Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mélenchon et Moi

Jean-Luc Mélenchon apparently sees François Hollande's attempt to redefine "social democracy" as I did yesterday: as an attempt to remove the state from collective bargaining over all aspects of the social wage and labor code, including retirement income. This would mark a step toward a privatization of the French social model--a far more "neoliberal" proposition than anything Sarkozy has put forward and a very strange way for a Socialist to stake out his position in advance of the primaries.

Why would Hollande do this? Several reasons, I imagine: he thinks that the primary can be won by attracting the votes of the right wing of the PS, mopping up the DSK support; he expects Aubry to run to his left; he hopes to attract campaign financing both now and in the later stages of a presidential campaign from business elements favorable to such a proposition. I have seen little reaction to this proposal to date, but I would expect to hear more, especially from the unions. What an odd election this will be if Hollande ends up running to Sarkozy's right on economic and social issues!

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