An American observer comments on French politics.
This doesn't necessarily mean voters think Sarkozy will do better than Hollande either. If voters have no illusions about either then the election will revolve around their respective personalities. And here Sarkozy loses. Big time.This election is a referendum on Sarkozy. Unless there's a game changer in the next two months, his chances of topping 50% in that referendum are minimal.Arun
A problem that Sarkozy has with Hollande is that he's "clean" - unlike Aubry, whose ties are..unsavory (Guérini, the whole Nord Pas de Calais gang) and of course unlike DSK, Hollande does not have much that can be used as leverage against him. As Arun said above, if it's a personality contest, Sarkozy loses. One problem is that Hollande's ideas aren't well-known, his proposals don't stick. His advantage is that Sarkozy's ideas don't stick either - changing electoral rules, the referendum on secondary issues, the PPE alteration that'll bring about 5 extra euros a month to minimum wage earners but no longer to RSA recipients... One I heard and found odd: the bac pro that will only have 2 years of teaching (5 years ago it was 4, with 6 months work placement spread over the last years) with one year of classes changed to one year in a work placement. How is that supposed to make him popular with working class families, since their kids are predominent in this program and they can see that a program that used to last 4 years, a 2 year diploma followed by a highly-praised 2-year program will be downgraded by the change.
http://polluxe.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/sarkozy-cest-fini-les-signes-qui-ne-trompent-pas/Perhaps a bit optimistic
A poll I saw recently showed that two-thirds of those voting for Hollande are doing so above all to get rid of Sarkozy. It's a negative vote against Sarko more than an affirmative one for Hollande. Elections sometimes happen that way.Arun
Words snatched from 13h15 le dimanche, the France 2 weekly documentary accross France:Peasant/hunters who surprise the journalist by saying they'll vote for the left.In the East, an area known for its consistent support of Sarkozy and MLP, steel workers are upset with Mittal. They gather and shout:"Sarkozy va nous sauver, il a dit, comme il a sauvé Gandrange?""C'est pas possible, on a travaillé toute notre vie, y'a tout qui augmente, il faut payer le gas, l'eléctricité, il va nous faire mendier?"(a woman) "Faut mettre le feu partout, parce que si on meurt qu'au moins eux aussi."Gemenos, in the South, and Fralib, the last industry producing tea in France; The workers want to buy back the plant to continue as a co-op."C'est fini les belles paroles, maintenant on veut des agissements" In Petit Couronne, Nicolas Sarkozy announces that Shell will keep the plant open for 6 extra monthsSarkozy: il a fallu convaincre Shell, c'est pas évident... L'ouvrier en face: mouais. Sarkozy: quand même, ça vous donne 6 mois. The guy snickers at the same time as he produces a vague sound of approval that he understands he must produce.(not quite the image NS hoped for, I suppose)Florange: voices in the crowd. "Sauvez nous monsieur Hollande sauvez nous car sinon ici on est morts"All of this adds up to the graph, I suppose.
These low expectations make a very comfortable position for Hollande if he is to win the race!My humble opinion is, the opposition could do *much* better than the two parties, UMP and PS, that ruled so far. But this opinion doesn't seem to be shared by so many people at the moment.
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