Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Kingmaker

Bonjour ma petite fille!

Politics and politics alone seems to fill the air this afternoon. Boris Yeltsin's funeral has just taken place, a lady with whom I exchange pleasantries when out with the dogs is scared Alex Salmond might soon be Scotland's First Minister and France's kingmaker refuses to back Royal or Sarkozy.

Interesting, in the first round of the Presidential election in France, they had an almost record turnout, approximately 85% - the highest level since 1965.

But why? And why do elections here in the UK attract so very few voters?

Here, around election time, people are often heard saying, "I'll not bother voting. What's the point? All the parties are the same."

All parties, all Presidential candidates are not the same in France.

M Sarkozy, a self-confessed Anglophile and admirer of Tony Blair, is a modern day Margaret Thatcher. He proposes bringing radical changes to France, the way the french machine works and how it's administered. Distinctly right wing changes. Limits on immigration, a tough stance on delinquents and limiting the role of the state.

Mme Royal, offering France her first woman President, leans decidedly to the left. She offers increases in spending and the role of the state, promising the citizens of France the ability to rely on it, playing a sizeable role in their daily lives.

Similar questions faced Britain throughout the 1980s and 1990s. They were finally answered and laid to rest in the 1997 general election. With no more questions left, there are fewer and fewer Brits prepared to answer with an X in the ballot box.

M Bayrou claims he cannot publicly back Royal or Sarkozy as they veer to the extremes, which is true. Never did a British political leader and/or party receive such a resounding endorsement as Mr Blair and the Labour Party in 1997 - because they recaptured the centre ground. Difficult questions had long since been answered. Britain was about to enter a new phase of compromise, centrist policies and a middle way. France needs to settle some pretty important questions like the role of the state, taxation and spending before she, too, can enter a similarly accommodating phase. Meanwhile, there is real and necessary debate in the country.

Britain is on a set course. France could go anywhere.

Who will win? They will decide.

Sarkozy is seen as volatile, unbalanced and more concerned with money than people. Royal's reputation is for putting the needs of France and her people first, regardless of cost. That cost worries some people along with her lack of experience in national politics.

It's going to be an exciting few weeks, dear reader.

If Bayrou's followers split between Sarkozy and Royal and if Le Pen's loyal band attach themselves to Sarkozy, Sarkozy will be France's next President. This will be followed by M Sarkozy's policies being implemented by government and rioting in the streets of France. Mark my words, bird, I forecast the fucking future.

It's all a bit messy, n'est-ce pas?

6 comments:

Moncrief Speaks said...

Thorough analysis, elegantly conveyed. You should write a regular column for The Guardian.

Minge said...

How did you work out I'm a lefty?

matty said...

I always hope for the left to win out.

...I don't like the right side of things. conservative.

suspect.

Moncrief Speaks said...

>>>How did you work out I'm a lefty?


Mary, please.

Salty Sailor said...

Who should I vote for?

Minge said...

Any non-nationalist party with a chance of winning, Alan. Yes, even if it's Tory. Though in West Lothian, I'd vote Labour.

On Thursday, I'm giving my first vote to Labour and my second vote to Margo MacDonald. I can't be too explicit with the council poll, though, as there are a myriad of choices.