Monday, June 24, 2013


In the by-election to fill Jérôme Cahuzac's seat in Villeneuve-sur-Lot, the UMP beat the Front National by 53.76 to 46.24%. The strong showing by the FN is a warning to both parties that the center is not holding. One assumes that in this former Socialist stronghold, part of the UMP vote in the second round comes from Socialists seeking to block the FN, which may well now be the strongest party in the district.

It's never wise to overinterpret the vote in any by-election, especially one in which the incumbent was forced to resign by scandal. But the results here compound worries that the Socialists have lost their way, having ceased to exist as a party and become merely a mouthpiece for the government. Harlem Désir has come in for particular criticism.


Anonymous said...

Médiapart has an in-depth analysis.
UMP seems to be at the point where they're trying to prove they're the way to criticize the PS...
And the PS seems torn between being a mouthpiece for the government and being critical of a direction they perceive as dangerous.

Cincinna said...

The FN gained 11 points between the first and second round. It would appear that at least 10 or more per cent on the left are willing to vote for MLP and the FN. they share a lot more than one would think.
Looking at the French political spectrum as an American, it is difficult to see how the FN is classified as "far right", Except as a leftist propaganda scare tactic. The FN is a statist party- nationalist, populist, and anti-capitalist. It has more in common with other forms of statism, like National Socialism, than it does with any political movement on the right in the US. The right in the US believes in individual freedom and rights, not collective rights. Smaller, bottom up government, rather than the all powerful top down statist government with an ever expanding state, expanding into all areas of life. Yes, the Nanny State.
No socialist form of government has ever succeeded in creating a vital growing economy, and providing opportunity and freedom for its people. It is a failed ideology; failed no matter where or when it has been tried. It always results in less freedom, and less wealth...and worse.
IMO, if the French right moves more towards Socialism-lite, the FN will grow as economic conditions deteriorate. Can MLP win against a candidate like Sarkozy? Probably not. He has learned from his mistakes and is the only leader on a very bleak horizon with actual ideas, charisma, and energy. But MLP is young, and has plenty of time.
My bets for next time are on Sarko. But après lui? Le déluge?

Anonymous said...

Cincinna, the role of the state in France stretches back to the 16th century. It has NOTHING to do with socialism. A strong centralized state is the way the French have found to make their country function without descending into civil war/chaos. You can't apply an American reading to all situations.:)
As for the far right, its ideology has nothing to do with economics.
What Villeneuve does prove is that people no longer listen to political parties and some will even vote to spite national orders. The "front républicain" no longer exists and both right and left will have to invent something else.