Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mélenchon-Joly: A New Axis?

It seems that Eva Joly and Jean-Luc Mélenchon have been hanging out together quite a lot. Does it mean anything? Maybe. Joly has proven to be more of an anti-Establishment candidate than many Greens had bargained on, which makes her a natural companion to Mélenchon.Both delight in pointing out the contradictions and evasions in the positions of the leading candidates. Both stand on principle, to the point, at times, of rigidity. Their electorates are very different, but in both there are many voters who bitterly reject "the system" and envision progress mainly in terms of replacing it with something different.

What that something might be is no doubt different for the two parties and the two candidates, but there is a certain affinity born of what I am tempted to call not utopianism but rejectionism. Mélenchon said it best: "Qu'ils s'en aillent tous!" He wants "them all" out of office; Joly, the former judge, still sounds as though she hopes to put "them all" behind bars. But on the principle that France would best be rid of the all lot, they agree. That's something.

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