Friday, May 4, 2012

Panel Discussion at Stanford Today

I will be on a panel to discuss the French elections at Encina Hall, Stanford, today at noon.


Art Goldhammer said...

A comment was posted here that contained a threat against the life of the President of the United States. Unfortunately, I was off line for a period of time and did not discover this comment until it was reported to me by a reader. I have removed it and reported the threat to the U.S. Secret Service.

Anonymous said...

Some people are really strange: what would compel someone to post a threat against the president of the US (or any president)? Why do it online? Why do it on a blog dedicated to French politics?

Here in France, everyone's waiting. My modem friends will vote for Hollande "en se bouchant le nez" - they don't like him but they feel Sarkozy, from the moment he broadcast halal meat as a major topic rather than unemployment or housing, went down the slippery slope head first on a toboggan. The last week made them worried that if they didn't "block" Sarkozy we'd end up with a FN-inspired government soon.
I don't know how prevalent this decision will be - I know that, from an economic standpoint, many Modem voters who are private entrepreneurs would rather spoil their ballot. I don't know any Modem who wants to vote for Sarkozy though.
I'm rather optimistic for Hollande but I wonder how effective the scare tactics were. I'm quite sure they were not well measured. All we know is that the margin of victory for Hollande became smaller on Friday and has been getting smaller with every poll since the first round. I don't think pundits in Paris have a good grip on reactions by people without a degree or who live in small towns. They truly seemed to discover there was life at the end of the RER line or distressed individuals in small towns. Perhaps an echo from the 2005 vote on Europe, where blindness to people's reaction had led to a oui/non territorial division? I wasn't there and thus can't judge how badly things had been predicted but it'd be interesting to compare the "France du non" in 2005 and the "France protestataire" today.
Finally: North America has started voting. We should have early returns soon, right?