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French Elections Sunday: What's Your Wish?

French Elections Sunday: What's Your Wish?

Apr 20th, 2007, 06:24 PM
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French Elections Sunday: What's Your Wish?

I know that many Fodorites have tuned into the French Presidential elections, the first round of which is to be voted on this Sunday. Polls have the three leading candidates in kind of a dead head, with Sarkozy slightly ahead.

Though Sarkozy has been leading the polls for months, lady Royale and upstart Beyroud have closed the gap - and an incredible 40% of the French electorate are said to be undecided. One of France's ultra-star football stars just came out with a tirade against Sarkozy to persude immigrant voters to not succomb to his charms. After all Sarkozy labelled 'banlieue' youths scum and thugs after the riots of a few years ago.

The race is so close, to get enough votes to be the top two vote getters in order to get to the 2-person run-off later, Sarkozy even hopped the Eurostar train to London's Waterloo station where he held a campaign rally for the largest ex-pat French voters abroad anywhere.

So 1- who do you want to win, and why if you feel like it and

2- which two do you predict will prevail in the first round and advance to the run-off?

Moi - want: Royale
predict: Royale and Beyroud in the run-off.

Now what do you think?

Vive la France, vive la Republique!
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 06:39 PM
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I am not so sure about Royale;
she seems charming and to the left of center but she has made a few gaffes.
I have a feeling Sarkozy may win in a run off.
Who wins will not influence our plans - we are off to Nice next week!
Apr 20th, 2007, 08:17 PM
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My wish is that OUR elections would be over on Sunday!

I don't think Segelene Royale will win...although I once thought she was a shoe-in.
cabovacation is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 10:19 PM
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Sarkozy has made quite a few gaffes (find out about his ones about paedophiles) but they haven't been reported as widely as the ones by Royale.

My concern is that he thinks a lot of both Bush & Blair (which suggests a poor judge of character) and the way he courts the racist vote.

I think that if elected he'll do for France what Bush has done for the US
alanRow is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 01:31 AM
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I understand that the French President doesn't exercise nearly the same power as his or her American counterpart, but the more knowledgeable posters here might be able to comment on that.

Myself, I've never voted for a right-wing candidate here, and unless I lose more grey cells than I expect to as I age I doubt that I ever will. I've told my wife and children to have me sent to the knackery forthwith if that ever looks like happening, and that seems reasonable to them. So as a matter of principle I wish Ms Royale well.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 02:00 AM
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This is a make or break election for France. If they vote for Royal it will be the end of them. They will be voting for more of the same and they are going nowhere - all their brightest yound peple are coming to London and this willsimply tell the remainder to jump on the Eurostar.

Sarkozy does at least understand the mire that France is in. He has the right sort of ideas to save it - but whether he'll get them past the enarques is another matter.

Don't be suprised to see Le Pen do well either - polls always under estimate his support.
audere_est_facere is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 02:41 AM
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I'd like to hear what the female youth from those banlieue have to say, and preferably in a fashion that allows them to truly speak freely. So far the news covers mainly the male half, perhaps because they are the ones involved in riots, in the main. So, I'd like some confirmation (or refutation) from the SOURCE, if you please, about their feelings on their life there. I am disturbed by reports (some from source, some not) that not a few of these women are being virtually walled up alive, and living a chador-shrouded, medieval-era existence right there in northern Paris. I'm not at all happy about reports of their being taken for 'vacations' back home, only to return with a husband they had no idea they were going to acquire when they left. In short, there might well be 'intra-racism', for want of a better term, as well as 'inter-racism.'

Sarkozy is a mixed bag and a bit of a loose cannon, which does worry me. On the other hand, audere est facere has already said it - France has deep problems. Forty per cent unemployment in the banlieue isn't just a social problem, it's an economic one.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 03:34 AM
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It's not Royal's gaffes that matter: it's her vacuous claptrap that substitute for policy. Though her policies are a 100% guarantee France will turn into an even greater mess, while still exerting an even more illiberal influence in Europe than it has for the past 50 years.

