Sunday, April 29, 2007

Le Battle Royale

The French election will be held on May 6, and the results are anyone's guess at this point as pro-American reformist Nicholas Sarkozy and far left Socialist Segolene Royal both compete for the centrist voters. The Weekly Standard has a good article examining the candidates and handicapping the race:

In March, in a pizza parlor near the Boulevard St-Germain, an American journalist suggested to the sociologist Louis Chauvel, author of a bestselling book about the decline of the French middle class, that French voters often seemed not to know their own best interests. "You will never understand anything about French politics," Chauvel interrupted, "if you try to understand it rationally."

The first round of France's presidential elections, held April 22, proved him right. Out of a dozen candidates, two now move to the second round, slated for May 6. The brash former interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy took 31 percent of the vote. Ségolène Royal, the beautiful common-law wife of the Socialist party chairman, who rose out of her party's second tier to prove herself a politician of uncanny charisma, was just behind him at 26. Going into this election, polls showed 70 percent of French people thought their country was in decline. Forty percent professed to be undecided just days before the election.
Read the article here.

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