[Marxism] French election
d.koechlin at wanadoo.fr
Thu Mar 29 16:14:31 MDT 2012
Ok, well 25, days to go before the French presidential election.
The Socialist Party (PS) is credited with 28% of the vote, Sarkozy with
26%, the far-Right candidate LE PEn with 15% and the Front de Gauche
(Left Front, ex-CP) led by Mélenchon, 13%.
The NPA (ex LCR) will garner 0.5% of the vote, according to recent polls.
The most striking feature of the election run-up so far has been
Mélanchon's rising popularity, due entirely to his amazing rhetorical
abilities. Admirers and foes alike are bewitched by his charisma. "Mark
my words, people ... ARE ... ANGRY ! ANGRY ! They finally, finally,
understand that they have been hoodwinked, lied to, conned by the rich.
Well I say, if you earn more than 300 000 a year, then I will take it
all. Do you hear ? I WILL TAKE IT ALL. 100% taxation. Nobody in this
country should earn more than 20 times (and that is far too much) the
minimum wage which I propose to raise to 1 700. And if you don't like
it, if you refuse to see your perks taken away, then I SAY LEAVE ! YES !
LEAVE ! The workers in this great nation can manage things without you !
LEAVE ! By caping the amount of wealth that capitalists steal, we WILL
TRANSFER BILLIONS BACK TO THE WORKING CLASS. We will create millions of
jobs. Our country will be based on solidarity, not money ! So, I tell
all you greedy executives : LEAVE ! And we will see how much better
things can be run by workers ! I will tax all, all finance-derived
income to the tune of 99% and that will leave us with hundreds of
billions with which to make our lives, the lives of the toiling masses,
infinetly better. Education, healthcare, solidarity, less working hours,
and we, as a nation, will at last be able to truly claim as ours those
beautiful words : LIBERTY - EQUALITY - FRATERNITY !"
All the other party leaders have been taken by surprise by Mélanchon's
sudden so-called "populism". However, even though he has gained 5% in
the polls in one week, it is doubtfull the Parti de Gauche will manage
to best François Hollande and the PS. The PS's new strategy to counter
both SArkozy and Mélenchon is to warn liberal voters that "the RIght
will use the PArti de Gauche's irresponsible extreme populist fiscal
rhetoric as a scarecrow to scare centrist voters into moving to the
right. IT is better to let the Socialist PArty try and get as many
centre-left voters as possible to vote for change, as we all know
far-left voters will end up woting for the PS anyway. SO ignore the
far-left, they will end up voting against Sakozy anyway. The problem is
not to let their antics scare away the centre-left !"
But despite all this, the outcome now seems pretty certain : the PS will
win the next French presidential election. They just really don't want
to promise too much to the far-left, as they know they will need to
implement "responsible austerity measures" come July. What will the
ex-CP's attitude be after the election ? They might try to "cash in"
their electoral success by demanding a cabinet position in exchange for
support from their parliamentary group. Or they might use their
influence amongst unions to "draw a line in the sand" when austerity
measures come up. Either way, Mélenchon is set to become a major figure
in French politics.
PErsonally, I find his clear imitation of Hugo Chavez's flamboyant style
borders somewhat on the personality cult.
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