French Elections/Politics

Discuss events that have an impact on you and the world today. A home for honest, serious, and open discussion.

Re: French Elections/Politics

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Wed May 09, 2012 4:01 am

Crazedmongoose wrote:The curse of every centre-left party is trying to hold together a coalition of well off urban social progressives who are economically centrist at best, and the socially conservative working class. You need both to win but you can rarely satisfy both over a long enough period.

Generally I find that the former (urban professional social progressives) are mostly after an impression of competency and vision, rather than specific policies. But they're a lot quicker to desert if things go wrong. But you constantly need professionalism mixed with a strong inspiring vision, which is difficult to sustain with the wear and tear of daily governance and the invention of the modern media cycle... also doesn't hurt if you have a charismatic leader.


This is precisely what makes the urban professional social progressives so dangerous, and so quick to follow media-savvy demagogues like Navalny and Le Pen. Sarah Palin might have been painted as a 'populist' by the media, and she may have had definite appeal to a certain swathe of Middle America, but keep in mind that she was essentially a political creation, the pampered project of a handful of Beltway insiders. She was actually tailored to suit a fundamentally bourgeois mindset: precisely this need for 'star power' rather than down-to-earth policy. Obama, to a certain extent, fits the mould as well.

Interestingly, though, Hollande did best in the countryside, particularly in the countryside where langues d'oïl are not spoken: in Bretagne, in Aquitaine, Auvergne, Poitou, the Pyrenees and Basque country. On the other hand, Le Pen and Sarkozy both performed best in their primaries in the north of France: Champagne, Alsace, Lorraine, Orléans and the Loires, the Île-de-France region outside Paris (with Le Pen having, oddly, base of support on France's southeast coast). I think Hollande should take the hint that the patois-speaking, conservative French countryside may be the best base of support he has; and maybe rural folk are actually adults who appreciate more substance and less show in their politics.

Crazedmongoose wrote:The latter meanwhile are easier to appease but when they stray BOY do they stray far. In Australia the huge problem we have currently with the Labor working class base is a high level of xenophobia (which I always find the strangest because surely it's Christian to accept and welcome desperate refugees?) and homophobia, and also a huge skepticism towards environmentalism and to a lesser degree, feminism/secularism/civil libertarians.


See, here's my problem.

My core principles are economically leftist - largely because of my religious principles of social justice. But oddly enough, though feminists, secularists and civil libertarians generally care deeply about justice when it affects their particular interest cohorts, I have seen very little evidence that they care very greatly about justice for anyone else. Marriage as a sacred institution is a very important aspect of the struggle going on right now in the African-American community to foster greater levels of social capital within that community, yet the secular / gay-rights agenda to erect an impenetrable brick wall between religion and the institution of marriage provides no consideration of this struggle. And then they - mostly white, mostly urban and mostly upper-class - blame African-American communities as backward or insensitive when they express scepticism of the gay-rights movement; and further have the gall to appropriate from and against them the language and emblems of the civil rights movement.

Feminism is the same way. I have a great deal of respect for some feminists, a limited amount for some others and zero for a great many more. Mary Astell, Dorothy Sayers and Dorothy Day are three feminists with whom I have generally found a broad base of agreement, but some strains of feminism have a strange way of collapsing either into a destructive zero-sum form of identity politics, or into an alter-patriarchy which succumbs all too easily to capitalism and neoconservatism.

The environmentalism thing somewhat confuses me, though. I have it on fairly good authority that farmers (real, honest-to-God farmers, not agribusinesses or Frankenfood) were the first - and most consistent - environmentalists. Why would you think the working classes, in particular the rural working classes, are anti-environmentalist?
Some more blood, Chekov. The needle won't hurt, Chekov. Take off your shirt, Chekov. Roll over, Chekov. Breathe deeply, Chekov. Blood sample, Chekov! Marrow sample, Chekov! Skin sample, Chekov! If I live long enough... I'm going to run out of samples.
User avatar
WeiWenDi
Hedgehog Emperor
 
Posts: 3832
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:09 am
Location: L'Étoile du Nord

