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Source: (consider it) Thread: French elections 2017
Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
That's what I would have predicted as well.

I think Fillon is holed below the waterline. People close to me who are natural Républicains voters are starting to say they are going to go for Macron.

I think Macron is too much of an unknown quantity ("even a washing machine has more programmes than he does") and that France is not really ready for a moderate "third way" candidate, even if that sounds like a sane solution.

LVER, my fear is that your environment, while representative of the one that the "liberal media" inhabit, is not actually representative of grassroots feeling, and that lots of people will vote Le Pen who may not bother answering polls or doing so honestly.

I will be very happy to be proved wrong on this.

[ 13. February 2017, 15:31: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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la vie en rouge
Parisienne
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I think Le Pen will lose against a Front Républicain (essentially everyone else against the Fash). In the last parliamentary elections, the FN came out top in the first round but ended up with zero MPs. But I admit I wouldn’t bet the house on it.

FWIW in foie gras land where my outlaws live the FN does very well. But even down there I know people who think Marine’s beyond the pale. I think a bigger worry is going to be turnout – the provincial underemployed won’t bother voting for anyone.

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Eutychus
From the edge
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Here (down the page a bit) is a scary map of voter intentions in the first round. Blue is Le Pen, yellow Macron [Help]

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Here (down the page a bit) is a scary map of voter intentions in the first round. Blue is Le Pen, yellow Macron [Help]

So in almost every region, Macron leads Fillon, and both lead Hamon. I am under the impression that in a Le Pen / Fillon or Le Pen / Macron second round, Le Pen loses, because everyone else will vote for the non-fascist.

Le Pen / Hamon could be more of a tossup, but Hamon getting to the second round looks like an outside chance at best.

Do I have that straight?

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Pangolin Guerre
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It's still two months out, and some (Nouvelle-Aquitaine) are very close, while others (Hauts-de-France) are distressing. I confess to no special knowledge or insight, so I ask, would not a Front Republicain crush Le Pen? And how long before the anti-FN actually gels behind someone (presumably, but necessarily Macron?)?

On a methodological question, the franceinfo site doesn't explain why it plays out two scenarios, one with and one without Bayrou. Why those two specific scenarios? What makes Bayrou key?

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Eutychus
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I don't think Bayrou is key so much as he's still dithering about whether to throw his hat in the ring, having run several times as a centrist candidate in the past. I don't think he'd get anywhere.

One hopes for the "Front Républicain" in round 2 but while this would undoubtedly be better than Le Pen, it wasn't very satisfactory in 2002; it's not much of a mandate to lead a country on.

I'm worried that Macron is just too flaky and could blow up at any moment as Fillon did. His latest gaffe is to describe French colonisation of North Africa as a "crime against humanity", which is painting things with a rather broad brush to say the least. I can't see what people see in him beyond "not Le Pen" because for now, there appears to be nothing to see at all.

[ 17. February 2017, 05:14: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
His latest gaffe is to describe French colonisation of North Africa as a "crime against humanity", which is painting things with a rather broad brush to say the least.

Because they killed fewer people than Belgium and Britain?

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Eutychus
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I'm not denying there were bad aspects. But there are some specific aspects of those times that were not all bad, and people who acted uprightly, that his comment ignores.

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la vie en rouge
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Le Pen is on 29% in foie gras land. To be honest, I would have expected worse.

Thing is, I think her vote is going to stay quite stable. She polls consistently at about 25% and I can’t see her pushing that to over 50% in a second round. But again, I wouldn’t bet the house on it.

Husband en rouge commented that calling Algerian colonisation a “crime against humanity” could actually play out quite well in some of the banlieues. You also have to set it in the context of right-wing candidates wanting French school history lessons to be used to teach about how the civilising mission of colonisation was a wonderful experience for all concerned.

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Eutychus
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Yeah, but if Macron is going to keep on substituting dog-whistles for actual policy strategies he does not inspire confidence.

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Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
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quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
Le Pen is on 29% in foie gras land.

Where is foie gras land? And who lives there, apart from your in-laws?
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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I'm not denying there were bad aspects. But there are some specific aspects of those times that were not all bad, and people who acted uprightly, that his comment ignores.

A bit like saying the person who has invaded and occupied your home isn't all bad as they do the washing up after cooking the food they stole.
And they don't beat you every day.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Eutychus
From the edge
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[Roll Eyes]

See Harkis, Pieds-noirs, and more particularly the Sephardic Jewish community.

