Sunday, May 6, 2007

Election Day in France

It s election day in France, May 6, 2007.

For the last few days, corporate media, and the state run media which is controlled by the Chirac government has sent out a barrage of information that, the admittedly right wing, Nicholas Sarkozy will easily defeat his Socialist Party adversary, Segolene Royal.

What seemed like a good showing for Royal in the debate, given her aggressive pro-people proposals has been spun another way. It seemed the goal of Sarkozy was simply to not lose his temper and she his real self. He seemed to have accomplished that,i.e., forget his right wing positions. It reminds of the US debate where the goal of George Bush was to merely make it through the debate without completely tripping over himself.

The International Herald Tribune said that over 100 polls had Royal losing. There weekend article, they don t publish on Sunday, read like a post election Sarkozy victory article.

Labor at the Center

One major goal of Sarkozy is to cut back the power of labor. The right to strike is written into the French constitution and the labor federations use that right to influence their own working conditions, and, also national policy.

The CGT, the largely Communist Party influenced labor federation, and the CFDT, the largely Socialist lead union, have warned Sarkozy to expect major street demonstrations if he wins and he tries to impose restrictions on their constitutional rights.

Royal has been quoted by the Tribune as saying, "It is my responsibility today to warn people of the risk of his (Sarkozy) candidacy concerning the violence and brutality that would be unleashed in the country."

All of Europe is looking at these elections. France has often been the one country in the European Union to resist neoliberal policies.

So; at 8pm tonite a winner will be proclaimed; That is 2 pm NYC time.

Impications for US elections

Yuo can be sure that the Giuliani camp is looking gleefully at the hard, tough law and order positions of Nicholas Zarkozy. Zarkozy's racist comments following the disturbances of a couple of years ago were reminiscent of Giuliani's racist actions and comments while he was mayor of NY.

The Hillary Clinton camp will also be scrutinizing the election since thas the first time a woman had a chance to be elected president of France. (Note: French women gained the right to vote in 1948.) Clinton is in the same position in the US.

Both Royal and Clinton come from the right wing sides of the respective parties.

George Bush & Sarkozy

The one great irony is that Sarkozy is a public admirer of US president George Bush. As Bush's popularity in the US goes to all time lows, Sarkozy likes him even more. This love of Bush has been put aside in the past couple of weeks by Sarkozy.

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