Re: French Elections/Politics

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Wed May 09, 2012 5:14 am

Okay there's a distinction between the rural working class and the urban/suburban working class. With the exception of Hollande, you see not many centre-left parties which enjoys high support amongst farmers (due both to centre-left parties embrace of social and economic liberalism in the 80's-90's), it's more amongst urban/suburban working class. It's more them I'm talking about than farmers. They're the ones you see who do wild vote swings from BNP/Front National to Labour/Socialist. And in that case the skepticism towards environmentalism is two-folds:

1) Environmentalism being seen as anti-industry. ie. coal mining towns' antipathy towards wind/solar advocates. Also things like a price on carbon's negative effects on high emitting (ie. manufacturing) industries

2) General antipathy against the inner city elite.


But oddly enough, though feminists, secularists and civil libertarians generally care deeply about justice when it affects their particular interest cohorts, I have seen very little evidence that they care very greatly about justice for anyone else.


Unfortunately you happen to be right in certain cases, but I wouldn't say it's the majority of cases. Most active feminists I know are generally also economically left wing because they fit gender inequality within a broader narrative of class. (Actually this is probably a sample bias as most feminists I know I know from left wing organisations)

I think if you're starting from the basic point of "all people should have equality of opportunity and access, as well as rights to their belief, privacy etc etc." then it's fine. The problem is if you start out politically involved by trying to right a particular injustice, then it can end up pretty effed up (ie. radical feminists who got in the game to for only women and end up hating transgendered people).


This is precisely what makes the urban professional social progressives so dangerous, and so quick to follow media-savvy demagogues like Navalny and Le Pen.


I don't know that this is true re: Le Pen. It's probably true on people who can completely reinvent themselves, like Navalny or Iran's Mousavi but I don't think it's fair to compare either of those countries with Western democracies which is what I'm talking about. I'm sure the left-right paradgim is a lot different in those countries.
User avatar
Crazedmongoose
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1509
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:10 am
Location: Sydney, Aus

Re: French Elections/Politics

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed May 09, 2012 11:34 am

WeiWenDi wrote:He is a wonk rather than a grandstanding wannabe-celebrity, though, which does give him a certain degree of dignity and gravitas when compared to, say, Marine Le Pen.


Is wonk the right term? He seems like a party figure with technocrat tendencies then a wonk?

And:

- he does want French troops out of Afghanistan by the end of the year,
- he wants to protect what is left of France's public sector,
- he wants to erect a separation between lending and investment banks,
- he wants to reinstitute a fair retirement age (60 for those who have been in the workforce since age 18),
- he wants to protect minority language groups and cultures in France (such as Breton, Basque, Corsican, the various inhabitants of the Arvèrnomediterranèu-Occitan-Aquitanopirenenc linguistic continuum)
- and he wants to employ lower corporate tax rates for small and local businesses than for large multinationals.

All of which are awesome.


For me
-Meh. Great for French troops, possibly not so good for French diplomacy.

-Now that's a statement I never thought I would hear. I was always under the impression that France's system of government left it with a very large public sector. Maybe it's due to the Anglo model but the French system is seen as freakingly large. Was one article, I forget where, that argued Hollande and Milband were looking to move their systems to more German like governance in terms of public/private.

-Yay though I am not convinced it is the golden bullet it gets advertised as.

-How does he plan to ensure this gets funded? Or is the French pension system better prepared then the British ones or do the French die a lot earlier?

- Eh, yay

-Yay.

Crazedmongoose wrote:The curse of every centre-left party is trying to hold together a coalition of well off urban social progressives who are economically centrist at best, and the socially conservative working class. You need both to win but you can rarely satisfy both over a long enough period.

It's a tough juggling act.


Isn't the French Socialist party notoriously divided most of the time? I'm just wondering if Hollande may have problems at his back when things going wrong. Including his ex-girlfriend.
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 15745
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Re: French Elections/Politics

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Thu May 10, 2012 1:33 am

France is especially bad in it's left being divided, in Australia we even view the UK left with horror due to the fact that Lib Dems and Labour splits left of centre votes. In Australia the Greens split Labor votes but it ultimately comes back to us via preferencing.

