Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Aubry's ahead by 2; no, Hollande by 6. Etc. Actually, nobody knows who's ahead, because the polling organizations don't know how to distinguish those likely to vote in the Socialist primary from those who just like to vent to pollsters. So the results vary wildly. Frankly, I don't much care, especially since the polls make no effort to distinguish what issues, if any, might differentiate one candidate from another in the minds of the voters. What would you say if asked to distinguish Hollande from Aubry, for example? And as a reader of this blog, you're following the race much more closely than most of the French electorate. Nevertheless, Romain Pigenel explains--rather idealistically--why you should vote.
A previous note about French think tanks associated with particular candidates drew rebukes from two knowledgeable inside observers of the French political scene, who argued that the term "think tank" was inappropriate for these support committees of intellectuals and idea-mongers. Terra Nova is a different kettle of fish, however, an organization modeled in many respects on the Center for American Progress in the US. Mediapart ($) offers a dissection of TN, with comments from fierce critics such as Laurent Bouvet as well as supporters and rival think tankers. Worth reading.
Like children caught with their hand in the cookie jar, French pols are vacationing at home this summer. The allure of foreign vacations paid by wealthy cronies or foreign potentates is diminished, now that the potential downside has been revealed. So we have French leaders discovering the joys of the provinces. Only Fillon has ventured as far as Tuscany, and unless it turns out that he's attending a bunga-bunga party organized by Berlusconi, he probably won't do too much damage to his reputation. And Marine Le Pen has been forced to stay home to put out the raging fire started by her father. Bonnes vacances à tous!