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France watch...
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Lord Beria3



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 4102
Location: Moscow Russia

PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:23 pm    Post subject: France watch... Reply with quote

Thought it was about time to have a French presidential election thread (I can't find another one around).

We will soon find out who the main conservative candidate is and the polls indicate that Fillon will win this weekend.

It is very likely that Le Pen will win the first round in April 2017, which will lead to a Le Pen versus Fillon contest in the second round in May 2017.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/if-francois-fillon-fails-win-over-frances-left-there-will-be-victory-marine-le-pen-1592682

Quote:
Currently still under a state of emergency, facing regular threats from terrorism, not least the uncovering of a foiled attack today, the question of national security will continue to dominate the political stakes. But beyond that, serious questions over the nature of some of France's cornerstone institutions are being posed – Fillon wants to cut public spending by €100bn, a figure not dissimilar, if slightly less vague than the promise of his now main rival on the right Alain Juppe.

Both want to do away with the 35h working week, with Fillon pushing for the European union maximum of 48hours, a proposal likely to deeply anger worker unions – who protested on and off for months over changes to employment laws passed in August this year – seen largely as more favourable to companies and as prejudicial to worker rights.

Fillon wants a referendum on quotas for immigration, he wants to ban the burkini (yes, actually!) and he wants to harden the naturalisation process. Such promises will speak to voters vacillating between the right and far-right, the sort of terrain Sarkozy was keen to try and recoup votes from himself, but it's also a dangerous tactic. Some analysts suggest it only lends further credence to Le Pen's agenda by allowing her party to dictate the terms of the presidential debate.

What's more, Fillon's traditional conservatism will likely alienate many on the left who would otherwise choose to vote for Les Republicains to keep the National Front out. His desire to revisit same-sex couple adoption, a rapprochement with Russia over Syria, and cuts to the numbers of civil servants may rule him out completely.


I would add that Fillon's proposal to sack half a million public sector workers, end the 35 hour working hours rule and embrace savage austerity over the French state is likely to be hugely unpopular with the millions of public sector workers in France.

Whilst the hard-core PC liberal-left will drag themselves to the ballot box to vote for the anti-NF candidate, I do wonder if the many civil servants, terrified of losing their jobs, may end up voting for the statist Le Pen, who has always been opposed to "neoliberalism" and globalisation. I am sure that Marine will position herself as a defender of the statist French state against the arch-Thatcherite Fillon.
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Lord Beria3



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/11/landslide-le-pen-perfect-election-outcome-islamic-state/

Quote:
Following news of the cell’s arrest a senior French counterterrorism official told CNN that there are now more than 15,000 Islamic extremists on their radar ‘and one growing concern was how quickly radicalisation was taking place’. It took Bouhlel two months to become a murderous extremist but Yassine appears to belong to a well-embedded sleeper cell as all but one were unknown to police before the surveillance operation began. The Islamists’ dismay at the cell’s discovery will be tempered by the revelations about Yassine, and the fear they’ll strike into the French; there are 15,000 extremists on the radar but how many are under it?


France has a huge and growing crisis of radicalized Islamists terrorism. It is conceivable that further attacks will increase Le Pen's support going into the election.
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Catweazle



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Islamists are enemies of freedom and democracy, yet we dilute our democracy and give up our freedoms to fight them.

How can we win this war ?
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Lord Beria3



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/11/28/fill-n28.html

Quote:
Everything suggests that Fillon’s nomination as LR candidate will boost the vote for Le Pen’s National Front (FN) in the presidential and legislative elections. Nicolas Sarkozy won the presidency 10 years ago by appealing to anti-Muslim prejudice and to the FN voter base. Voters at that time preferred to vote for Sarkozy rather than FN candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine’s father, because Sarkozy presented himself as a “democratic” candidate, in contrast to Jean-Marie Le Pen, who was infamous for statements denying the Holocaust and trivializing the Nazi occupation of France.

Fillon seems to be using Sarkozy’s playbook. However, the record of Sarkozy and, even more, of Hollande over the last 10 years has eliminated many obstacles to a massive shift of votes from the more traditional right to the FN. The same period has also seen evolution toward the extreme right of social democratic and petty-bourgeois politics.
The PS government under Hollande, by legitimizing the legal arsenal of the Vichy regime and the Algerian war, proposing a policy to deprive alleged terrorists of nationality, and imposing a state of emergency, set up a police state framework that blurs the distinction between traditional parties of government and the FN.

