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France's 2017 Elections


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#1 sierraleone

sierraleone

    All things Great and Mischievous

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 11:48 AM

The very little I know about the French Presidential election, and what I knew prior to today could be summed up thus:

- Establishment: The "insider" candidates from each mainstream party got turfed out in the first round of voting, so the last two candidates to go head to head in the final round were both outsiders in one sense or another.
- Candidate Le Pen: She, during her run for President, temporarily stood down as leader of a non-mainstream political party National Front, a far-right  protectionist  anti-elite  anti-immigration  party of sorts.
- Candidate Macron: Macron is a neophyte to elected office (I think he served as an appointed civil servant once, but has been an investment banker for the last 10ish years). He seems to be a neo-liberal, globalist, centrist.
- Background: So, the election pitted these two ideologies against each other, against the backdrop of France's national situation (economical, social, national security/terrorism), and the international backdrop of Brexit and President Trump. Whoever ended up winning may not be able to get their agenda through smoothly as parliamentary elections are next month, and the President needs to work with parliament.
- Result: Macron won, by a landslide.

Macron winning has been touted to be a rebuke or rejection of the far right in France, but it doesn't seem so simple, and nor does this seem to a firm victory for the French, my reading today suggests. I guess it depends on what your measuring stick is though.

This Reuters article I read says that despite the stakes
- there was a near record low turnout for France (25.4% abstained)
- there was a record number of blank or spoiled ballots (11.5%)
- at 34% Le Pen nearly doubled the results the far-right National Front got in the 2002 election.
- a recent poll indicates about 59% of the people who voted Macron in did so to keep Le Pen out, not get Macron in. Only 21% of those who voted for him indicate his campaign/policies spoke to their concerns. 56% of Le Pen voters said she spoke to their concerns.

Additionally, Macron plans to overhaul France's labour market to tackle slow growth and rising unemployment, simplify the tax and pension systems, pare back regulations, reduce corporate tax cuts, cut the public sector, and spend more on education. Only the last one would give me few concerns (as it could end up in upper/middle management instead of front line staff) if I were French. The rest, coming from someone from Investment Banking does not warm me over thinking he will tackle these in a positive/progressive manner.

Edited by sierraleone, 08 May 2017 - 11:49 AM.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


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