Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Which Way Is Left?

Ségolène Royal returned from vacation yesterday to discover that she is still the leader of the Left, according to a Libération poll. Yet the Left has been deprived of its most potent argument: that it was the party of not-Sarkozy. As Bernard Kouchner put it, Sarko was a "singularly dangerous, indeed completely irresponsible" candidate for proposing a ministry of immigration and national identity and speculating about the genes of pedophiles (quote here). But that was before Kouchner agreed to become foreign minister under Sarkozy. One can understand Kouchner's rationale for accepting the post, but the fact remains that in doing so he removed the stigma that his words, and countless like them, were meant to place on Sarkozy. Whatever the rationale, one does not join a government if one truly believes that its head is singularly dangerous and completely irresponsible.

The Left must now find its own identity, and as both the Libé poll cited above and this Libé article make clear, that won't be an easy task in its current state of ideological disarray.

1 comment:

cjb said...

It's an interesting possibility: Sarkozy's ouverture motivated by a desire to strip the left of its anti-Sarkozy banner. At the same time, it's a rather defensive basis upon which to base the composition of one's government. What other reasons might have pushed Sarkozy towards l'ouverture? Perhaps Bayrou's prominence in the campaign had something to do with it. It introduced a new element of confusion in the left-right universe, and made a cross-party government possible?