Sunday, December 6, 2009

Besancenot to Bayrou or Bust

As is well-known, Ségolène Royal would like to build a broad-based coalition on the left stretching, as she has put it, from "Besancenot to Bayrou." The alliteration works, but further details of how this might be accomplished have been slow to materialize. A couple of days ago she proposed an alliance with MoDem in the first round of the regionals. The PS (Hamon, Hollande) has now rejected this idea: no surprise there.

The strategy, though never very plausible, actually made more sense in 2007 than it does now. At the time, the "anybody but Sarkozy" sentiment was still high, polls showed Bayrou ahead of Ségo as a blocking candidate, and he had yet to make the disastrous showing in the European elections that has left him damaged goods. Then the abortive grand bargain between rounds 1 and 2 ("I'll make you prime minister if you back my presidency") failed to come off and thus did not turn Ségo into the John Quincy Adams of her generation and Bayrou into the Henry Clay.

The B2B strategy remains, and could be revived after the PS has chosen a candidate, but for the regionals it's a nonstarter. And anyway, the force to contend with for now is the Greens, not MoDem. A Green alliance would be healthier for the PS: it would force it to clarify its policy stance on several major issues. With MoDem, the prospect of agreement on the issues is always overshadowed by the prime mover in the relationship: tout sauf Sarkozy.


MYOS said...

I've been thinking about your post.
In my opinion, the strategy has two goals: first, since François Bayrou had spoken of his 'arc républicain' (where he's be the center, of course), it was a way to force him to walk the talk. As of now, he prefers talking - even though 5 people in a conseil régional is probably more than he can expect on his own, and enough to form a "groupe" that would not be dissolved between the Greens and the Socialists.
Second, it allows Royal to point out that the Modem has voted her decisions and orientation (in fact, I read somewhere in a "desintox" column that it was true the UMP had voted 90% decisions she'd brought forth.) Since the Modem has worked with her, has voted with the PS, and since there may be some people who are interested, she can appear more open-minded when she says "I won't close my door to them". Since the Modem is decentralized, each local Modem can choose whether they'll take the offer or refuse it.
Two effects: it forces François Bayrou to tread the tight rope he's chosen + it shows her to be more open-minded than her colleagues (or more courageous, as Huchon and Queyranne, I believe, wanted to do the same and did not dare - bonus, they'll owe her) .
PC and greens have already decided to "do it alone". However, only 150 voters decided for the local greens, choosing to follow the national tenet of "autonomy" - but if you ask people, they're kind of confused as to why, except "to obey Paris" (*not* a good reason in a regional election). Some stray greens and communists have already broken rank. The same may happen with the Modem. And if a wide variety of people are on the list, then she could have the best score of all regional presidents AND demonstrate an alliance between all these groups is possible and works.
(If it fails, she'll still be elected, although probably by a thin margin.)
Watch out for the New Fabris CGT guy, too.

MYOS said...

Looked for what the New Fabris guy said yesterday, only found an earlier intervention. He looks kind of impressed by having to speak but you can tell he's sincere.
This made me think, how many PS candidates come from a working class or non-middle-class background as opposed to UMP? (Don't know where you find stats).