Marine Le Pen has taken over the FN, carefully avoiding any display of pro-Nazi sympathies and giving top party positions to individuals tied to ex-PS member Jean-Pierre Chevènement, such as FN Vice President Florian Philippot. These ex-Chevènement supporters seek to give the FN a populist and “social” façade. The nomination of a violently free-market LR candidate will assist them as they demagogically pose as the only alternative to the pillage of the people by the banks.

Already yesterday, Philippot was attacking Fillon, declaring, “Fillon is clearly a free-marketer, clearly for austerity.” Attacking Fillon’s “extraordinary violence,” he added, “Fillon’s program is harsh: 500,000 public-sector jobs cut, especially in rural areas, and a hike in the sales tax… If you examine what Fillon would do, it means 12,500 fewer police and paramilitary security forces and 700,000 more unemployed.”
Yesterday, the Canadian press warned that a possible Le Pen-Fillon run-off in May could prove very close. “It’s not clear that Fillon is an attractive character for the left in French society to rally around,” Paul Diggle of Aberdeen Asset Management in London told the Globe and Mail. “I wouldn’t be willing to give you any better odds than 50-50 on Le Pen versus Fillon.”


Interesting WSWS take on Fillon's chances.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/francois-fillons-surprise-surge-in-the-french-presidential-race/article33056080/

Quote:

While his anti-immigration rhetoric has won over right-wing voters and rattled Ms. Le Pen, Mr. Fillon’s economic prescriptions could prove a tougher sell. He has called for a Thatcheresque overhaul of government, proposing to cut 500,000 public-servant jobs (almost 10 per cent of the work force), reduce the power of unions, slash spending by 100 billion euros over five years and reform the health-care system. That could be unpopular in a country where 22 per cent of all workers have public-service jobs and government spending accounts for 57 per cent of the gross domestic product, among the highest in the OECD group of developed countries where the spending average is 40 per cent of GDP.

His economic policies present a sharp contrast to Ms. Le Pen, 48, who has a strong anti-austerity agenda that includes increasing government spending, hiking wages, boosting pensions, controlling consumer lending rates and withdrawing from the European Union. Those are all measures backed by many on the left who may end up siding with Ms. Le Pen in a runoff against Mr. Fillon.

“It’s not clear that Fillon is an attractive character for the left in French society to rally around,” said Paul Diggle, a senior economist at Aberdeen Asset Management in London. “I wouldn’t be willing to give you any better odds than 50-50 on Le Pen versus Fillon.”

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Lord Beria3



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/11/francois-fillon-wants-wage-war-french-state/

Quote:
a poll published in Liberation in which 64 per cent of respondents said they were against the raising of the retirement age from 62 to 65. The same newspaper earlier in the week ran a front page on which they superimposed Margaret Thatcher’s hair on Fillon’s face; hatred of Maggie runs nearly as deep among the French left as it does the British.

All of which will give Marine Le Pen an opportunity to reposition herself in the coming months as the anti-Establishment candidate and the champion of the poor, downtrodden and left behind, à la Donald Trump during the American election. ‘Wild globalisation has found its candidate,’ declared Florian Philippot, the National Front deputy leader on Sunday night, while Le Pen broke off campaigning on the island of Reunion, one of France’s overseas departments, to mock Fillon as the ‘spokesman for the very worst European Union ideology,’ adding: ‘Never has any candidate gone so far in submitting to the ultra-liberal demands of the European Union.’

So while Islam and the economy will continue to be central themes during the coming months of campaigning, France’s relationship with the EU is likely to feature prominently with Le Pen’s promise to hold a ‘Frexit’ referendum if elected. Fillon can expect to be attacked regularly by the National Front as posh, privileged and in thrall to the Brussels bureaucrats. Sound familiar? Fillon would be wise to avoid labelling Le Pen’s sympathisers ‘swivel-eyed loons’.


http://www.liberation.fr/france/2016/11/02/les-propositions-de-la-droite-ne-font-pas-rever-l-opinion_1525773

French article but clearly shows that there is majority support in France for a socialist/statist economic platform. Could have big implications in the coming French presidential election.
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Lord Beria3



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://forecastingintelligence.org/2016/12/04/a-gallic-dark-horse-emerges/

My latest blog article on Le Pen's prospects.
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Little John



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is an interesting article LB. Thanks.
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Lord Beria3



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/03/marine-lepen-france-rendez-vous-history-globalists-looking-us-fear-video/

Quote:
Addressing supporters in the northern French city of Lille on Sunday afternoon, Marine LePen announced a ‘‘rendez-vous with history’’, a fast-approaching day of reckoning between patriotism and globalism which would see France join a world-wide revolt against supra-national ‘’oligarchs’’ and their version of the world.

