Friday, May 4, 2012

A Centrist Decides ... for Hollande

Frédéric LN, MoDem supporter and erstwhile staffer, fellow blogger, reader of French Politics, and friend, has made up his mind to vote for Hollande. Here is his reasoning:

Une décision banale, un vote comme un autre, et pourtant, un vote dans l'inquiétude.
Parce que c'est la crise, et que le programme PS était aussi délirant que le programme UMP.
Parce que c'est la crise, et que la concentration des pouvoirs à l'Élysée garantit l'aveuglement et l'inefficacité des décideurs.
Sur ces deux sujets, François Hollande a montré, en particulier depuis le premier tour, qu'il était conscient des dangers. Il s'est engagé, verbalement, sur 50 milliards d'économies, sur 100 députés à la proportionnelle, sur des nominations contrôlées par le Parlement, sur un référendum pour abolir le cumul des mandats.
C'est exactement la réponse à nos questions. Ce qui pèse lourd dans la balance.
Mais que valent ces engagements verbaux ? Ceux de François Hollande pèseront-il moins léger que ceux pris en 2007 par Nicolas Sarkozy ?
Cela reste notre inquiétude…
Bernard Girard's analysis of the importance of Bayrou's (and Frédéric's) decision is here. For Bernard, MoDem's leader has signaled the divorce of the center from the right, with which it had lived in uneasy concubinage for more than half a century.


Robert said...

I agree Girard sums things up very nicely, but it seems to local MODEM politicans endorsing Hollande matter even more than Bayrou in that respect. In fact, who knows if the former prompted the latter?

That question especially matters if centrists looking to save their hide are preparing alliances with PS in next month's parliamentary elections -- and beyond.

Cincinna said...

Nobody cares about Bayrou. His personal hatred of Sarkozy has colluded his vision.
Neither Bayrou nor the debate has moved the numbers. According to the latest Ifop poll data for today, May 4, the numbers have moved some in Sarko's favor, continuing the trend since the first round.

My sources close to the WH, say the Obama administration is very concerned about a possible socialist victory. Obama has one thing in his mind, his own re-election, and being forced to deal with a socialist, and be photographed with a socialist is the last thing his campaign wants. Especially since Hollande is completely unknown in the US. Obama doesn't even know Hollande, has never met him.
Sarkozy, OTOH, has a huge personal following in the US, and received the overwhelming majority of votes of French citizens living in the US in the first round.

FrédéricLN said...

Thanks for the link and quotation — you could take this opportunity to qualify this choice and the reason for it, as pure Mugwumpery. We would live with that :-)

Robert, Bayrou's decision was easy to foresee since years, as Laurent de Boissieu puts it: But forecasts are also easily wrong. And I've been surprised indeed when I learnt that only 2 of our party's +-200 "national councellers" suggested to support Sarkozy.

Sorry, Cincinna, I care about Bayrou, and I'm not his only supporter — one of eleven voters, it's not much indeed, but more than nothing.

But you may be right from a point of view: the most likely prospective is that we'll count as much in French politics during the 5 next years as independent voters do in American politics.

Cincinna's picture affair is amazing — Sarkozy's proud but likely forged picture with George W. Bush was the starting point of he making himself ridiculous, at least from a number of French people point of view.

Anonymous said...

@I'm not sure Sarkozy has "a huge personal following" in the US. He might seem marginally more acceptable to the general public but he's French and being French is anathema to Republicans. Now for Obama: he's already depicted as a "socialist". Sure, it might not be good PR to be photographed with "a socialist" head of state. But for the general public, it's easy to call it "the PS leader" or "progressive" leader, or more simply "the new president of France".
Sarkozy wasn't known before his election, either, and people who might follow international news were quick to find him good looking (something I never understood :p) - until he stomped out of Lesley Stahl's interview midway.
I'm quite sure Hollande won't prove choleric and rude in that way, and equally sure the women on The View will find him charming and typically French .
In short, I'm not worried about Obama's PR or American reception of the results. :p

As for Bayrou's choice, it's perfectly logical and consistent with his criticism of Sarkozy's leadership style. Add courting extremism to the mix (something a true centrist can't bear) and you have logic, either a "white" ballot and a "against Sarkozy" ballot that means Hollande. I find Bayrou courageous, a man of honor in that he chose the most difficult road.