I don't pretend to understand French colonial history very well and our relationship to it is hardly a good one, but either Macron was trying deliberately to stomp all over such constituencies, all of which are very sensitive in French history, or he was dog-whistling to the banlieues as LVER suggests (or he's just tactless).

Either way, it does not suggest a good unifying force for the country.

I expect you'll be defending his portrayal of the exceedingly nasty anti-gay marriage protestors as "humiliated" victims next.

[ 17. February 2017, 19:51: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
Le Pen is on 29% in foie gras land. To be honest, I would have expected worse.

Thing is, I think her vote is going to stay quite stable. She polls consistently at about 25% and I can’t see her pushing that to over 50% in a second round. But again, I wouldn’t bet the house on it.

Husband en rouge commented that calling Algerian colonisation a “crime against humanity” could actually play out quite well in some of the banlieues. You also have to set it in the context of right-wing candidates wanting French school history lessons to be used to teach about how the civilising mission of colonisation was a wonderful experience for all concerned.

Wouldn't any positive effects of colonisation therefore lead to Africans and Vietnamese wanting to live in la belle France. In which case the rignt-wing candidates shouldn't be surprised and ought not to complain when they do just that.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
[Roll Eyes]

See Harkis, Pieds-noirs, and more particularly the Sephardic Jewish community.

I don't pretend to understand French colonial history very well

Your links are the washing up I was referring to. European colonisation of Africa killed massive numbers of people directly and indirectly, destabilised nations, stripped resources, transported millions forcefully away from their homes, caused political upheaval that still reverberates today.
You do not get credit for fixing problems that you caused.
quote:

I expect you'll be defending his portrayal of the exceedingly nasty anti-gay marriage protestors as "humiliated" victims next.

Nope. Not defending Macron at all. Just refuting the dismissal of France's history in Africa as being less than egregious.

[ 17. February 2017, 21:42: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Eutychus
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No doubt, but I still think it was an odd thing to say on the campaign trail and it fits in a pattern of rather oddly controversial soundbites.

Meanwhile Fillon has reneged on his promise to quit if charged.

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Eutychus
From the edge
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Benoît Hamon's take on the colonisation soundbite:
quote:
[Colonisation is] a burden on our shoulders; more light needs to be shed on France's responsibilities during the colonial era and this is no simple task. But we need to be careful about the terms we use in addressing such issues (...) 'Crime against humanity' is more than a catchphrase: it implies a guilty verdict from an international court of law
To my mind, his answer displays all the statesmanship Macron's lacks.

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Ricardus
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I suppose the question is: What would Macron do differently from Hamon as a consequence of the belief that the French colonisation of North Africa was a crime against humanity?

If the answer is 'Nothing', then it's fairly safe to say he's sloganeering ...

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Eutychus
From the edge
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Yes, I think that's the point of Hamon's comments linked to above. He said words to the effect that if he really thought that, Macron should have the courage of his convictions (i.e. bring a case, I suppose).

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TurquoiseTastic

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What do you think the chances are of Russian interference in the French elections? Putin surely desires a Le Pen victory.
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Eutychus
From the edge
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I'm not really sure what "Russian interference in elections" means whether it's in the US or in France.

Fillon is an avowed Russophile and I know that leading figures in Les Républicains are well-introduced in Russian business circles. The FN is alleged to have financial support from Russia. I don't know <gallic shrug>.

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la vie en rouge
Parisienne
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quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
Le Pen is on 29% in foie gras land.

Where is foie gras land? And who lives there, apart from your in-laws?
Sorry, late reply. I just moved house and we don't have our home internet set up yet. Foie gras land is the South West, around Toulouse/Rodez etc. Lots of agriculture, high youth unemployment.

Colonialism maybe deserves its own thread, but having written a thesis on French Algeria, I don't have much of a problem with calling the razzias against Algerian villages a crime against humanity.

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Eutychus
From the edge
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quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
Colonialism maybe deserves its own thread, but having written a thesis on French Algeria, I don't have much of a problem with calling the razzias against Algerian villages a crime against humanity.

I'm certain you know far more about it than I do: my knowledge extends little beyond my Welsh, diminutive, and corpulent French History lecturer memorably imitating De Gaulle saying "je vous ai compris*".

