French election - 1st round

French election - 1st round

Marseil
Marseil

April 23rd, 2007, 1:01 am #1

In case, this is of interest to anyone here, just a few lines about the result of the 1st round of the French presidential election.

Marseil.


April 23 (Bloomberg) -- Nicolas Sarkozy, the French governing party's presidential nominee, and Socialist Segolene Royal advanced to the runoff from yesterday's first round, opening a two-week campaign sprint with appeals to the middle ground whose votes will likely determine the winner.

Sarkozy, who won the first round by courting supporters of anti-immigration candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen, immediately turned his attention to those who backed self-styled centrist Francois Bayrou. Royal sought support in the May 6 runoff from those whom pollsters are calling the ``anyone-but-Sarkozy'' voters.

Sarkozy took 31 percent of the vote yesterday and Royal, who would be the nation's first woman president, 25.6 percent, meaning the 18.5 percent who voted for the third-placed Bayrou may determine the next French president. While Royal may have to win more of those votes, Sarkozy is lining up against an opposition that says he's too divisive and too confrontational.

(...)
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... fer=europe
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 23rd, 2007, 1:26 am #2

OK, we thank you for that Marseil. I have the impression that there is a liberal/socialists trend all over the world right now. That is certainly the case here in the US where 14 years of Conservative Republican control of congress has ended. I think Britain is also shifting to the Labor party.
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Bob
Bob

April 23rd, 2007, 2:35 pm #3

I think the "turn-around" in American politics . . with Democrats/Liberals making a comeback and Republicans/Conservatives losing ground . . . is more an anti-Bush/anti-Iraq-war sentiment than a turning away from Conservative principles. Many Conservatives (myself included) think George W. Bush and Congressional Republicans have turned away from their Conservatism. Conservatism is about limiting government intrusion into citizens' lives, taking moral stands, and practicing fiscal responsibility.

Bush's Administration has gotten us into a huge fiscal mess, and various laws and agencies that supposedly protect us and secure our liberties are increasingly impinging upon our freedom.

Also, political expediency has resulted in many Republicans joining the ranks of Democrats in support of things traditionally Liberal positions (e.g., backing away from the abortion issue, allowing religious symbols to be taken down and shuddered away, failing to take the necessary steps to secure our borders against the illegal immigrant invasion). No matter which party holds offices, the Liberal agenda has largely succeeded because career politicians on both sides on the aisle are more concerned with protecting their lucrative positions and much less concerned with taking stands.

But, if you gave American Conservatives a true Conservative candidate, they would flock to them in a minute.
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Marseil
Marseil

April 23rd, 2007, 3:55 pm #4

OK, we thank you for that Marseil. I have the impression that there is a liberal/socialists trend all over the world right now. That is certainly the case here in the US where 14 years of Conservative Republican control of congress has ended. I think Britain is also shifting to the Labor party.
Just be careful with words....

"Liberalism" in the US means "a political ideology that seeks to maximize individual liberties" (from Wikipedia). Which on a political standpoint would mean more or less "Democrat".

Not all the French have realized we live in a free market economy. So most of them will call "Liberalism" a free market economy where business and major corporations have more ocntrol then governements. This is closer to the conservative party, or the Republicans in the US.

The current British governement is Labour, and the expected next one is to be Labour as well. But the French would object they make very liberal (in a French meaning) politics. French supporters of Segolene Roayl (Socialist party) expect her to have policies that would be very different from Tony Blair's.

I'd qualify the French party system to be a bit archaic compared to other Euroepan countries. In most European countries, you get a large moderate rightist party, and a large moderate leftist party, often called social-democrat. In France, we just missed the opportunity to build a strong social-democrat party.

Among other oddities of the French system, this election had 12 candidates, including 3 trotskyists, 1 communist, 2 extreme-rightists (fascists), ... all of which have ceased to exist in most European countries.

Marseil
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Bob
Bob

April 23rd, 2007, 4:14 pm #5

"French supporters of Segolene Roayl (Socialist party) expect her to have policies that would be very different from Tony Blair's."

I would think that French leadership has been very different from their British counterparts for a long time, at least from an American point of view. The French appear much less inclined to support the United States on actions we think are needed to stem terrorist activities, while the Brits (under Blair, and for at least the past 20 years) have supported most U.S. actions against terrorism.

The difference might be due, in part, to the large numbers of Muslims immigrants residing in France (I believe you have the greatest concentration of Muslims in Europe, correct?), and the desire (even the necessity) of avoiding stances that might anger your Muslim population. while Great Britain also has a Muslim population, they seem less concerned with disturbing them by taking actions against Islamic terrorists.

What is your view on this?
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 23rd, 2007, 5:12 pm #6

I think the "turn-around" in American politics . . with Democrats/Liberals making a comeback and Republicans/Conservatives losing ground . . . is more an anti-Bush/anti-Iraq-war sentiment than a turning away from Conservative principles. Many Conservatives (myself included) think George W. Bush and Congressional Republicans have turned away from their Conservatism. Conservatism is about limiting government intrusion into citizens' lives, taking moral stands, and practicing fiscal responsibility.

Bush's Administration has gotten us into a huge fiscal mess, and various laws and agencies that supposedly protect us and secure our liberties are increasingly impinging upon our freedom.

