on the national TV program Of Words and Deeds, the town halls and sports centres were full to overflowing, beginning with a 6000-strong meeting in Nantes.

The Left Front candidate took advantage of the January downgrading of French public debt to protest outside Standard and Poors Paris office and to identify himself as “the candidate of resistance to the ratings agencies”.

He also condemned new binding European Union rules restricting national budgets to deficits no larger than 0.5% of Gross Domestic Product as “an organisation of Europe that leads to catastrophe”.

The heart of Melenchon’s argument has been that an alternative policy to neoliberal austerity actually exists ― to make the rich and the bankers pay for their crisis. His meetings have combined an explanation of the feasibility of the Left Front program with caustic attacks on the “candidates of austerity”, and calls for resistance in the streets and workplaces.

The campaign has also been built up via tours of “constituencies”, such as high school and university educators, ecologists, public transport workers, farmers and artists and intellectuals.

One telling Melenchon intervention was to the national congress of France Nature Environment, at which the Left Front candidate spelled out an essentially ecosocialist vision.

An important target of the campaign has been “the forgotten people” in working-class suburbs where the FN has built support over the past 20 years, often at the expense of the PCF.

Melenchon told a 2500-strong meeting in Metz (where the FN won more than 20% of the vote in the 2010 regional poll): “Don’t yield to the party of the hatred that calls on you to divide yourself from others. Don’t allow yourself to be divided according to your religion or skin color.

“There is only one rule that should define us with regard to others ― liberte, egalite, fraternite!”

On March 18, the 141st anniversary of the Paris Commune, came confirmation the Left Front campaign was biting.

Organisers were expecting 20,000 to 30,000 to show up for a march and rally to “seize the Bastille” in Paris. Up to 120,000 took part.

Further mass rallies, in Toulouse (50,000) and Marseille (100,000) have built on the success of Paris.

Of course, in Canada Mélenchon would be derided as a lunatic leftist by most babblers.

NDPP

Indeed, there is much that reminds me of the NDP in all this:

 

French Left Candidate Holds Presidential Election Rally on Marseille

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/apr2012/mele-a16.shtml

"...One great contradiction underlying the rally, however: These demands are being placed on the Left Front, which is composed of forces incapable of serious opposition to the political establishment of which they are a part - the Left Party and its leader Melenchon, an ex-minister in the PS-led Plural Left government (2000-02) and the Stalinist French Communist Party (PCF). The PS, the PCF and their allies have long records, when they were in government in the 1980s and 1990s, of carrying out austerity policies defended by the ruling elites.."

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Quote:
Oratory is politically useless if one does not have an important message to deliver. Mélenchon has one: neoliberalism has failed, so it would be suicidal to persist with its inadequate policies. The French MEP also had a credible programme. In didactically crafted speeches or in media interviews, he radically departs from mainstream politicians by explaining that the economic crisis is systemic, that is to say that it is due to our flawed political choices and priorities. Our societies have never been as productive and wealthy as today, but the majority of the population are getting poorer despite working harder and harder. The problem is not a question of wealth production (as neoliberals and Blairite social democrats would have us believe), but of redistribution of wealth.

In France raging pundits and opponents call the Left Front programme an "economic nightmare" or a "delirious fantasy". Shouldn't they instead use this terminology to describe the banking debacle or austerity policies across Europe? Mélenchon's growing number of supporters view it as common sense and salutary: a 100% tax on earnings over £300,000; full pensions for all from the age of 60; reduction of work hours; a 20% increase in the minimum wage; and the European Central Bank should lend to European governments at 1%, as it does for the banks. Here are a few realistic measures to support impoverished populations. Is this a revolution? No, it is radical reformism; an attempt to stop the most unbearable forms of economic domination and deprivation in our societies. Fat cat bosses may leave France; they will be replaced by younger and more competent ones who will work for a fraction of their wages. "Humans First!" is more than a manifesto title, it is a democratic imperative: a sixth republic in place of the current republican monarchy; the nationalisation of energy companies (as energy sources are public goods) and, less often noticed, the ecological planning of the economy, the core of Mélenchon's political project.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon's policies are no far-left fantasy

Doug

Sure they are. He's in little danger of having to implement them all. When you start dealing with real people and real money things get more difficult.

 

 

 

DaveW

 

centre-left beacon the Nouvel Observateur, largest circulation newsweekly in France and unofficial mouthpiece of the Socialist Party,

highlights the differences between their social-democratic vision and that of Left-of-left Melenchon:

 http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/laurent-joffrin/20120412.OBS6061/melenchon-et-nous.html

 In short, beyond the ideological objections, the question of funding:

[....]

Nous avons enfin exprimé des désaccords sur le programme présenté par Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Outre son financement incertain, nous avons remarqué qu'il rappelait, à beaucoup d'égards, le programme de la gauche en 1981. Voilà une critique pour le moins modérée dans un journal qui a accueilli avec joie l'élection de François Mitterrand... Beaucoup des intentions exprimées par Mélenchon sont louables, nous l'avons écrit, mais le programme de 1981, dont l'application a laissé de grands acquis pour la République, s'est aussi heurté, on le sait, à de graves difficultés financières qui ont obligé le gouvernement d'alors - où figuraient quatre ministres communistes, qui n'ont pas démissionné pour autant - à opérer le "tournant de la rigueur". Nous craignons que les mesures Mélenchon de 2012 n'obligent un gouvernement de gauche, si elles étaient appliquées, au même retour en arrière. Voilà tout. Nulle insulte dans cette interrogation, nul manque de respect. Un débat sérieux et utile, tout au plus. C'est de toute évidence ce que Jean-Luc Mélenchon, tout à son ubris électoral, n'aime pas.

  

[via Google translate]

.... Finally, we have expressed disagreement over the program presented by Jean-Luc Melenchon. In addition to its uncertain funding, we noticed that it recalled, in many respects, the program of the united Left in 1981. This is a moderate criticism in a magazine that welcomed with joy the election of François Mitterrand ... Many of the intentions expressed by Mélenchon are laudable, we wrote, but the 1981 program, whose implementation left some great achievements for the Republic, was also hit, as we know, by serious financial difficulties which forced the then government - which included four Communist ministers, who we recall did not resign - to carry out the austerity "shift to rigour" [in 1983].

We fear that the measures Mélenchon proposes in 2012 would require a leftist government, if implemented, to make the same U-turn. That's all. No insult in this question, no disrespect. A serious and useful debate, at most. But this is obviously what Jean-Luc Melenchon, given his election hubris, does not like.

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

In other words, "France is poor: we can't afford socialism."

Bullshit.

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