Sunday, April 23, 2017

Ouf!

Macron 23, Le Pen 21, JLM/Fillon 19. Best possible outcome from my point of view. Now a complicated game begins to determine the complexion of the Macron government. Vive la France, vive la République!

23 comments:

Moco said...

Felt bad for Hamon even if I didn't agree with him. Had memories of the socialist Defferre back in '69 securing a derisory 5%. Wonder if a totally new left party has to be constructed just like in that aftermath.

Kevin said...

I am relieved. I wasn't certain how much we could trust the polling. It appears that French polling is superior to the polling in the U.S.

Alexandra Marshall said...

Vive le tightest network security ever, no laptop or phone thefts, we better hope.

bernard said...

@Kevin
Simple: French polling institutes spend more money polling more people, plus their method (quots) is technically better than that of US pollsters. Really, polls with 800 people at CNN, what are they smoking?

@All
France was, is and will be the country of liberty, equality and fraternity, the country that introduced human rights, irrespective of colour or creed, as the preambule of its constition just about 70 years ago. And we will affirm this resoundingly yet again in 14 days.

bernard said...

Melenchon, typical hitlero-trotskyst, does not choose between Macron and MLP.

Anonymous said...

Well my vote was wasted: poor Hamon barely beat Dupont-Aignan! Still, a good result all told: now on to beat MLP in the next round.

bert said...

Bathos. You're​ welcome.

Tim said...

As a general rule Europeans especially the French put far more energy and resources into computer and network security than Americans. Some say it is because those in French political circles know that France has been known to hack into other countries computer for political and economic espionage purposes so the French are much more sensitive to computer security than Americans who are much more naïve about such things(Or at least this is how it has been described to me).

Mitch Guthman said...

Bernard,

I think a pause to assess the situation is definitely in order. This is a more difficult choice than seems obvious at first glance. There’s really two choices:

1. Follow Hamon’s lead and just say vote against Le Pen. The focus on MLP made it clear that the PS isn’t supporting Macron and leaves open the possibility of opposing Macron’s agenda as part if rebuilding the PS once the rouge elephants and militant centrists have been purged. Mèlenchon could say something similar and urge the left to vote against Le Pe , rather than urging a vote for Macron. This is essentially how the Communist Party of the USA endorsed Hillary Clinton.

2. Endorse Macron, which carries with it an endorsement of his manifesto and the implicit promise to support it once he is in office. That’s potentially something that will anger most of the left since it carries with it the implicit promise to vote for the dismantling of the social welfare state and the adoption of a Thatcherite vision of France. After all, what’s the point of electing a president if you don’t allow him to implement his agenda?

If I were French, I don’t know what I’d do right now. It seems like a Sophie’s choice between turning France into a fascist ethnic nationalist state allied with the likes of Trump and Putin against saving the economy and the social welfare state. MLP is, after all, promising to protect the social welfare state, protect the middle class and workers, and at least try to build a less bleak future for the young. Macron unquestionably will seek to destroy the social welfare state, screw people out of their pensions, and cripple the economy as he privatizes everything and allows the Davos crowd to gorge themselves on France’s patrimonie just as they’ve done in Russia, England, Eastern Europe and parts of the United States.

Really, the question for Mèlenchon and the left is who will do the most irremediable damage to France. France survived travail, famille, patrie. By contrast, it looks like the United Kingdom won’t survive Margret Thatcher and her heirs. And that really is something to think about in the long run.

Even if one assumes the worst about Le Pen and the best about Macron, it still seems like a choice that needs to be made with sober reflection and an assessment of the considerable damage each candidate would do. I think Mèlenchon is right to wait and see which parties Macron will offer important ministries and who will be his prime minister.

Lapinot said...

Macron's the only possible choice when the alternative is anything like a fascist ethnic nationalist state.

Quite apart from that, if Le Pen actually implemented her plans they would, according to most economically informed observers, be financially ruinous. If she couldn't implement her plans - if the promised referendum went against her as it probably would - she says she would quit. And then whom would France have voted for?

Macron does want to reform the French economy but seeing him as a French Thatcher is surely going too far. Most of the criticisms from that side seem to be that he doesn't plan to change nearly enough - that he's another Hollande. He even wants to extend the welfare state in parts. 'Nordic' is the label used rather than 'Thatcherite'.

Even if he were everything you say he is, his chances of carrying through such plans would be minimal. Fillon, with all of the LR behind him would have had great difficulty. Macron, without it... no. It's hard to see how it could happen.

Bernard said...

Thankfully, jean pierre laurent and the communist party are honourable opponents from the hard left and will leave the hitlero-trotskyst to his unprincipled insanity.

Passerby said...