Presenting herself as the anti-system candidate, LePen emerged in striking red to deliver an address scathing of the failed promises of globalism, offering a message of national renewal reminiscent of President Trump’s ‘’Make America Great Again.’’

Acknowledging the important role of the north in her party’s recent successes, LePen opened with a nod to the history and renowned good humor of the region, a former industrial powerhouse and mining center ‘’martyred’’ by a globalization which had caused the closure of its factories and the ruination of once vibrant communities.

In a veritable declaration of war on supra-national government, LePen spoke of the countless families which had suffered because of ‘’market-based redundancies and savage off-shoring of jobs’’.

Globalists were working ‘’against everything that constrains planetary free trade’’, she said, warning of the advent of a post-national world where peoples removed from their national traditions and cultures were enslaved to the law of volatile money markets. Whilst promising the sun, moon and stars, globalism had brought only empty promises and would be rejected for seeking to reduce the individual to an expendable, throwaway product.


What's striking about MLP's message is that it is very much a hard left message, anti-globalisation, anti-finance and if you are from these French Rust Belt towns, who could blame you for feeling angry about what thirty years of neo-liberal policies have done?

This is a truly fascinating race...
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UndercoverElephant



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If she wins then it is all over for the EU as currently understood. Brexit was a serious body blow. Le Pen winning the French presidency would be a knock-out punch to the head.
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clv101
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UndercoverElephant wrote:
If she wins then it is all over for the EU as currently understood. Brexit was a serious body blow. Le Pen winning the French presidency would be a knock-out punch to the head.

Yeah, and I expect it would be better for the UK if she did win and the EU as currently understood ended. 'Something' would replace the EU and there would be an opportunity for the UK to be involved in its creation.

Looking at round two polls however, it seems highly unlikely she'll win.... but who pays attention to polls anymore.
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UndercoverElephant



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:
If she wins then it is all over for the EU as currently understood. Brexit was a serious body blow. Le Pen winning the French presidency would be a knock-out punch to the head.

Yeah, and I expect it would be better for the UK if she did win and the EU as currently understood ended. 'Something' would replace the EU and there would be an opportunity for the UK to be involved in its creation.


Yes.


Quote:

Looking at round two polls however, it seems highly unlikely she'll win.... but who pays attention to polls anymore.


The more the mainstream media report on polls that show it is highly unlikely she will win, the more reminiscent it gets of Brexit and Trump. All the same factors are in play.
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UndercoverElephant



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In fact, even if she just wins the first round and then narrowly loses the run-off, it may still just delay the inevitable for the EU. If the result is close then it will hang like the Sword of Damocles over the heads of both the incoming French president, and the EU. If they continue to ignore and deny the political forces that led to Le Pen almost winning, then she'll win next time, and they'll be well aware of this. It's all about momentum, and right now that momentum is very much with Le Pen and against the EU.
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johnhemming2



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Her father was in the run offs previously.
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clv101
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnhemming2 wrote:
Her father was in the run offs previously.

Indeed, and lost badly, Chirac won with 82% as left-wing voters supported the conservative candidate.

Le Pen can this time, but it requires significantly asymmetric turnout.
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UndercoverElephant



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:
johnhemming2 wrote:
Her father was in the run offs previously.

Indeed, and lost badly, Chirac won with 82% as left-wing voters supported the conservative candidate.

Le Pen can this time, but it requires significantly asymmetric turnout.


In the cases of both Brexit and Trump, the result turned on unusual patterns in turnout. People who would normally have been expected to back the more liberal, "globalist", BAU position, were more likely to be apathetic and not bother to vote at all. At the same time, people who hadn't seen a ballot paper for years - or ever - felt sufficiently motivated to vote for the anti-establishment, "populist nationalist" position. A repeat of this phenomenon in France could result in a Len Pen victory.
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