Greetings from France and the first round of the crucial French elections.
The first round ofthe French elections are over. 80% voting.....highest since 1965.....Since 2002, every person turning 18 years old is automatically registered to vote. Amazing.
With very right wing Sarkozy heading into the 2nd and last round with about 30% and Royal a very right of center Socialist being his opponent, the progressive people of France are very worried about, for example, their world class health system. Sarkozy has said he will privatize it; and Royal is mostly silent on the matter.
The left will be supporting Royal and Le Pen's 11% voters will be suporting Sarkozy. But Bayrue, the 2nd right wing candidate, who got about 18%, and, whose voters are right wing socialist and Sarkozy types is holding out any endorsement. What is feared is that his supporters will move Royal further to the right.
The left's vote is about 12% and added to Royal's vote is about, at the most 40% going in to the 2nd road on May 6th.
The French CP and all other left groups are meeting this week to plan actions and strategies to defeat Sarkozy.
The French CP got 2% of the vote, their lowest.
As you have read in the newspaper, Sarkozy is an open admirer of Bush and is opposed to lefting the minimum wage. He is against the 35 hour work week.
Royal supports the 35 hour work week, the current health system, lifting theminimum wage, but the pressure from the right will be great.
May Day is next Tuesday, the turnout andmilitancy shouldbe very indicitive of the left's mood.
More to come.
Mike Tolochko, From France, the Southern Part near Narbonne.