As it was in the U.S. presidential race, I would not have a candidate today if we were eligible to vote in France. I did vote for Trump and would, if voting in France, vote in the final round for Macron. The vote would be cast, however, strictly as opposition against the less suitable candidate.
In France’s first round, I had been projecting a Macron victory, despite my clearly stated preference for potential Thatcherite and Les Republicains candidate Francois Fillon. Fillon campaigned in favor of Margaret Thatcher-ish policies including reducing the size of the state bureaucracy and freeing employees from the choke-hold of a socialist government. Remember, Macron was a staunch member of Francois Hollande’s historically unwelcome Socialist Party, which most in France disdain mightily.
Fillon blew up his own chances for victory by having to run a campaign tinged with scandal. The accusation was that family members were on the government payroll sans duties beyond check cashing. Certainly not a very presidential strategy. Now the obvious correct candidate (Fillon) is out, to be replaced by a progressive youngster who appears most unlikely to have the backbone to clean out France’s radical Muslim nests, nor prevent further immigration from the radical Muslim world. This sad lacking will fail France and help lead to an extension of the frightening terrorism that has gripped France for a number of quarters, including the most recent shooting. Here on the ground in Paris, Debbie and I are already seeing the results– depressed retail activity and the ringing phone calls from cancelling American tourists.
For the final vote, Francois Fillon has announced he will support Macron, who ran, as expected, strongly in round one. Ms. Le Pen will continue Front National’s hard line anti-E.U., anti-Muslim reach throughout Macron’s presidency. Fillon’s conservative support should give Macron an edge in the run up to the final vote, which takes place in one week.
The Guardian fills in some details on Emmanuel Macron:
At 39, Macron is by far the youngest person to ever have a chance at the French presidency and has risen to the fore despite never having stood in any kind of election before.
He styled himself as a progressive maverick who was “neither left nor right”, economically liberal, pro-business but leftwing on social issues. He did not have the backing of a traditional political party, had no constituency or firm voter base and was a complete unknown four years ago.
When presidential opponents questioned his standing and experience – as they were quick to do after the Champs-Elysées attack on police last week – he responded that France’s complacent, ineffective political class and the lacklustre political parties which have clung in power for decades had shown experience meant very little. He promised a “democratic revolution” against the “vacuous”, moribund French political system he felt voters had come to loathe.
Read more here.