Friday, April 21, 2017

Dernière Ligne Droite

Well, it's coming to the wire, and madness reigns more than ever. Last night's terror attack en plein non-débat may have shaken things up yet again, just as the undecided were coming off the fence. I am in Indiana, where I have been lecturing on the election at Purdue. I refused to make any prediction during my talks here, and I woke up this morning still with no idea how this will turn out. My gut tells me ... nothing. And since I've been watching French elections now for (gasp!) half a century, my profound ambivalence should tell you something.

My sense is that Macron hasn't closed the deal, Mélenchon has been hitting all the high notes lately, Fillon's sheer bull-headedness has kept him in contention, and Marine Le Pen has reverted to form, partly erasing the gains she had made in de-demonizing the party. But I just don't know how it's going to end. On Sunday we'll know. Brexit and Trump have taught me to expect the unexpected, but the possibility of an impending disaster is never easy to contemplate. And this could end in complete and utter disaster.

How's that for a pessimistic start to your day.


TexExile said...

You are more optimistic than I, at least as regards Mme Le Pen. I don't sense much momentum behind Melenchon, though. My impression (and I confess I am too busy to follow this as closely as I should, so I may be missing something) is that he surged strongly and then flattened out. Still in contention, to be sure, but the dynamic has not been moving his way of late, or so it seems to me. (I tend to watch the polls for indications of movement rather than levels of support, since I think there's good reason to doubt their utility for the latter, particularly in a tight race.)

Lapinot said...

Macron seems to have been ticking up slightly again over the last two weeks as people get nearer to their final choice, while Le Pen hasn't. Which is a little comforting, even with the usual caveats about polls. Like everyone, I wonder what effect last night's attack will have. I would have said not much as everyone should have already had enough information to make up their minds about how to deal with terrorism - and recent attacks seem to have been dealt with well - but then I remember that woman who changed her mind about Brexit at the last minute because she went to the shops and saw the wrong bananas.

Massilian said...

"Pessimism is lazyness" writes philosopher François Jullien.
And since I have been an all time pessimist, I believe he is right.
Last night killing on the Champs-Elysées resulted in what could be expected : Marine Le Pen and François Fillon excited by fresh blood, howling at the moon like a couple of Paris werewolf and promising the shivering fearful lambs that they are the only remaining rampart against the invasion of the bodysnatchers.
I am afraid they will succeed in gathering more chicken voters.
So since everything is possible, we may have that : Fillon-Le Pen in the second round. Or we may not. It will be a very good indication on the state of mind of the French electorate.

Anonymous said...

My own hope is that the officer killed will serve as a symbol of French tolerance, and that on Sunday, the memory of his sacrifice will carry some weight against the forces of darkness. Below, a bit of news about the officer.

FRANCE: Cop Killed In Last Night’s Paris Terror Attack Was Member Of French LGBT Police Officers Group
April 21, 2017 LGBT News, Terrorism

The Independent reports:

The police officer killed by a gunman in Paris has been identified as a man who responded to ISIS’ previous attacks on the French capital in November 2015. Xavier Jugelé, 37, was one of hundreds of officers deployed to the Bataclan as militants massacred 90 people with guns and suicide vests. He returned to the concert hall for a commemorative event almost a year later, telling journalists he was happy to be part of the “symbolic” reopening.

Flag, a group representing French LGBT police officers and gendarmes, posted a photo of the officer on social media with the caption: “We will never forget Xavier. RIP.” Colleagues said he was a member of the 32nd company of the Paris police department’s public order and traffic division. They remembered him as a “committed” officer who was “helpful” and “led a good life”, leaving behind a partner. Friends told Marianne Magazine he had been in the service for six years and also made two trips to help refugees in Greece.

FrédéricLN said...

Thanks for the great coverage of this incredible TV soap opera!

Alexandra Marshall said...

@Anonymous thanks for that posting. That makes my heart ache.

Edouard said...


Bernard said...

Looking very good indeed, thanks to high turnout