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Source: (consider it) Thread: French elections 2017
stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
First-round candidate Nicolas Dupont d'Aignan, who came sixth with almost 5% of the vote, and describes himself as a Gaullist, has just publicly endorsed Le Pen. We could have done without that.

What kind of voter supported Nicolas Dupont d'Aignan? Why did vote for him and not the other candidates in the first round? Were they all people who would have voted for Le Pen the second round anyway?
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Eutychus
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Dupont d'Aignan is in a more traditionalist, royalist line. Le Pen has promised to make him her PM if elected and it looks like shameless opportunism on his part, especially as he has spoken out against the FN in the past.

The move is alarming in that it legitimises the FN a little more, but I think it will split his voter base quite evenly and I'm not sure how well Le Pen can handle a sort of double ticket: she's more of a one-woman band.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:


Meanwhile Marine Le Pen has announced she's temporarily stepping aside as leader of her party to simply be the presidential candidate. This sounds like Trump meets Erdogan to me, and reminds me of Nigel Farage's endless resignations and returns. At first glance I'd be amazed if anybody falls for it.

My hope is that some of her own party supporters will feel let down and that she is backtracking from the clearly racist line which is, after all, the whole point of the FN. I suppose it's a balancing act: will she get more non-FN votes to turn out for her than would-be FN voters stay at home?
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stonespring
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1. Thoughts on last night's debate?

2. Nicolas Dupont d'Aignan calls himself a Gaullist. The Les Republicains party (which Dupont d'Aignan is no longer part of) and its predecessors UMP and RPR (the main center-right parties of the past few decades) are the descendants of de Gaulle's own party. But what does it mean to be a Gaullist in France today? Dirigisme (the Gaullist policy of state intervention in the economy) seems all but dead among the leaders of Les Republicains. Laicisme (strict secularism of government institutions and politicians' political speech) also seems to be somewhat weaker among Les Republicains after Fillon's open overtures to religion. If De Gaulle were alive today, he would probably still detest the campaign of Jean-Marie Le Pen's daughter because of her father's role in criticizing De Gaulle over Algerian independence when he was president (not that De Gaulle was particularly happy about Algerian independence), and he would also detest the worrying ties between the FN and Neo-Nazi groups. However, I think in terms of the FN's economic, political, and cultural nationalism (all of which I oppose, btw), De Gaulle would probably find a lot to sympathize with in that party versus where the center-right has moved to. I could be totally wrong though, seeing that I am an outsider. What do you think?

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Eutychus
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I missed the second debate but by all accounts it was a slanging match which demonstrated that Le Pen is better at sniping at her opponent than at constructive policy suggestions. Macron remained largely unprovoked and thus came across as the more présidentiable of the two, but this morning's news is highlighting the forecast low turnout on Sunday, which will be music to the Le Pen camp's ears.

I'm no expert on Gaullism, but I would think that De Gaulle would see Le Pen as highjacking his principles to camouflage the same old far-right agenda. For all its modernising tweaks, the FN still has "national preference" in its policy objectives, with everything that implies.

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stonespring
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Hoo boy...The Macron campaign says there has been a massive online leak of emails and files, mixing real documents with fake ones.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39827244

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Eutychus
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Well, as I said on April 25,
quote:
I still live in fear of a "Marcon's e-mails" moment or worse.
The news has gone wholly unreported in France this morning as far as I can see, due to reporting restrictions in the final hours before the election - the leaks were released minutes before the deadline.

One simply has to pop over to French-speaking news sites in Belgium and Switzerland to find out.

The Macron campaign claim fake documents are mixed in with the real ones. Unless there is something really damaging in them, I would think there'll be little effect on the result at such a late stage. It's more likely to sow long-term distrust of national media as the lack of reporting will be cast as a cover-up.

The fact that the mainstream media are, to my mind, unashamedly pro-Macron will not help.

Meanwhile it looks to me as though the FN's tactic in the event of a loss will be to try and discredit the result with accusations of vote-tampering, etc.

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Jerusalem is a city without walls

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:

Meanwhile it looks to me as though the FN's tactic in the event of a loss will be to try and discredit the result with accusations of vote-tampering, etc.