That said, referring to specific incidents (of which there were undoubtedly many, it appears hard to find anyone in France above a certain age who doesn't know a perpetrator or at least a witness) as crimes against humanity is by no means the same thing as describing colonisation as a whole that way.

Hence my initial criticism of what Macron said and my approval of what Hamon said.

==

*I have understood you

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
That said, referring to specific incidents (of which there were undoubtedly many, it appears hard to find anyone in France above a certain age who doesn't know a perpetrator or at least a witness) as crimes against humanity is by no means the same thing as describing colonisation as a whole that way.

I'm trying to imagine the reaction were someone to describe British colonialism in the same terms. [Roll Eyes]

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Jolly Jape
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# 3296

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
That said, referring to specific incidents (of which there were undoubtedly many, it appears hard to find anyone in France above a certain age who doesn't know a perpetrator or at least a witness) as crimes against humanity is by no means the same thing as describing colonisation as a whole that way.

I'm trying to imagine the reaction were someone to describe British colonialism in the same terms. [Roll Eyes]
Really? I would have thought that quite a few Brits would describe it in that way, by no means exclusively those whose ancestors were the victims of the slave traders who provided the wherewithal to get the whole shebang on the road.

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To those who have never seen the flow and ebb of God's grace in their lives, it means nothing. To those who have seen it, even fleetingly, even only once - it is life itself. (Adeodatus)

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la vie en rouge
Parisienne
# 10688

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It looks like Marine Le Pen is, like Fillon, in trouble over her financial affairs. What depresses me is that I think this will no difference whatever with her core support. In that respect she rather reminds of another scary blonde demagogue.

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Eutychus
From the edge
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Unlike Fillon, it plays nicely into her rhetoric of being persecuted. Especially if it's persecution perceived to be originating with the European Commission.

[ 22. February 2017, 13:41: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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la vie en rouge
Parisienne
# 10688

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Bayrou is out and supporting Macron.

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
I'm trying to imagine the reaction were someone to describe British colonialism in the same terms. [Roll Eyes]

Invading an area of land, deposing the current rulers, installing your own legal system and ruling class, and exploiting the land and people for your own benefit.

British colonialism, French colonialism, Belgian colonialism, Norman invasion of England, Frankish conquests in Europe, the Roman Empire, ...

They're all the same.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
I'm trying to imagine the reaction were someone to describe British colonialism in the same terms. [Roll Eyes]

Invading an area of land, deposing the current rulers, installing your own legal system and ruling class, and exploiting the land and people for your own benefit.

British colonialism, French colonialism, Belgian colonialism, Norman invasion of England, Frankish conquests in Europe, the Roman Empire, ...

They're all the same.

Whilst I've no trouble seeing MtM as an apologist for colonialism, I think that is what he was saying.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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An investigation headed up by magistrates has now been opened concerning Fillon. No charge yet, but this will not do him any good.

Meanwhile Marine Le Pen is claiming EU parliamentary immunity to refuse to go in for police questioning in France regarding similar fake-jobs allegations.

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Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
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What is this parliamentary immunity? How does it operate? Is just for certain misdemeanours? Or does it apply only to questioning?

Are her actions seen as a bad look in France? I'm guessing her supporters wouldn't care, but is it seen as her having something to hide?

And thanks la vie en rouge for the info.

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Eutychus
From the edge
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I don't know the extent to which the immunity applies. Certainly it can be invoked during one's term of parliamentary or presidential office.

There is also a customary "blackout period" prior to elections in which judicial proceedings are frowned on, not without some justification, as judges interfering in the political process. Le Pen has invoked this. Fillon's investigation was ratcheted up a notch immediately before this period and immediately before a law that would have put some of the earlier alleged offences beyond the new statute of limitations.

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Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
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Thanks Eutychus.
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Brenda Clough
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There's always this: a plan to get Barack Obama to run for president. Yes, of France. I have a feeling Michelle won't like it.

[Fixed link. Even if it is to yet another WaPo article]

[ 26. February 2017, 21:16: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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la vie en rouge
Parisienne
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According to a leaflet being handed out at the market yesterday morning, Emmanuel Macron has now come up with some actual policies. Among other things, raising the minimum wage, reducing primary school class sizes, better coverage for dental / optical / hearing charges.

Big question AFAIC is how he intends to pay for it.

Fillon’s pamphlet OTOH was entirely negative and talked about literally nothing except security / law and order.