@Moco: I think that the extend of the Hamon defeat could actually be a good thing. It might be what was needed to really shake the socialist party. And hopefully, get rid of the old guard (Aubry and the like), and get the party into the 21st century.

Alexandra Marshall said...

Tim, I wouldn't be so sure of computer security. Macron and his campaign use a cloud-based messaging program. In any event, if any sort of hack or info dump comes, it'd be now. So we'll know soon enough.

brent said...

@ Bernard
First, to clarify: Mélenchon has not refused to offer a consigne. He and his movement have instead begun a process of consultation, to assess the views of the 440,000 members of the movement. After that electronic consultation the candidate and leaders will offer some perspective, though perhaps not a formal consigne.

Second, it interests me that you call this process "madness": the spectacle of a leader consulting his supporters instead of just telling them what to do. You like to indulge in name-calling--Hitler (!), Trotsky, etc.--but it occurs to me that only hard-core dictators would call such consultation with the rank-and-file "madness." The rest of us might call it "democratic."

FrédéricLN said...

@brent : +1

Lapinot said...

No-one wants him to try to force his followers to vote for Macron but if he can't see that Macron's a damn sight better than Le Pen then he's a fool. If he can see that and refuses to say so then he's contemptible. I don't want to think he's contemptible. I hope he'll make a reasonable statement, regardless of what his followers might think.

Anonymous said...

@All
"France was, is and will be the country of liberty, equality and fraternity, the country that introduced human rights, irrespective of colour or creed, as the preambule of its constition just about 70 years ago. And we will affirm this resoundingly yet again in 14 days."

I must say I do not share Bernard's triumphalist tone. I love France, and I am glad Macron appears poised to win a resounding victory against Le Pen. However, France is not the country that defends human rights irrespective of color or creed when it comes to its non-white citizens. The FT had an interesting article "What It Means To Be French", musing on the fate of Alexandre Dumas' black grandfather, one of France's great generals until Napoleon reduced him to penury in prison. Notwithstanding, the modern era might recognize his achievements: yet France does not.

France stood back from the brink, but the forces that brought it there have not gone away. It is one day after the first round results pushing back against the extremes: that does not mean the circumstances that gave tumultuous credibility to voters that want the status quo upended have changed. The future is a much longer proposition, and analysts would do well to realize Macron's likely election to the presidency of France only begins a new attempt to put the country right, it does not culminate it.

Lapinot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lapinot said...

One of the reasons I'd find a Macron victory encouraging is that this is the first election since the gay marriage controversy and if he's elected the changes will be firmly established. To all but the most bigoted, any future Le Pen or Fillon types of attempts to roll back the advances will seem about as silly and cruel as anti-miscegenation laws (as they they already are).

Mitch Guthman said...

I also agree with Bert. I think he makes a good point—it seems particularly ironic that the guy who is regularly trashed here as an anti-democratic Trotskyite or as a budding Hitler is the only political leader who is bothering to consult at all with the party’s membership before making an endorsement on behalf of his or her party. Hamon should have done the same. It is the party membership whose lives and futures are at stake in the choice between what are two extremely different, competing visions for France and so it seems to me that they should have a say in what their party will do.

Speaking for myself only, it would be any easy easy choice. I would vote for Macron but then I don't have any skin in the game either way. I’m not French and I don’t live in France so Le Pen’s white ethnonationalist Nazi “sausage and red wine” aficionados can’t get at me for the occasional progrom. And I’m counting on the social welfare state, a pension, and easy access to good education and inexpensive quality health care health being there for me and my family. Unlike Art, I don't see any good choice although I do see an extremely bad one.

This is an extremely momentous decision, with lots of combinations, permutations and implications, and the next move for the parties of the left needs to be well thought out. I advocate urging the membership to vote against Le Pen but to be sure to turn out strongly for the legislative election so that the PS can have the strength to block Macron’s neoliberal agenda. Evidently, Hollande thinks that everyone should get behind Macron not to block MLP but because his agenda is the right one for France. So the message from Hamon should be dumb Hollande, elect Macron but turn out enthusiastically to block his agenda and rebuild the party.

Mitch Guthman said...

A correction: It was, of course, Brent with whom I was agreeing in my previous comment. We really need editing capability for the comments or I need to proofread better. Sorry.

Alexandra Marshall said...

We should also make Brent, Bert and Bernard adopt some kind of color-coded labeling system. Haha.

Bernard said...

I don't feel a need to procrastinate when faced with the possible election of a fascist. On the other hand, Melenchon's admirable behaviour was praised as honest and honourable by none other than jean marie le pen this morning on france inter. He knows what this does for his daughter's chances. We all eventually get the allies that we deserve. The good news, which I already pointed out earlier is that Laurent and the PCF, who know history, did not hesitate for one second and saved their honour and, possibly, the day.