In the case of Russia, I suspect that discrediting the French democratic process and weakening a Macron presidency is the goal of any role it may have in the hacking, if it has one, more so than making Le Pen president. And the FN, knowing it is unlikely to win, probably feels the same way, although I see no evidence so far that it was involved in the hacking or knew in advance that the documents would be leaked, despite Le Pen's (fake news related, I believe) comments about alleged Caribbean bank accounts of Macron's in the debate.
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Callan
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The difference in this instance is that M. Macron is popular whereas Mrs Clinton was not. Hopefully, M. Macron will be in a position to give the FSB and it's allies a bit of a kicking, come Monday morning.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Callan
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Of course, it is immensely to the credits of the French (and the US) that they had elections worth hacking. Unhappy the land with no opposition worthy of the name and a government bent on self-harm.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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stonespring
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People in France - any observations today as you went to the polls or observed others voting?
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Eutychus
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Only that as of 5pm local time, turnout was just over 65%, a lot lower than the first round. That already hampers the legitimacy of whoever wins, and will favour Le Pen more than it does Macron.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Only that as of 5pm local time, turnout was just over 65%, a lot lower than the first round. That already hampers the legitimacy of whoever wins, and will favour Le Pen more than it does Macron.

Another pivotal election where people decide to be stupid and petulant. If I did not live in the same world as they, I would be tempted to hope they get what they deserve.

--------------------
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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With most polling stations closing in 15 minutes (another hour in large cities), the final turnout is forecast to be 74%, which would make it the lowest since 1969.

[ 07. May 2017, 16:44: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
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Eutychus
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First official forecasts: Macron: 65.1% Le Pen: 34.9%, for a 75% turnout. So a firm majority of voters, not quite an absolute majority if abstentions are counted.

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Doc Tor
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En marche!

(and thank God for that)

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Eutychus
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Macron is due to speak in front of the Louvre pyramid. Cue loony evangelicals saying stuff about Freemasonry and the Illuminati.

Le Pen seems to have announced the formation of a new "patriots' party".

4% of the ballots were blank or spoiled. That's huge too.

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Callan
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Les choses ne peuvent que s'améliorer [Big Grin]

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Eutychus
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Ahem.

"Things can only get better".

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mr cheesy
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What's an "official forecast"? Is that different to an exit poll? How long does the count take?

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Eutychus
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It's the official projections by the French Interior ministry. Polls in major cities closed less than 40 minutes ago. The official results will probably be published some time early tomorrow morning, but things are unlikely to change much now. The Euty household is hoping Macron can break the 66% barrier, not impossible given that cities will probably garner more Macron votes and their results are not in yet.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
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TurquoiseTastic

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Ahem.

"Things can only get better".

Yes, he does put one in mind of a certain chap circa 1997, does he not?
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Eutychus
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Very sombre speech by Macron - a sign he recognises that large as it is, his margin is more anti-Le Pen than pro-Macron.

Attention will now turn to the general elections in June, where the real challenge for Macron (or more specifically, whoever he appoints as PM) will be to achieve a workable majority given that his movement does not as yet have a single MP. Failing this, he could simply be a lame-duck president from the off.

(Meanwhile JL Mélenchon cravenly comes out against Le Pen as I type - well after the results are in).

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Doc Tor
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You'd kind of hope a left-winger would be against the Fash from the off.

Strange days.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
You'd kind of hope a left-winger would be against the Fash from the off.

Strange days.

Strange days... really?

--------------------
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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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
You'd kind of hope a left-winger would be against the Fash from the off.

Strange days.

Perhaps half of the people who voted Mélenchon either abstained or voted for Le Pen in the second round. The appeal was the same: an anti-system vote.

I think Marine Le Pen is finished now. Her over-aggressive stance in the second-round debate cost her votes even among her party faithful, legal proceedings will start catching up with her, and recriminations will ensue in her party. Expect the rise of yet another Le Pen: her niece Marion Maréchal-Le Pen.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
You'd kind of hope a left-winger would be against the Fash from the off.