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Brenda Clough
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
There's always this: a plan to get Barack Obama to run for president. Yes, of France. I have a feeling Michelle won't like it.

[Fixed link. Even if it is to yet another WaPo article]

Oh, thank you, Eutychus.

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Eutychus
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BBC's take today.

Meanwhile the Economist has a poll of polls putting Le Pen ahead in the first round, which I think is inevitable at this stage, but losing in the second round - although by a much smaller margin than her uncle in 2002.

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Stephen
Shipmate
# 40

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
There's always this: a plan to get Barack Obama to run for president. Yes, of France. I have a feeling Michelle won't like it.

[Fixed link. Even if it is to yet another WaPo article]

Oh, thank you, Eutychus.
No,no you've got it all wrong. First you get Donald to disappear into a time warp, then we give you Theresa May, and we have Obama....

Simples.....


[Smile]

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Best Wishes
Stephen

'Be still,then, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations and I will be exalted in the earth' Ps46 v10

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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So Fillon is to be formally charged on March 15, a mere two days before the deadline for formally signing up as a presidential candidate.

In a press conference just now at which the predominant media speculation was that he would throw in the towel, he mounted a robust counterattack and maintained his candidacy, apparently with broad party support.

It was hard not be impressed by his combativity and hard not to agree with his charge of political motives in the judicial process, the speed of which is unprecedented. Whether his credibility has in any case been damaged beyond repair remains to be seen.

All this does nothing to endear me to Macron. The source of the original leak about Fillon's alleged fake jobs is likely to be the Finance and Economy Ministry (which handles tax returns); Macron was formerly minister there, which would give him motive, the means, and the opportunity to create the leak.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Whilst I've no trouble seeing MtM as an apologist for colonialism, I think that is what he was saying.

You are correct, sir.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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stonespring
Shipmate
# 15530

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Is there any chance that Jean-Luc Melenchon would form an alliance with Benoit Hamon? I'm guessing there isn't, but seeing that Melenchon was long a prominent member of the PS before forming the Parti de Gauche and that Hamon moved in the same left-wing currents of the PS that Melenchon did (based on my limited Yankee understanding of such things), might not such an alliance seem favorable in the current climate? It seems to me that in France like in many places the left of the left is almost angrier at the mainstream left than they are at the right (is Hamon in the mainstream French left?) Is this true in France and why do you think there is such animosity among many French leftists toward the PS and its leadership?

Much has been said about who a typical voter is for the Front National, for Les Republicains, or even for Emmanuel Macron's En Marche, but, for those who know, what would you say are the different characteristics of voters for the PS, the Greens, and the Parti de Gauche, at least this time around?

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
Is there any chance that Jean-Luc Melenchon would form an alliance with Benoit Hamon?

It has been on and off the cards this past week and was ruled definitely off the cards a few days ago.
quote:
It seems to me that in France like in many places the left of the left is almost angrier at the mainstream left than they are at the right
It is part of the fine French tradition of the left to have "psychodramas", as they are known, at the national level, usually at precisely the wrong time.

It took me a long time to get used to French political news being about the spats between politicians rather than their actual policies.

quote:
why do you think there is such animosity among many French leftists toward the PS and its leadership?
Hollande's presidency, particularly his prime minister's government's reform of labour law, was seen as a sell-out by the traditional trotskyist left represented by Mélenchon.

Both the PS and the Greens get votes from civil servants and the educated, although the Greens are practically a non-entity this time round. The Parti de Gauche voter demographic probably overlaps with the Front National demographic, especially at the younger end.

I could be wrong about virtually all of this, of course.

In the meantime, Fillon seems to still be haemorrhaging support. The centre-right UDI party which has long been part of a right-wing coalition with Les Républicains has pulled its support for Fillon, at least for now.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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....aaaand the very next day Macron announces his campaign platform, top measure: banning family members from parliamentary assistant jobs. What an opportunist.

Meanwhile at least one Les Républicains MP seemed to be channelling Caiphas on France Info today. As I understood it, he was supporting Fillon's continued candidacy so he could take the fall for the entire corrupt system, or something. More psychodrama.

[ 02. March 2017, 20:22: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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Fillon's supporters continue to desert him.

A major test of strength will be his rally in Paris on Sunday, organised with the help of anti-gay demo lobby La manif pour tous. A counter-demonstration protesting political corruption is also planned.

