Monday, May 4, 2009

Change That Slogan

Travailler Roupiller plus pour gagner plus?

Prison Guards vs. Riot Police

This must have had the inmates scratching their heads.

Can the Green Get Us out of the Red?

A discussion of the role of environmental politics in the current crisis with economists Éloi Laurent and Christian de Pertuis.

Free Speech Movement

With Jean-Marie Le Pen in the role of Mario Savio: read about it here.

Laïdi on Sarkozy


Programme Commun bis ou Front Impopulaire?

Le Figaro today has a series of articles and an editorial exploring the possibility of a PS-MoDem alliance of some sort. In Lille, Grenoble, and Dijon there are already local alliances between the parties, and Bayrou, with the publication of his screed against Sarkozy is trying to outbid Ségo as the leader of the anti-Sarko forces.

The question is what common ground the two parties might find to stand on beyond their detestation of Sarkozy. Of course fundamental disagreements didn't prevent the Common Program from coming into being in 1977, and Le Figaro expressly looks back to Mitterrand's tactical maneuvering as an example. But François Bayrou is no Mitterrand. Nor is Ségolène Royal.

I frankly think the whole idea is far-fetched, although I wouldn't rule out the possibility that Bayrou could make it to round 2 in 2012 if the left remains in its current state of disarray. But voting for Bayrou as a fallback is a very different matter from committing one's fate to Bayrou as a strategic maneuver. Indeed, one might suspect Le Figaro of making its wish the father to its thought, because if the Socialists were to resign themselves to Bayrou as the sole viable candidate, they would essentially be giving up all hope of defining themselves as a party.

And here is Libé's version of the same idea. With this rather mind-boggling description of Bayrou:

De même Bayrou, solitaire, improbable, centriste reconverti dans l’insolence, ancien bègue maniant le verbe comme une épée, sorte de Démosthène des campagnes, est un franc-tireur qui a coupé les ponts avec l’establishment. Il pourrait devenir l’ennemi principal de l’Elysée en 2012. Il plaît surtout à gauche : notre sondage Libération-Viavoice (1) montre que les deux tiers de l’électorat du PS souhaitent un rapprochement avec le Modem. «Il veut prendre notre place», gémit le PS. Raison de plus pour se rapprocher de ses électeurs, idiot !

Does Joffrin really believe what he writes, or is he trying to persuade himself?