If she survives to the second round, the only young intelligent Frenchpeople who won't migrate to Britain will the lazy sods who want a cushy job in the public sector. And the chances of any reform in the EU will disappear for the next seven long years.

For all his flaws (and calling rioting scum "canaille" is simply being honest), Sarkozy has to be the one
flanneruk is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 03:42 AM
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I have a view on the French presidential elections, but this is not the appropriate forum on which to discuss it.

The debate here has already taken a nasty turn.

Let's get back to dealing with travelling in Europe.
Padraig is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 04:25 AM
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Neil, I agree with you! I evn go further: never vote for anyone but those on the LEFT! And much more so when that candidate is a WOMAN!

GO ROYALE!!!!!!!!!!!!
Brazilnut is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 05:08 AM
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"while still exerting an even more illiberal influence in Europe than it has for the past 50 years.

Please enlarge - what exactly do you mean by illiberal?

Are we talking liberal in the sense that it once meant (and still does it some circles). That is, capital rules and is not the government's job to interfere or regulate. Let business get on with it and set the rules to suit themselves. Is that what you mean?

Or are you using the word as it sometimes applies to social policy?

One must never forget that it was a Liberal (with a capital L) who introduced the Private Member's Bill that legalised abortion in the UK.

David Steel. A brave and good man.

I think we should be told.

Personally, I admired France's stand against the Iraq War. And if Sarkozy is a Bush arse licker then - I really hope France has more sense that to choose him.

Vive l'Europe.
chimani is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 06:15 AM
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The problem for all of them is, as with the US system, that if they can't get a majority in Parliament (Congress), there's not a lot they can substantively change apart from foreign policy.

The tradition is that the winner calls a parliamentary election to try to get that majority if it isn't already there.

Sarkozy's problem is that, although the existing parliamentary majority is dominated by his party, he's the kind of man who could start a fight in an empty room, with plenty of enemies in his own party. The existing majority also depends on the party of which Bayrou is a leading member.

Royal's problem is that she took her party's nomination largely against its leadership, which would dominate if it won a majority in parliamentary elections, so the extent to which she might have "Blairite" ideas (so far the new ideas are to do with the constitution and political process rather than economics and employment law) would be still more limited.

Bayrou's problem is that he is from a minority party and little prospect of establishing his own parliamentary majority. For all his talk of creating a "government of all the talents", his party's record has almost always been one of ultimately supporting the Gaullist/conservative party.

So the prospect is for institutional deadlock.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 06:59 AM
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<I have a view on the French presidential elections, but this is not the appropriate forum on which to discuss it.

The debate here has already taken a nasty turn.

Let's get back to dealing with travelling in Europe>

Well my feeling is i like to be a well informed traveller - getting below the veneer of the casual traveler oogling the famous cathedrals but knowing little of the culture they are in. This goes hand in hand with travel to me.

The debate has turned nasty? seems like a very amiable debate so far to me so i see little of that.

Padraig - your post here could qualify for being a troll, as i understand the Fodor's sense of the word.

It amazes me that folks will take time to say 'this doesn't belong on a travel forum' - well just pass it by - others like me may find Fodor's a superb forum for learning about the politics and culture of a country so when we go there we get a fuller experience than what museums and churches we've seen.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 07:20 AM
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PalenQ, you trolled for a political discussion on a travel forum, and you got it.

I have seen other online groups wrecked by people going further and further from the core purpose of the group.