Also, political expediency has resulted in many Republicans joining the ranks of Democrats in support of things traditionally Liberal positions (e.g., backing away from the abortion issue, allowing religious symbols to be taken down and shuddered away, failing to take the necessary steps to secure our borders against the illegal immigrant invasion). No matter which party holds offices, the Liberal agenda has largely succeeded because career politicians on both sides on the aisle are more concerned with protecting their lucrative positions and much less concerned with taking stands.

But, if you gave American Conservatives a true Conservative candidate, they would flock to them in a minute.
Well I'm looking at the growing public support for government involvement in healthcare, environmental issues, abortion rights, even gun control in the wake of the Virgina Tech shootings. Politicians are no longer afraid to talk about liberal causes that would have been political suicide only a few years ago. And the Republican's support for liberal issues which you called “political expediency” is in fact a recognition that public attitudes are changing and they better change with them.
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Bob
Bob

April 23rd, 2007, 5:47 pm #7

The views of the electorate, that is? Do you think Americans' positions on such issues (e.g., health care, environmental issues, abortion rights, gun control) have changed much in the past 10 years? I have my doubts.

Regarding universal health care insurance: On the face, most Americans would probably say its an idea whose time has come . . to look at it, at least. They hear how many people, especially the children, who are uninsured . . and the elderly people who reportedly must choose between food and their medicine . . and they say, "Surely we can do better than this." But, when you start talking costs, and the losses that those who currently have health insurance might face (i.e., less coverage) and people then aren't so sure if they want that. The conservative viewpoint is that there are some things that individuals need to provide for themselves -- that government can't do it all. Also, there are legitimate concerns with having government providing things like health care coverage, which opens up the Pandora's box of, "Now that we are paying for it, we are going to have more say in your health habits." Americans already get brow-beaten about not eating this, or about the need to exercise more, so I don't think they would like their government telling them more insistently what they must and must not do vis-a-via behaviors that impact health.

Regarding environmental issues -- yes -- I think Americans are (finally, in the eyes of the rest of the world) taking global warming and the need to conserve finite resources more seriously. Still, it comes down to: What is this going to cost me? Yes, I can turn the thermostat down, avoid plastic (or paper) bags in favor of reusable ones, and I can seek more a fuel-efficient car. But, neither should govt start to tell people (in their minds) that they cannot own a gas-guzzling SUV or muscle car, or that they must substitute flourescent light bulbs for incandescent ones. Americans are accustomed to make their own choices, so I doubt that so of these recommended measures will sit to well with them.

(cont'd on new post)
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 23rd, 2007, 6:20 pm #8

I think attitudes have changed Bob- especially when it comes to healthcare. Yes, the US probably has the best healthcare system in the world. The only problem is that it is the most expensive healthcare system in the world and a large percentage of our citizens can simply not afford it anymore. A simple hospital visit these days will cost you thousands of dollars. Drugs and medical procedures cost Americans many times what they cost citizens of other countries. I think people are recognizing something’s got to be done. What good is excellent medical care if you can’t afford it?

I think one area where a lot of savings can be made is going to a one-payer system to cut down on the huge paperwork overhead that is required for doctors and hospitals to deal with multiple insurance companies. Just doing this will cut costs significantly without effecting the medical care you get at all. The only people who oppose this are the insurance companies and their lobbyists.
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Bob
Bob

April 23rd, 2007, 7:57 pm #9

Well I'm looking at the growing public support for government involvement in healthcare, environmental issues, abortion rights, even gun control in the wake of the Virgina Tech shootings. Politicians are no longer afraid to talk about liberal causes that would have been political suicide only a few years ago. And the Republican's support for liberal issues which you called “political expediency” is in fact a recognition that public attitudes are changing and they better change with them.
Regarding abortion: Despite the occasional fuss that abortion opponents make, I think this issue was essentially settled a long time ago by Roe vs. Wade and subsequent affirmations by courts of that decision. Conservative pols do well to pass a restriction at the state level, which subsequently gets ruled unconstitutional and is struck down. Even the recent ban on "partial birth" abortions affects relatively few cases . . and when you consider what the procedure entails (suctioning out the fetus' brain and crushing its skull), it really shows me how firmly in control the pro-abortion forces are in this country. The Liberals won on this one . . no change and no debate needed.

Gun control: Yes, every time a new mass shooting occurs, it renews the debate over what sort of added gun control is needed. Nonetheless, the public largely stands behind the Second Amendment and law-abiding citizens' right to bear arms. Note that this right has expanded in recent years with the passage of "concealed carry" laws that allow individuals to carry firearms on their person for personal protection. For every person calling for greater restrictions, there are other people who assert that victims would have stood a better chance if they had been "packin'" No question -- the Conservatives won that one.

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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 23rd, 2007, 9:12 pm #10

I don’t think the abortion issue is settled at all Bob. Roe vs Wade can be overturned at any time. Just this past week the S.C. passed a ruling significantly curtailing abortions which has alarmed many abortion-rights advocates. Many social rulings today are being decided by 5-to-4 votes so only one more conservative appointment can swing the court against Roe vs Wade and other personal rights issues. I understand liberal Ginsburg is in failing health and is just trying to hang on until the end of Bush’s term.

As to gun control- it’s not a all or nothing thing. Yes- people should have the right to have guns for hunting and personal protection- but do they need automatic military-style weapons that can mow down dozens of people in seconds? I think not. And I think this is where the new argument lies. If the V.T. shooter had only a conventional handgun many more people would be alive today.
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