Thursday, April 28, 2011


Laurent Fabius reportedly said that if 2012 comes down to a second-round choice between Le Pen and Sarkozy, he would vote Le Pen:

Après son intervention, il a dîné au Café Français avec la dizaine d'étudiants qui avaient préparé l'événement. Au cours du repas, il s'est livré à un petit questionnaire avec eux en leur demandant ce qu'ils feraient s'ils avaient à choisir au deuxième tour entre Nicolas Sarkozy et Marine Le Pen. Quelques étudiants ont répondu qu'ils voteraient Sarkozy, mais la plupart ont choisi l'abstention ou le vote blanc. Tout comme Laurent Fabius, d'ailleurs. « En 2002, j'ai voté Chirac même si je ne l'aimais pas. Mais, en 2012, je n'aime tellement pas Sarkozy ni sa politique qu'il me serait impossible de voter pour lui. »

I am reminded of why I so dislike Fabius. Can he be serious? Nothing that Sarkozy has done can to my mind justify such a position--and I am hardly Sarko's greatest fan. But look at Le Pen's positions: quit Europe, restore the franc, move to protectionism -- can Fabius really be willing to bear the costs of these things (even given his anti-EU past)? And that's to say nothing of Le Pen's positions on immigration and civil rights.

CORRECTION: As several commenters have noted, Fabius doesn't say he would vote for Le Pen; he says that he would abstain or vote blank. Sorry, I was reading to hastily. But I also find abstention incomprehensible and irresponsible.

INSEE Report on Integration

Second-generation immigrants with European parents are less likely to fall below the poverty line than second-generation immigrants with African parents, according to an INSEE report. The full report can be found here (pdf).

History of the Veil

With the Muslim veil in one form or another the object of so much politicking in France lately, this new history of Islamic veiling practices is quite timely. Reviewed here by Chris Stansell.

Illegal Immigration

Why does it exist? Facchini and Testa offer an explanation:

In a nutshell, governments face stark incentives: the rhetoric of closed border helps them gain in popularity among the electorate; the reality of lax enforcement (through insufficient enforcement or ineffective use of enforcement activities) responds to the interests of sectors who gain from employing foreign workers. As the mantra of closed borders is climbing high in the discourse of many European governments, whereas many sectors remain dependent on foreign work, the gap between “rhetoric” and reality can only grow bigger. Illegal immigration is largely a tale of political failure.