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France's Surreal Presidential Race
The New York Times ^ | January 11, 2012 | JOHN VINOCUR

Posted on 01/12/2012 10:40:42 PM PST by Cincinna

What kind of country would France be if it abandoned its 35-hour work week (it actually kills jobs), set up an affirmative action program for its Muslim immigrants (featuring a zero-tolerance framework for their assimilation), and scaled back its ambitions for Europe as a global political force to more attainable goals?    Answer: An imaginary one. There are no signs of it happening.

Roughly 100 days before voting in an elimination round April 22, and then in a final ballot on May 6, the French presidential election campaign so far involves back and forth on possible variations in French comfort — tinkering with, adjusting and applying new coats of paint to familiar and nonthreatening aspects of national life.

There’s something surreal here. Neither Nicolas Sarkozy, who has been a brash president for the last five years, or the presumedly bland François Hollande, named Socialist candidate on Oct. 16, is talking about the perspective for painful change.

You can’t argue about its necessity. In 2012, France lives with:

•An unemployment rate of 9.8 percent, a looming recession, and a likely loss of its triple-AAA credit rating.

•A report last year that detailed the emergence of Muslim immigrant communities resembling parallel societies, while a Le Monde poll showed that 61 percent of the French regard Muslim integration as failed because of its refusal by the immigrants themselves.

•A hardened notion among the French that, with the E.U. debt crisis, their country has clearly become a subordinate player to Germany.

For all of France’s accomplishments and uniqueness, a sense of lost identity and decline resonates.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: election2012; europe; france; sarkozy
LATEST POLLS:

SARKOZY 26% HOLLANDE 28% MLP 17.5% BAYROU 12%

Stay informed  about the French elections in detail.

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1 posted on 01/12/2012 10:40:50 PM PST by Cincinna
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To: Cincinna

Muslims need to be purged from western society and sent back to the desert hells which spawned them.


2 posted on 01/12/2012 10:43:56 PM PST by ZULU (LIBERATE HAGIA SOPHIA!!!!!)
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To: Cincinna; afraidfortherepublic; mojo114; seenenuf; LucyT; Miss Didi; Think free or die; ...
The race seems to be tightening between Sarko & Hollande, with Sarko gaining ground. The new guy in the race, François Bayrou, a centrist is gaining as well. Marine le Pen who is the do far right she leftist candidate is deflating

And of course there is Sarko's secret weapon:


CARLA BRUNI-SARKOZY, FIRST LADY OF FRANCE


3 posted on 01/12/2012 10:58:14 PM PST by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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To: Cincinna; afraidfortherepublic; mojo114; seenenuf; LucyT; Miss Didi; Think free or die; ...
The race seems to be tightening between Sarko & Hollande, with Sarko gaining ground. The new guy in the race, François Bayrou, a centrist is gaining as well. Marine le Pen who is the so far right she's leftist candidate is deflating

And of course there is Sarko's secret weapon:


CARLA BRUNI-SARKOZY, FIRST LADY OF FRANCE


4 posted on 01/12/2012 10:58:46 PM PST by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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To: Cincinna

Coming this Nov to a nation near you: bigger government, more socialism - just like France. :)


5 posted on 01/12/2012 10:59:58 PM PST by Tzimisce (Never forget that the American Revolution began when the British tried to disarm the colonists.)
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To: Cincinna

François Bayrou describes himself as “Clintonian”, as in Bill Clinton:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B02E3D61531F93BA35750C0A9619C8B63&pagewanted=all
“”’I am a democrat, I am a Clintonian,’’ he said. ‘’I am a man of the ‘third way,’””


6 posted on 01/12/2012 11:08:10 PM PST by iowamark
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To: iowamark

If Sarkozy as the incumbent can barely at this point scrape 26%, he is toast. That suggests a ceiling and the others will work somehow to remove him.


7 posted on 01/13/2012 1:59:07 AM PST by sunmars
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To: Cincinna

Sarkozy now in deep trouble...could possibly not make the run off. Now that would put a smile on my face.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-13/sarkozy-just-ahead-of-le-pen-in-french-presidency-election-poll.html

Sarkozy Just Ahead of Le Pen in French Presidency Election Poll

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is just two percentage points ahead of anti-immigration candidate Marine Le Pen less than four months before the presidential election, an Ifop poll for Paris Match showed.

In the first round, to be held April 22, Socialist candidate Francois Hollande would finish first with 27 percent, followed by Sarkozy with 23.5 percent and National Front candidate Le Pen on 21.5 percent, the poll published today showed today.

The top two vote getters then go to a decisive run-off on May 6, in which Hollande would beat Sarkozy 57 percent to 43 percent, according to the poll. Ifop polled 943 voters Jan. 9- 12. No margin of error was given.