Strange days.

Strange days... really?
Yes. Unless you think Soviet communism under Stalin is representative of contemporary socialist thought.

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Improbable Botany

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Eutychus
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Time for me to sign off for the evening, but not before reporting on Macron's second, stirring speech to his supporters, and notably his closing words: "I will serve you with love" - a commitment which sounds startlingly Christian in its sentiment.

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

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
You'd kind of hope a left-winger would be against the Fash from the off.

Strange days.

Strange days... really?
Yes. Unless you think Soviet communism under Stalin is representative of contemporary socialist thought.
Expedience trumps ideology, a timeless political truth.
Eutychus is correct in that Mélenchon is a coward.

[ 07. May 2017, 21:13: 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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stonespring
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Now - on to the French parliamentary elections in a month's time. I heard someone interviewed on BBC World News say that there was one poll saying that En Marche could get close to a majority in the National Assembly (while still falling short) - but he hedged that by saying that most Macron voters in the second round of the presidential vote were voting against Le Pen rather than for him. Does anyone know what poll he was referring to? Is En Marche running candidates in every district? Are the candidates mostly current MPs, former MPs from other parties (and if so, are they more from one party than others?), or political novices?

If it were not for Fillon's scandals and their tarnishing effects on Les Republicains, I would think that the collapse of the Socialists and the unpopularity of Hollande would make Les Republicains likely to get a majority in the parliamentary vote, especially given that En Marche is an inexperienced party with potentially very shallow support for its actual policies (rather than for its presidential candidate as the most likely to beat Le Pen). The anger of Melenchon supporters at their lack of a candidate they would have liked in the second round, even if some of them did vote for Macron, is also likely to divide the left from the center left even further than up to now - which would favor the most organized and familiar party on the right, I would think, which would be Les Republicains.

Another possibility is some kind of hung parliament. Is this possible?

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
Another possibility is some kind of hung parliament. Is this possible?

Yes and on the face of it the most likely outcome.

On the one hand, Mitterrand famously said that the French were not so stupid as to vote one way in the presidential election and the other way in the general election.

This time round, though, there are three mitigating factors:

1) the fact that En Marche ! has never fought a general election before (they are intending to field candidates in every constituency though);

2) the large proportion of votes against Le Pen rather than for Macron (one poll I saw last night suggested perhaps only one third of those who voted for him did so as a vote in favour of his programme);

3) the record low turnout / record high spoiled and blank ballots (75% and 11.5% respectively).

All of this adds up to a huge amount of uncertainty.

On the face of last night's speeches, if anyone can pull together a consensus coalition for effective government, it's Macron, who appears to be growing in stature by the minute (even his lisp has suddenly all but vanished). I think a lot will depend on who is appointed as interim PM and cabinet and the messages that sends.

[ 08. May 2017, 05:31: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
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la vie en rouge
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IN YOUR FACE MARINE

65% is a better result than I hoped for. I think the second round debate cost the evil witch Le Pen significantly. We survived watching it with the assistance of alcohol but it was ugly. I thought Manu did a pretty good job of showing that Marine didn't really have a viable project. Her figures didn't add up. He stayed mostly calm and looked much more présidentiable .

Apparently he drove right underneath our window last night and we missed him. Annoyed about that.

I'm not sure how much he's really going to change and I'm not sure he can get a majority in the Assembly. Still, Marine has got a bloody nose and this is much, much better than the alternative. Ouf. (French for phew)

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mr cheesy
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I still don't understand what happens if he doesn't get a majority in parliamentary elections.

If NF supporters are elected in a majority, can they not still force a NF Prime Minister who can lame-duck the president?

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Eutychus
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The president appoints the prime minister, who then appoints the cabinet. None of these people need to be elected, but their powers are limited by the National Assembly.

If the general election fails to produce an absolute majority for EM! (likely), the PM will seek to form a workable coalition (not impossible). If that doesn't happen, we effectively have 'cohabitation', with a lame-duck presidency. The PM would have the power to ram through legislation using Article 49.3 of the Constitution, but the National Assembly would revolt with a no-confidence vote in the government as often as it deemed it necessary: think Italy.

