Monday, April 23, 2012

PolitcsFrance: Prez Elections: Socialists win over Sarkozy's center/r+t in 1st round

France has conducted its Presidential election, resulting as usual in no absolute majority — so a second round is necessary between the two leading candidates emerging from the first round, all others struck from the ballot for the second round which will take place May 6.

France is on the precipice of possibly defaulting on its balance of payments from its national treasury and, on the other hand, its income.  It is the second largest as-yet solvent European nation among those whose national economies in Europe are intertwined with France's.  But the prospect of France being overwhelmed by its sovereign debt is dangerous to the entire West, not just still-solvent European nations.  Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland, and Portugal.  If France moves onto this list, it will affect not only Europe but the whole world.

The present President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, is the best bet for the French to impose the necessary austerities, survive them, and correct the present aggregious imbalance.  There's not much room in this calculus for third parties.  Where will the voters for these smaller parties that competed in the first round of voting know go in two weeks t+m?  Of course, the smaller socialist, trotskyist, and communist elements may succumb to the siren song of François Hollande, who is campaigning on an Obama-l+k "happiness and we-can rhetoric" (we can't even call it a political platform).  But some of those voters will prefer the evem the dreader austerity of arch-enemy Sarkozy, to the smoke-and-mirrors of Hollande.

Let's take a momentary look at the stats for French parties in the lower-house of the French parliament, the National Assembly:

Now the French Senate:

Of the partylets not even (yet) represented in the French parliament we at last come to the foremost distinctively Christian Democratic party:

For Sarkozy the task is to winnow out for his own candidacy as many votes as possible from this cluttered political landscape in a population of 64,800,000.  Without the stats for yesterday's vote, we must deflect to those for those of the last Presidential vote.

Some stats from the 2007 Presidential vote's 2nd round, which Sarkozy won: 
As of January 1, 2011, 63,136,180 people lived in metropolitan France, while 2,685,705 lived in overseas France, for a total of 65,821,885 inhabitants in the French Republic.[2] Thus, metropolitan France accounts for 95.9% of the French Republic's population.
In the second round of the 2007 French presidential election, 37,342,004 French people cast a ballot (meaning a record turnout of 83.97%). 35,907,015 of these (96.16% of the total voters) cast their ballots in metropolitan France (turnout: 85.31%), 1,088,679 (2.91% of the total voters) cast their ballots in overseas France (turnout: 69.85%), and 346,310 (0.93% of the total voters) cast their ballots in foreign countries (French people living abroad; turnout: 42.13%).[3]
The French National Assembly is made up of 577 deputies, 555 of whom (96.2% of the total) are elected in metropolitan France, and 22 of whom (3.8% of the total) are elected in overseas France. — Wikipedia
Bes+ds the left vote and centre-r+t vote for Sarkozy's UMP (Union pour un mouvement populaire into which much of the Christian Democratic party disappeared after its self-secularization), there is the rise of the far-r+t party Front National, led by the redoubtable dawter of its founder, Marine Le Pen, who bested her father's h+est vote-level and received what is considered an 18% of the votes in the 1st round:
A key victory of the night was for the Front National's Le Pen, who came third with around 18% of the vote, beating her father Jean-Marie's record success in 2002, and placing herself firmly at the heart of rightwing politics in France. She said "the battle of France has just begun" and "nothing will be the same again".
The lawyer and twice-divorced mother of three had presented herself as the modern face of her party, trying to strip it of unsavoury overtones after her father's convictions for saying the Nazi occupation of France was not "particularly inhumane".
She had initially stressed economic issues, calling for France to leave the euro, but in recent days returned to her hard-right stance on curbing immigration. At her final rally in Paris, supporters had shouted: "This is our home, our country!"
Sarkozy's chances now hang on bringing over voters from Le Pen. However, not all her voters will automatically turn out for Sarkozy in the second round; there is a strong anti-establishment feeling among many.
Sarkozy gave a defiant speech, going on the offensive and betraying no hint of having been beaten. He styled the result as a "crisis" vote, by a French population which was "suffering". In a clear overture to Le Pen's voters, and the extreme-right motto of loving France, he said: "I call on all French people who put love of their country above partisan considerations, to unite and join me." He vowed to tighten border controls, stop manufacturers from leaving France, make work pay and defend law and order.  — "Françoise Hollande on top but far r+t scores record result in French election," by Angelique Chrisafis in Paris, Guardian UK (Apr23,2k13)
The Christian Democrats are linked to the UMP of Sarkozy, but not dissolved into it.  Notice in the Guardian quote's headline that Sarkozy is not even mentioned, just the two extremes of left and far r+t.
 L+k most of the French press, the English edition of AlJazeera uses Sarkozy's name in opprobrious connotation, "French show their disapproval of Sarkozy" by Yasmine Ryan, AlJazeera (Apr23,2k12).  I think the Christian Science Monitor frames the issue and Sarkozy's problem better, "Will the far r+t be the kingmaker in France's presidential election? (+video)" by Robert Marquand,
CSM (Apr23,2k12):

French President Nicolas Sarkozy told roaring crowds last night that it is “crunch time” now that the presidential election has been narrowed down to a May 6 runoff between him and Socialist challenger François Hollande, to whom he lost by one point in the first round of elections yesterday.
A high 81 percent turnout rate in national elections combined, unusually, with low voter enthusiasm captured something of the political disillusionment. But also the high stakes for the future at a time when five governments in Europe have collapsed over fallout from the ongoing debt crisis. 
Mr. Hollande captured 27 percent of the vote, with Mr. Sarkozy just behind at 26 percent. The election has become a referendum on how the No. 2 economy in Europe – which the International Monetary Fund hinted has the potential to drag down the world economy – will deal with the eurozone crisis going forward. Hollande campaigned for stronger growth policies while Sarkozy has hitched his wagon to the austerity prescription favored by Berlin for the past year.

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