Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Le Perchoir

Suddenly, everybody wants to be president of the National Assembly. Ségolène Royal thought the position belonged to her, but voters got in the way. Now, Claude Bartolone, Jean Glavany, and Elisabeth Guigou are all after the spot. The Elysée and Matignon are said to want a woman, but there is "no consensus" around Guigou, whatever that means, so the name of Marylise Lebranchu has been floated, but she says she doesn't want it. It's a bit of a mystery why anybody wants the job. Does anyone remember who had it last? (Ans. Bernard Accoyer. Who's he? Right, that's the point.) Here's a radical idea: how about letting the deputies vote?


Anonymous said...

C'mon Art, get with it. The President of the AN is a VERY desirable job, involving a tidy salary (€14,270/month) and sumptuous official residence (Hôtel de Lassay. It's the 4th ranking position in the French state and with numerous institutional prerogatives and powers http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/connaissance/president.asp

And the deputies DO elect him (or her).

Bernard Accoyer: He is well-known here in France, at least to those who somewhat follow politics (more so than the president of the Senate; now *there's* someone who could walk down a crowded street in total anonymity).


Anonymous said...

I've been told also that since whoever gets the job isn't as present in their constituency, the constituency gets lots of fat bonuses as compensation ("discretionary funds" are used for it so that they're happy with the president of the National Assembly).
It's prestigious, you get to make the deputés shut up, and if you're of a mind to shake things up in the députés' tasks/organization/duties, you can.
I know Royal wanted to make attendance mandatory when there were votes and commissions (presence required in session, meeting, debate, or commission - not necessarily hémicycle.. but it was quite an unpopular idea. Many must have been relieved she won't get to try it.)
I believe they'll try for a woman, hence Lebranchu and Guigou being floated as candidates. On Sunday night, the socialists were all talking about "parité" and how they did a great job with diversity, women, and young candidates. WHich is true (relatively speaking, within the bounds of the old Assemblée!) So they'll be keen on showing that off once more. :p
As for "let the députés vote", well, erm, the PS is divided into groups as you're well aware of. Therefore, voting may reflect things that have nothing to do with the task at hand.

Robert said...

@Arun: The AssNat speaker is number four in constitutional protocol? I know the President is first and the head of the Senate number two, but who's three?

Louis said...

The truth is, like often, out there:
"Le président du Sénat est parfois présenté comme le deuxième personnage de l'État après le Président de la République. Cette erreur est due à une mauvaise interprétation de l'article 7 de la Constitution, qui dit qu'en cas de « vacance de la présidence de la République pour quelque cause que ce soit » le président du Sénat « exerce provisoirement les fonctions » de chef de l'État[2]. La confusion peut aussi être due à l'Histoire, selon Pierre Sadran, car sous la IIIe République, le président du Sénat avait plus d'importance que sous la Ve République[2].

C'est pourtant le Premier ministre qui est le deuxième personnage de l'État, le président du Sénat n'étant que le troisième devant le président de l'Assemblée nationale[2]. La seule règle de droit dans ce domaine est en effet le décret en vigueur sur l'Ordre de préséance en France, du 13 septembre 1989, relatif aux cérémonies publiques, préséances, honneurs civils et militaires. Ce décret attribue effectivement le deuxième rang de l'État au Premier ministre, devant le président du Sénat. On peut constater son application lorsque les plus hautes personnalités de l'État sont réunies, par exemple lors des cérémonies du 14 juillet, où le Premier ministre est placé au plus près du président de la République. Didier Maus indique également qu'en cas d'absence du chef de l'État, le conseil des ministres est présidé par le Premier ministre et non le président du Sénat, preuve supplémentaire de la prééminence du premier[2]."


bernard said...

Arun is of course right on the desirability of the job. L. Fabius once held the job and I do think it was around that time that the expression "socialisme hôtelier" appeared.

A rule of thumb: high level politicians rarely compete for useless positions. If we don't know what use the position, they usually do know.

And, yes, anybody ineterested in politics does remeber the name Accoyer, not if only for that reason, but rather for that reason only.

Anonymous said...

I should have specified that Bernard Accoyer is well known to those who regularly watch the TV news, as reports from the Assemblée Nationale inevitably showed him at the Perchoir.