I haven't seen any detailed forecasts yet, but I would think it unlikely the FN would win a majority in parliament in June, or anything like one. One FN devotee last night was hoping for 40 seats. The worst they could do is provide a majority for a right-wing bloc, but I think that's probably still beyond the pale for most right-wingers.

At a constituency level, the same two-round process that kept Le Pen out at national level will function in many cases, and the perceived contribution of Marine Le Pen to her lower-than-expected performance (due to the debate) will create leadership tensions.

The proof of the pudding of Macron's victory will very much be whether he can achieve a working parliamentary majority over the next few weeks, which promise more fascinating politics. On the election night specials, there was a discernible - and cross-party - line between party diehards and "pick-me!" politicians eager to change loyalties and sign up with EM!

I and many of my neighbours will now be facing quite a dilemma. Where I live is a socialist party stronghold that voted over 88% for Macron. Now do I go with my trusted Socialist MP, or do I back the EM! candidate?

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mr cheesy
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Well I suppose that's a blessing: not much chance of a fascist PM (although presumably the same might have happened in reverse, Le Pen won but a majority in parliament against her).

If the harder socialist bloc does well, I wonder where that leaves his pro-business, neolib agenda.

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Eutychus
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The chances of a fascist PM are essentially nil: as explained above, in France, the PM is appointed by the President. They don't even have to be an MP: see Dominique de Villepin. They can pass legislation without a majority using Article 49.3, but this leaves them open to a vote of no confidence. The danger now is not an FN takeover but constitutional gridlock.

[ 08. May 2017, 09:38: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
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mr cheesy
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Oh right, I didn't realise that the didn't even have to be from parliament.

I was getting confused by reading the wikipedia page, which talks about situations where the President was forced to appoint a PM from a different party, who then set about undoing some of his policies.

I imagined that this meant that the appointed PM was the leader of the biggest party in Parliament - obviously not.

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Eutychus
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It's not so much "forced" as there being a strong incentive for the president to find somebody who can actually manage to get legislation passed by a majority in order to avoid a constitutional/governmental crisis. That's why Mitterrand made do with Chirac at one point.

This is why speculating about Macron's possible PM pick is so fascinating, and why so much hinges on it. It will tell us a lot about how he intends to play his hand, and send a strong message of one kind or another.

[ 08. May 2017, 09:46: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Eutychus
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# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
(although presumably the same might have happened in reverse, Le Pen won but a majority in parliament against her).

Sorry, missed this. Yes it could well have.

In fact there was a discernible (but dumb) trend amongst some voters to vote for her as a protest on the basis that "even if she gets in, she won't be able to do anything without a parliament".

In this scenario, I think she would have been far more likely than Macron to generate gridlock intentionally, and then used ensuing crises to abuse her presidential powers to the greatest extent possible under the existing Constitution, before seeking to extend them still further (cf Erdogan).

So yes, I think we had a lucky escape there.

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la vie en rouge
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# 10688

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One of the more bizarre and absurd moments of the debate was when Marine accused Macron of planning to make François Fillon Prime Minister. Ain't going to happen and no idea where she got that from.

My money's on Bayrou FWIW.

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Eutychus
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# 3081

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Belgian TV suggested Jean-Yves Le Drian.

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stonespring
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# 15530

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1. Do the PM and Cabinet need to be approved by Parliament to take office?

2. Does the President have a veto on legislation passed by Parliament? If so, can Parliament override the veto and if they can, how many votes are needed to override it?

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Eutychus
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# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
1. Do the PM and Cabinet need to be approved by Parliament to take office?

No. But they are subject to a vote of no confidence.

quote:
2. Does the President have a veto on legislation passed by Parliament?
I don't think Parliament can put forward legislation without the approval of the government (i.e. the cabinet, appointed by the PM, appointed by the President), so I don't think this scenario can arise. In normal circumstances the President cannot oppose a vote of no confidence in their Government, though.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
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Eutychus
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# 3081

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France Info (French) has a useful article today about four post parliamentary election scenarios:

1) Absolute majority for EM!

