Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ironies

Le Figaro today fairly licks its chops at the prospect of a serious reversal for the Socialists in the European elections. Ironies abound. Benoît Hamon, who is one of the few baby elephants to have bulked up under the Aubry regime, risks being the only major figure to be knocked out if things don't go well (he is no. 3 on the Francilienne list led by Harlem Désir). The PS could lose in Aubry's home region, largely owing to opposition from other left parties as well as MoDem. The dissident left is driven in part by opposition to Europe, and Hamon of course owes his rise in PS ranks to the persistence of anti-European sentiment there and the need to mollify and reassure that the party hasn't sold out to Eurocrats. So Jacques Delors's daughter has the less than Euro-enthusiastic Hamon as her spokesman. Among those voters who aren't sitting out the election altogether (and turnout is expected to be quite low), some may well look for more forthright alternatives.

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