Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ségo Will Go For It

Well, scratch my speculations of the past few days. Ségolène Royal will herself be a candidate for the leadership of the PS. La lutte finale is here, and it's do or die for le courant Tout Sauf Ségo. Too bad: I think we'd have had better sound bites from a Dray or a Peillon, though neither warms le petit écran quite as nicely as Ségo does.

The real question, though, is how Gérard Collomb, the mayor of Lyon and champion of municipal socialism, feels about the decision. It was his support that really carried the day for Ségo, and he told her at the outset that he preferred a leader who was not also a candidate for the presidency. That was why she initially put her quest for the leadership in "le frigidaire." Will the thaw leave the proponents of a less centralized leadership feeling betrayed? The marriage of municipal socialism with a presidentializer of the party was always an awkward fit. If la présidente de Poitou-Charentes becomes une cumularde occupying rue Solférino as well, there could be grumbling in the ranks.


Tom Holzman said...

Collomb's advice sounds correct to me. I think it is very difficult to be an effective party chief, which requires lots of attention to detail, and a big picture political figure. There is no easier way to make enemies or ruin a reputation than by running the party, or attempting to run it. If she wants to control the party, one of her close aides should do it.

Anonymous said...

Tom :

I guess Sarkozy was not in line with this piece of Collomd's advice when he wrestled the UMP from Chirac and turned it into a war machine dedicated to his own election.

Maybe Sego is trying to emulate this process now. And she learned from her 2007 campaign that she can't win if she doesn't control the party and put it to work for her, not against..

Unknown said...


Actually, I rather rooted for Rebsamen myself if Royal chose not to go but refrained saying so here. He seemed quite effective to me. As for Dray, I never believed that there could be a possibility: having betrayed so many people along the years, no one in his/her right mind would hand over the keys. Peillon is a nice man, on the soft side, not the kind that knows when to crack the whip.

We shall see what the congress brings, at this stage I believe that it is not really useful speculating. All I would suggest, if indeed she will be seeking to direct the party, is that she has surely consulted with Collomb and Huchon on this, and has their agreement.

I agree with Alain-q that she is trying to presidentialize the PS, which presently is organized along the lines of the previous constitution. This of course infuriates many people. But the point here is that Royal is lot more complex than she would appear: the most Mitterrandist of present day socialists and yet ready and urging to adapt to the present constitution, which Mitterrand did not like until he used it.

MYOS said...

Plus, she's suggesting a new "organigram" that would really modify her role:
there'd be a "Premier Secretaire" (how do you really translate that?) in charge of the vision, and a "Premier Secretaire Adjoint" in charge of managing the party.
It'll suit her better this way, be more effective, yet with those old-time words she manages not to scare away the traditionalists.

Her idea of a "fédération de la gauche" is also very clever.

The "document de travail" is here: