Je Suis Charlie

2015-01-11 13.13.22

Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love. – Martin Luther King, 1958

French Presidential Election: Preliminary Result Monday Morning

Marine Le Pen - "Convention présidentiell...
Marine Le Pen - "Convention présidentielle du Front national", 25 février 2007, Lille / France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is still no final result but here is where the candidates stand this morning according to Election Resources:

  • François Hollande (PS) 28.6% (10,159,385)
  • Nicolas Sarkozy (UMP)  27.1% (9,600,543)
  • Marine Le Pen (FN)  18.0% (6,397,778)
  • Jean-Luc Mélenchon (Left Front)  11.1% (3,951,795)
  • François Bayrou (MoDem)   9.1% (3,229,482)
  • Eva Joly (Green)  2.3% (806,504)
  • Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (Arise the Republic)  1.8% (638,938)
  • Philippe Poutou (New Anti-Capitalist)  1.2% (408,335)
  • Nathalie Arthaud (Workers Struggle)  0.6% (201,425)
  • Jacques Cheminade (Solidarity & Progress) 0.2% (88,115)

It looks like that Sarkozy is closer to Hollande then first suggested by the exit polls. But still, with Hollande on over 10 million votes, it means that Sarkozy will have to work very hard to win over some of the 6 million that voted for Le Pen.

There is no doubt that Marine Le Pen did something historic yesterday, getting both the largest vote for La Front National and ensuring that they will be a loud voice of opposition if Francois Hollande does win the 2nd round on May 6th. She has ensured the the FN will be a force to reckon with in upcoming elections as the smaller parties, especially the Europe Écologie–The Greens who did so well in the 2009 European Parliament elections, failed to garner a significant number of votes for Eva Joly.

It will be a disappointing night also for Jean Luc Mélenchon who hoped to poll better then Le Pen on the night, but his endorsement of Hollande (along with Joly) there is over 3 million extra votes for Hollande.

Francois Bayrou who managed to come third in 2007 is in a disappointing 5th. The long time liberal presidential candidate who’s votes were so important in the last runoff will again be very important this year as both Sarkozy and Hollande attempt to woo them at the centre, while also wooing those at the extremes. It will be a hard balancing act.

French Election Results: Exit Poll

Day 17
Day 17 (Photo credit: Herve Kabla)

The first exit poll results of the French Presidential Election were released at 7pm (8pm CET) this evening and are as follows (there was a ban on reporting exit polls before the close of polls):

  • François Hollande 28.4% (PS)
  • Nicolas Sarkozy 25.5% (UMP)
  • Marine le Pen 20% (FN)
  • Jean-Luc Mélenchon 11.7% (Left Front)
  • François Bayrou 8.5% (MoDem)
  • Eva Joly 2% (Green)
  • Nicolas Dupont-Aignan 1.8% (Arise the Republic)
  • Philippe Poutou 1.2% (New Anti-Capitalist)
  • Nathalie Arthaud 0.8% (Workers Struggle)
  • Jacques Cheminade 0.2% (Solidarity and Progress)

The second round of the voting will be between Socialist Francois Hollande and UMP’s Nicolas Sarkozy on May 6th.

Over the next two weeks they will be fighting for the votes of those who don’t progress.

The big surprise is of course Marine Le Pen’s vote being about 20%. If Sarkozy can capture most of that he could snatch victory on May 6th.

There is some good news for Hollande with both Eva Joly of the Greens and Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the Left Front have both called on their supporters to back Hollande in the second round.

More as the results come in.

French Presidential Election, 2012

Nicolas Sarkozy, a watermark was present that ...
Nicolas Sarkozy, a watermark was present that said « Photo : Jean-Louis Aubert ». (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With so much focus on the US Republican Race we seem to not notice the election over on the mainland that will have more effect on us then the result of that election. I am of course talking about the French Presidential Election. The first round of voting is on April 22nd. The current President, Nicolas Sarkozy, faces 9 opponents in his hope of re-election.

Those running for the Presidency are:

  • Nicolas Sarkozy (Union for a Popular Movement UMP)
  • Francois Hollande (Partie Socialiste PS)
  • Jean-Luc Mélenchon (Left Front)
  • Marine Le Pen (Front National )
  • François Bayrou (Democrat Movement MoDem)
  • Eva Joly (The Greens)
  • Philippe Poutou (New Anticapitalist Party)
  • Nathalie Arthaud (Workers’ Struggle)
  • Jacques Cheminade (Solidarité et progrès)
  • Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (Arise the Republic DLR)

Much of the focus is on the main front runners, President Sarkozy and Francois Hollande. They are the two expected to make it through to the second round on the 6th of May.

The campaign is providing some interesting ideas, with a wealth tax, withdrawal from the Schegen zone and renegotiation of the Fiscal Compact all being brought up despite the financial difficulties that France is in.

France who was recently downgraded from its AAA has a big problem with its public finances. While it is not as in dire straits as Italy or Spain, it is something that it does need to keep an eye on. With its public debt standing at 90% of GDP and public spending reaching 56% GDP, France is trying to have it all without income to support it.

This of course is going to be the big issue facing the next French President. How France can continue to have a Swedish style social welfare system while not bringing in enough taxes due to manufacturing moving abroad due to uncompetitive pricing and while its population continues to show distrust for the free-market.

The next President is going to have to break a lot of promises if they want to avoid France being the cause of the next Euro crisis.

France and its Non-“French” Residents

France is a bit of bother in the last week. Firstly there is the expulsion in mass of its Roma Residents, which has gotten France into trouble with the European Commission. Then the French Senate voted  to ban the Niqab and Burka.

France could be brought to the European Court of Human Rights, if the French Constitutional Court upholds the ban.

This is not setting a good example in my opinion. The French are showing their intolerance of the “the other”. While I disagree with Commissioner readings “holocaust” comment, I think she has a point, she just used the wrong word.

France is heading down the wrong path. Its mass expulsions of Roma reminds me of the excess’s of former Dictators like Idi Amin, whoo expelled over 800’000 asians from Uganda in September 1972.

The fact that France is expelling nationals of another Member State is also a worrying thought.

One the issue of the Niqab and the Burka. While I am not a fan of those items of clothing, I think if a woman thinks she needs to wear them to follow her religion or be part of her culture and heritage, then she should be free to wear them. She should not be forced to wear them.

This episode again highlights the intolerance that ignorance breeds. If people were more open to learning about others. To understanding why they wear these veil’s then there would be more tolerance and understanding.

The laws to ban these and the expulsion of the Roma are all knee-jerk reactions that will ultimately backfire. I hope the see French see sense and do the right thing.

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