Should Fillon stand down, primary runner-up Alain Juppé is reported to be willing to stand in his place.

The really staggering thing is that according to one poll today, if he were to do so and the election was now, he would face Macron in the secound round, beating Le Pen - also beginning to be tarnished by fake job scandals and having lost her parliamentary immunity solely for a separate issue (tweeting IS execution videos) - into third place.

That's the first scenario not seeing Le Pen in the second round since forever; but it would require Fillon to stand down. Deadlines close for presidential candidates on March 17, two days after Fillon is due to be charged.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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stonespring
Shipmate
# 15530

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Fillon's supporters continue to desert him.

A major test of strength will be his rally in Paris on Sunday, organised with the help of anti-gay demo lobby La manif pour tous. A counter-demonstration protesting political corruption is also planned.

Should Fillon stand down, primary runner-up Alain Juppé is reported to be willing to stand in his place.

The really staggering thing is that according to one poll today, if he were to do so and the election was now, he would face Macron in the secound round, beating Le Pen - also beginning to be tarnished by fake job scandals and having lost her parliamentary immunity solely for a separate issue (tweeting IS execution videos) - into third place.

That's the first scenario not seeing Le Pen in the second round since forever; but it would require Fillon to stand down. Deadlines close for presidential candidates on March 17, two days after Fillon is due to be charged.

Do Les Republicains need to hold another primary election to select a candidate if Fillon drops out in time? What would be the process for choosing a new candidate for the party if Fillon does drop out in time?

Why has it taken this long for leading Republicains to start deserting Fillon in droves? We've talked here about how the center-left is more fractious than the center-right, but standing behind Fillon for so long has seemed to be shooting the party in the foot. Why have so many influential Republicains done this?

If Fillon does step down and Juppe replaces him, is Juppe likely to dash Macron's hopes of being president or does Macron still have a decent chance of beating Juppe?

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
Do Les Republicains need to hold another primary election to select a candidate if Fillon drops out in time? What would be the process for choosing a new candidate for the party if Fillon does drop out in time?

There is no procedure, and with the deadline for entering a candidacy on March 17, no time to organise a backup primary. Procedurally, nobody can force Fillon to go.

This is the strongest card in Fillon's hand.

quote:
Why has it taken this long for leading Republicains to start deserting Fillon in droves?
The last straw was him declaring, in the same statement, that he was expecting to be formally charged on March 15 and that he would not be standing down, when he had previously pledged to stand down in the event of being formally charged and made a big thing out of being squeaky clean.

The news that being charged (mise en examen) is basically a certainty has made him more of a liability, and pressing on regardless does not play well.

(The only poignancy is that if it does turn out his family members did do legitimate work for him, he may well have done nothing illegal. But even if the work was real, the amounts offer a damning insight into how the other half lives, and his apparent obliviousness to this has not helped).

The right has stood behind Fillon because until this scandal broke, the presidency was his to lose. Now, he looks increasingly desperate.

quote:
If Fillon does step down and Juppe replaces him, is Juppe likely to dash Macron's hopes of being president or does Macron still have a decent chance of beating Juppe?
Juppé might well get votes from Macron, especially if he were to run on a sort of twin ticket with the much younger François Baroin as a potential PM.

As runner-up in the primary he would have the most legitimacy to replace Fillon, but the late entry into the race probably wouldn't help him (or any other replacement).

[ 04. March 2017, 14:09: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

Posts: 16985 | From: 528491 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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OK this is getting silly now. Some on the right are demanding the election be postponed because a candidate is "prevented" from campaigning. The Constitutional Council would need to approve the postponement. I wish people on all sides would stop attempting to wield the institutions like blunt instruments.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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stonespring
Shipmate
# 15530

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
OK this is getting silly now. Some on the right are demanding the election be postponed because a candidate is "prevented" from campaigning. The Constitutional Council would need to approve the postponement. I wish people on all sides would stop attempting to wield the institutions like blunt instruments.

Which candidate do they claim is being "prevented" from campaigning? Fillon? Juppe?
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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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They claim Fillon is effectively unable to campaign because of the judicial investigation.

Fillon seems to have had a good turnout today at his rally. So much so that his supporters have claimed a crowd that is four times the size of the physical capacity of the venue! But it seems other figures are attempting to provoke his downfall in the coming hours.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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