8 posted on 01/13/2012 2:02:54 AM PST by sunmars
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To: sunmars

The polls will change dramatically before the election. Sarkozy is not perfect, but his main socialist and facist opponents are all to the left of him.


9 posted on 01/13/2012 2:27:03 AM PST by iowamark
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To: iowamark

with a bit of luck, another challenger will happen, De Villepin says he’s going to run. That will knockout Sarkozy in one go.


10 posted on 01/13/2012 2:39:26 AM PST by sunmars
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To: sunmars

“If Sarkozy as the incumbent can barely at this point scrape 26%, he is toast.”

I’m not sure; France has a true multi-party system.


11 posted on 01/13/2012 3:27:35 AM PST by kearnyirish2
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To: sunmars
France is different. It is rare for the eventual winner to poll much more than 30% in the first round.

Last time around he got 31% in the first round and 53% in the general.

The Socialist that time got 26% in the first round and 47% in the general.

Right now he's effectively running about even with the Socialist.

12 posted on 01/13/2012 4:46:52 AM PST by wideawake
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To: Cincinna

Hilarious! Bruni is so Botoxed she looks like a freak!


13 posted on 01/13/2012 4:51:15 AM PST by BunnySlippers (I LOVE BULL MARKETS . . .)
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To: sunmars

I have to disagree. There were 12 candidates on the ballot in 2007. In the first round Sarko got 31%, Royal 27%. This year I think there are even more.
If he gets through to the 2nd round, it is a whole new ball game: Sarko, center right v Hollande, Socialist. ,


14 posted on 01/13/2012 11:05:06 AM PST by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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To: iowamark

Bayou is a centrist, a Social Democrat. He has a lot of appeal, a genial personality, an inner force, and he is a traditional Catholic with a large family.
Far too left for me politically, but likeable on a personal level.


15 posted on 01/13/2012 11:08:35 AM PST by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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To: sunmars

Marine le Pen is no answer for France. The French have flirted with fascism before, and it never turns out well.
She isn’t anti-illegal immigration, as we conservatives understand it, she is just xenophobic, and racist. She believes in big state corporatism, the marriage between big government & business- AKA fascism.
She has absolutely no governing experience. No foreign policy experience, and more importantly these days, no economic experience, knowledge or competence.
MLP, who claims to be on the Right, is twice divorced, living with a man who is not her husband.
She is her father, noted Holocaust denier Jean-Marie le Pen, in drag.


16 posted on 01/13/2012 11:18:34 AM PST by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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To: iowamark

Excellent point! Everyone believed that Hollande was a shoe-in. Not so fast! The more people see him, his elitism, coldness, distance, as just another elitist technocrat with no leadership experience, his numbers are dropping.
MLP is no alternative. See my post above.


17 posted on 01/13/2012 11:23:05 AM PST by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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To: sunmars

Villein is odious, even to the French.
As to MLP, she isn’t right wing at all. She shares almost all her positions on givernment’s role with the far Left. No surprise that most of her support is coming from assorted Communists, Trotskyites, and othe big government totalitarian Statists.


18 posted on 01/13/2012 11:27:37 AM PST by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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To: wideawake

Thanks, Wideawake for stating the facts concisely and better than I could.


19 posted on 01/13/2012 11:30:14 AM PST by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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To: BunnySlippers

Bunny, the pic of Carla above was taken a few years ago, before she had any cosmetic enhancements. She was 40 in the picture, and has always been a very beautiful women.
The Botox is more recent, and looks terrible.


20 posted on 01/13/2012 11:34:22 AM PST by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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To: All

H/T Art Goldhammer @ French Politics. Keep in mind le Monde is Socialist. Goldhammer is a liberal. 
  An interesting analysis of le Monde’s analysis of the election at this point. 
“The paper (le Monde) examines the timing of shifts in presidential vote sentiment over 5 previous election cycles, going back to 1981. In all of them the crucial turn seems to occur around mid-January to early February. And what we see now is two striking convergences: Hollande’s early lead in the first round is evaporating, as his vote converges with that of Sarkozy. 
  Marine Le Pen has begun a slow decline from her peak, which came in late November, while François Bayrou has been rising sharply since early November.

These trends are contradictory in import. Le Pen’s slide, if it turns out to be real, obviously profits Nicolas Sarkozy. But Bayrou’s rise is ambiguous. As in 2007, voters may be turning to the centrist because they have never liked Sarkozy but, having looked over the Socialist candidate, aren’t pleased with what they see and want to keep their options open. On the other hand, the Bayrou total may be swelled by center-rightists who, when faced with the moment of choice, can’t accept another five years of Sarkozy. No doubt there is a mixture of both in the MoDem vote, and we won’t really know how it shakes out until the second round.”


21 posted on 01/13/2012 11:57:08 AM PST by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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