Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Campaign Without a Center

Julien Vaulpré, who was Sarkozy's polling expert in 2007, says that this year's campaign has no center because, in contrast to 1995, 2002, and 2007, the crisis is too multifarious to be encapsulated in a single, memorable campaign theme.
Quelle est, selon vous, la controverse principale de la campagne actuelle ?
Eh bien, c'est justement tout le problème, selon moi. A ce stade, on a le sentiment qu'il n'y en a pas.
Certes, il y a une question majeure, qui plane au-dessus de l'élection : la crise. Mais elle est tellement écrasante, tellement générale, et tellement difficile à appréhender qu'elle n'a pas véritablement été problématisée à travers une offre politique réussissant à la fois à poser une analyse et une solution. Par ailleurs, c'est la première fois que plane à ce point, sur une campagne présidentielle, un événement qui est en cours, dont l'issue est inconnue.


Mitch Guthman said...

I can’t decide if this is incredibly profound and insightful or if it means that Sarkozy’s election was a fluke caused by the PS’s decision to squander an all but guaranteed victory by basically having a total nonentity as their candidate.

Anonymous said...

I think 2002 had one central theme: safety. I wasn't there but people are still telling how on the day of the election a lengthy TF1 newsreport showed a poor old man who had been beating by young thugs, bruises and all. I'm not sure what 2007 was about but clearly for the PS things have changed thanks to that: I remember Royal being derided for having a "famille de droite" whereas Hollande was applauded for his honesty in mentioning it; the Marseillaise at the end of speeches being "pas de gauche" when on Sunday everyone sang it heartily; Hollande mentioning how the projects' little thungs would be chased "by the Republic" when a similar theme was sneered at, etc. Things that were taboo in 2007 now appear "normal", and I really regret the PS taking so long for realizing these basic facts. It's good they got to it in 5 years but... don't we wish they'd gotten over it back in 2007? As for the economic crisis, it's hanging over everybody but I don't think there were no "unknowns" in 2007 either. I kept telling people about the real estate bubble and, granted, they didn't quite understand what I was talking about if I (nonentity) had an idea something was about to go down soon, surely politicians had a clue of what was to come? Hollande has chosen three: youth, fiscal fairness, and reindustrialisation. Or is Vaulpré saying, in effect, that Sarkozy has no clue on how to pick a campaign theme and can't grasp Hollande? It's true that his attempts with National Identity and law&order stances have been counterproductive but ? We'll see what happens on Sunday.

Anonymous said...

*had been beaten, not beating... (never saw the news report but it's still mentioned to me, 10 years later).