2) Absolute majority for LR. This is the only (barely) imaginable scenario in which Macron would be "forced" (through a sense of credibility rather than any actual law) to appoint an LR PM; cohabitation would restrict him to foreign policy. (An absolute majority for the PS is not envisaged, due in part no doubt to Hamon's miserable first-round score).

3) Large but not majority PS and LR groupings plus some EM!
3a: Macron succeeds in negotiating a coalition majority
3b: Ad hoc coalitions required for each piece of legislation

4) Divided parliament with no large grouping: gridlock.

I think 1) and 2) are unlikely to happen; we will probably end up with 3a or 3b; 4) would be a nightmare and is by no means impossible.

I have also learned that 'nuclear' PM-forces-legislation-through tactics using Article 49.3 are now reduced (restrictions on the applicable scope of legislation and the frequency).

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la vie en rouge
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# 10688

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Marion Maréchal-le Pen is resigning to spend more time with her family.

I think the FN is in a mess and expect some nasty infighting. Long may it continue.

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Eutychus
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# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
Marion Maréchal-le Pen is resigning to spend more time with her family.

I think the FN is in a mess and expect some nasty infighting. Long may it continue.

I agree. But note that MMLP's withdrawal is "temporary". Stepping back in order to jump better, as we say. I expect she's keeping out of the heat until the legal troubles are resolved, too.

Funnier is Valls' simultaneous rebuff by EM! and discipline by his Socialist party. Not far behind is Hamon's announcement of forming a "new, transverse political movement" to oppose Macron: beware of imitations!

I think Macron must be a genius:

- announce forthcoming list of government posts
- see who volunteers themselves
- gauge public and other party reactions

-> destroy rivals effortlessly

That's less than 24 hours' worth of news, too. What a ride.

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stonespring
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# 15530

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1. And Edouard Philippe, a moderate from the conservative Les Republicains, is to be Prime Minister. Thoughts?

2. What candidates in your legislative district are likely to make it to the runoff? Who do you think will win the runoff? Who is your local incumbent and is s/he likely to be unseated if s/he is running for reelection? Are you leaning towards voting a certain way in the legislative election and is it different than how you voted in the presidential election?

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Eutychus
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# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
1. And Edouard Philippe, a moderate from the conservative Les Republicains, is to be Prime Minister. Thoughts?

This is clearly an effort by Macron to split the LR party and make good on his promise to implement a cross-partisan government. It will take some time to see whether Philippe can pull things together in this way. The delay in the announcement suggests some hard bargaining, and possibly tensions, between him and Macron.

As to voting for MPs, I think it will really depend on the constituency. Unlike the UK, MPs do not really have much of a local presence (one would not consider, say "writing to your MP" as you would in the UK).

The city where I live is at the intersection of several constituencies and I had to check who my MP was - and it took me quite some time to find out.

I'll be voting for République En Marche (REM) in the first round at least on the very French basis of being consistent with the president I've just helped elect. Had my local MP been a strong local presence and still in the running, it would have been real a dilemma for me.

Incidentally Edouard Philippe is said to be not adverse to evangelicals (his stronghold of Le Havre is to host a major evangelistic event in the football stadium this summer). Macron, meanwhile, requested a Catholic baptism aged 12 and served at one time as an assistant to the late and renowned Protestant theologian Paul Ricoeur who spoke highly of him.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
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Posts: 16616 | From: 528491 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
la vie en rouge
Parisienne
# 10688

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In my neck of the woods (the 15th arrondissement of Paris) it’s going to be a straight fight between the Republicans and REM with no one else getting a look in.

However, that in itself is a fairly big change. Until a year ago, this was the most secure Republican territory going – petit-bourgeois and rather Catholic. The Republican HQ has been on the rue de Vaugirard round the corner from my house forever. It’s possibly not insignificant that REM also set up shop in the 15th.

The canvassers were back out on the market this weekend, and the Republicans were being somewhat virulent. They were arguing that an opposition in the Assembly is for the good of the country. I’m not sure. Also I’m warming to Macron.

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stonespring
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# 15530

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Macron has a full cabinet now:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39920509

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