Regarding public sector, I always find discussions about the public sector to be one of the most grating things about politics.

There is no inherent virtue of the private sector over the public sector, or vice versa for that matter. Yes, there is a trend that private sectors are more efficient, in certain countries and industries. But culture and the market matters massively. In Australia we privatised many of our state owned industries and managed to increase productivity three folds without harming consumer prices, well then that's wonderful. But then that doesn't mean privatisation will always be more efficient. Look at South Korea and Japan where the public industries are sometimes even more competitive than the private ones, or look at Medicare in America which charges 2% admin fee compared to the 30% of private insurers.

Is France's public sector unnecessarily large? I actually don't know and I don't think most people can without actually carefully looking at a) how equitable it is and b) how efficient it is when compared to similar private enterprises.

Like in the US they have this obsession with cutting public programs, and no doubt a lot of public programs are probably wasteful (agri business subsidies for products nobody needs? above market price weapon contracts for weapon systems the army isn't requesting?), but then take something like the FDA where for a drop in the ocean this understaffed agency is working to keep the entire nation safe, or something like the NEA where for a drop in the ocean it's making investments into art and culture works which could potentially have huge value (I'm sure back in the days when the NEA's predecessor was funding Arthur Miller there were an equal number of people who thought he was a useless modern trash artist and that the money spent on him was wasteful, and that Americans will never get a return on him) then those spending should be kept, if not expanded.
User avatar
Crazedmongoose
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1509
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:10 am
Location: Sydney, Aus

Re: French Elections/Politics

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu May 10, 2012 6:12 am

Regarding public sector, I always find discussions about the public sector to be one of the most grating things about politics.


You should see what happens anytime a government thinks a private company/the private sector might have anything to offer the NHS.
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 15745
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Re: French Elections/Politics

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Thu May 10, 2012 7:08 am

The reverse is also true but it's less pervasive given the neo-classical economic consensus. I know some hard lefties who just advocate nationalisation as the answer to everything.
User avatar
Crazedmongoose
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1509
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:10 am
Location: Sydney, Aus

Re: French Elections/Politics

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat May 12, 2012 3:19 pm

This may be oversimplifying it but seems Hollande's victory has given Germany’s Social Democrats a boost and they are starting to cause Merkel's attempts to get the fiscal pact through Germany a problem. Is there nothing Hollande can't do? :wink:
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 15745
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Re: French Elections/Politics

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun May 20, 2012 12:21 pm

Hollande has given Ségolène Royal the job of being Speaker of parliament, which she claimed she has always wanted, and five of her entourage have been given posts. Whether that will keep her loyal if things start going wrong...

Jean-Marc Ayrault, former Mayor of Nantes, has become Prime Minster, a choice which some have said is to please Germany (he tuaght German ergo is pro-German, just the kind of incisive analysis one looks for in the media :roll: ). Only five ministers have government experience so some concerns there. 17 men and 17 woman in the posts, Hollande and his minsters cutting their own pay and doing a clamp-down on "perks". Dominique Bertinotti has already announced plans to legalize gay marriage.
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 15745
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Re: French Elections/Politics

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:04 pm

The Socialist Party gains a good majority in Parliament but the argument between Ségolène Royal, who lost to Olivier Falorni in battle for seat, and Valérie Trierweiler wasn't edifying to watch and is helping cast a shadow over what should be a happy victory. National Front gains two seats, including for Marion Maréchal-Le Pen though her aunt Marine Le Pen failed, while François Bayrou, the leader of the centrist MoDem, has failed to get reelected
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 15745
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Re: French Elections/Politics

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:05 am

Marine Le Pen is complaining that, after only losing by 118 votes in Hénin-Beaumont, she was defeated by vote-rigging and wants a recount.
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 15745
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

PreviousNext

Return to Current Affairs

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Copyright © 2002–2008 Kongming’s Archives. All Rights Reserved