As to your advice that I should simply pass it by: why the hell should I have to cut through off-topic stuff in order to participate in a travel forum? And why should on-topic posts be pushed out of sight by those who take undue liberties with what is broadly understood to be the purpose of the forum?
Padraig is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 07:20 AM
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I will be voting for Royal, because the president represents the country to the world while the government ministers are doing most of the work. Therefore, Royal's relative inexperience does not bother me one bit -- her team is extremely experienced.
Sarkozy has lost all hope of running the country before even the first round of the election. So many people despise him so deeply that even if he wins the presidency, he will lose the legislative elections when every other political party unites against him. He could end up being president while Royal could be prime minister, and she would be running the country. (Just a fantasy -- she would never accept that position, but François Hollande might.)
As for the myth of the best and the brightest seeking refuge in the UK, I am just wondering why there are just a few little French golden boys and all of the others are waiting on tables.
kerouac is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 07:51 AM
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Sarkozy free markets
degas is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 07:57 AM
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Following the campaign, it strikes me that there are 11 left wing candidates, one centrist (the UMP are not right wing at all in US or UK terms) and one crypto fascist and not one is discussing the economy.

The left are simply going to carry on fleecing business and the general population with taxes and over-regulation and do nothing to enable improved economic performance to pay for it.

Royale is kind of an invention, none of the PS old guard being electeable, they dug up a personable and attractive candidate from nowhere (controversial!).
I have yet to hear her say anything substantial.

Sarko has the nads to change things, and if calling someone who sets fire to buses "racaille" isn't a fair description, I don't know what is.

That said, as with the CPE, if Sarko does win and does anything to upset the status quo, the whole country will take to the streets. A no win situation.
waring is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 08:40 AM
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I have never forgotten watching the 1995 French presidential elections on TV with a group of friends in Paris. It was Chirac's first election as presiden. There was the constant carousel of political figures making the rounds of all of the TV stations for the endless election night debates.

There were two 'foreigners' among us (most of my friends would say '3 foreigners' and count me in the lot, but since I have always had a French passport, I refuse the label in France) -- a Swiss and a German. There was one debater who absolutely enthralled both of them -- the former Minister of the Environment, Ségolène Royal. She absolutely flattened Jean-Marie Le Pen, as well as RPR tenor Alain Juppé. Both the Swiss and the German exclaimed "How come she didn't run for president?!? She has everybody else beat!" I am therefore anxiously awaiting the presidential debates, assuming that Royal makes it to the second round.

As a footnote, I would also like to mention that on the Times Online site, it is mentioned that 28,000 French citizens permanently emigrated to the UK, while 42,000 UK citizens permanently emigrated to France. France, land of opportunity?
kerouac is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 09:18 AM
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By "illiberal" I mean what the word means in English: not being liberal. I understand that Americans have distorted the term "liberal", and that some people confuse "liberal" with Liberal.

But I mean "not consistent with liberal principles of political tolerance and open markets".

Royal is illiberal on both counts. She's so protectionist, she'd almost make the US Democrat party blush (though of course that's impossible, since they take shamelessness to a fine art). And that protectionism, of which France has been the strongest proponent in Europe, doesn't just freeze out new jobs in France: by subsidising Europe's agriculture, it impoverishes the world's poor almost as spectacularly as America's subsidies to the cotton industry. It closes Schengen's frontiers to the world outside the rich EU states.

Worst of all, it's been the priome source of European isolationism on horrors like Bosnia, Kosovo and Darfur.

On a separate note: there's no way of knowing hown many people migrate between Britain and France, since the borders are unmonitored. But a walk round London will show that the Franch migrating here are young people unable to get a job in France. A walk round the Dordogne will show the British migrating there are the middle-aged who've made their money already.

I know which I'm happy to see the back of, and which I'd be seriously worried if they were leaving my country.

Now if you'll all excuse me, I'm off the Land of the Free for an hour or two. I'll be back in a day or so to see how this discussion has got on without me.
flanneruk is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 10:44 AM
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This is actually travel related, kind of.

I am in the French West Indies where French legislation is somewhat bendy, but I am told that in Metropolitain France the bars close on election day.

Is this so? Never heard of such a thing.
waring is offline  

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