Macron bites or will be biting the dust if he does not clean up his act and fast

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NorthReport
Macron bites or will be biting the dust if he does not clean up his act and fast
lagatta4

Macron tried to sell his brand as something "neither left nor right". Thoroughly neoliberal and for underminding workers' contractual and legislated rights, but eschewing the open sexism, racism and openly authoritarian and classist right. Bullshit of course, but the left was in disarray, and most voters backed Macron simply to block the racist, sexist, homophobic etc Front national.

I'm very happy that "Jupiter" has become less consensual, but it will take more social movements to really undermine his "politique-fiction"- a sort of 21st-century Gaullism without the Vieille France echoes, wanting to give the presidency even more powers.

cco

For all that she was an economic Blairite and on the right-wing censorious side when it came to social policy, I do find myself missing Ségolène Royal's idea for a 6th Republic that shifted the balance of power back in favour of a proportionally elected Parliament. It's looking increasingly like the next four or five French presidential elections may between Nazis and whichever non-Nazi made it over the threshold, campaigning entirely on a platform of "Hey, at least I'm not a Nazi!" The Fifth Republic needs to go.

lagatta4

Agreed that Royale was a Blairite social-liberal, but how on earth was she on the right-wing censorious side in terms of social policy? It was the FN and the right-wing of the "moderate" right (pols like Fallon) who clamped down on transients and Roma people, not Royale. And I've never heard of her being homophobic or antifeminist either - women can be antifeminists - think of Maggie T and Marine Le Pen.

cco

Didn't she campaign for censorship of TV and video games before she got into politics? I was last in France in 2006 and remember hearing a discussion of that on the news at the time.

lagatta4

I don't remember that at all, but I probably wasn't interested in the story.  And there are certainly a lot of violent misogynist video games.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The big problem, at thist point, is that there's no strong positive(let alone progressive) electoral alternative to Macron at this point. The only figure on the left who has any real support if Melanchon, and his grouping has so far never been able to make anything close to a strong showing in National Assembly elections.  It may be that the only possible path would be something along the lines of May '68-and even that would have to be coupled with the creation of some sort of party that expressed the values of such an uprising

There was no party in France even remotely like that in '68-I don't think it had occurred to the student-worker alliance that they'd need to be prepared for an electoral test, and the electoral Left in France at that stage had no interest in the agenda of May and no real connection with or sympathy with/understanding of the uprising.  The political Left of France that year(including the same PCF which would go on to endorse Brezhnev's reactionary decision to have Warsaw Pact forces invade Czechslovakia in order to prevent that country from creating a non-repressive form of Communism).  This lack of a "party of the uprising" is one of the main reasons the betrayal of the uprising by the Communist wing of the French labour led to a right-wing landslide in the snap election.

JKR

cco wrote:
For all that she was an economic Blairite and on the right-wing censorious side when it came to social policy, I do find myself missing Ségolène Royal's idea for a 6th Republic that shifted the balance of power back in favour of a proportionally elected Parliament. It's looking increasingly like the next four or five French presidential elections may between Nazis and whichever non-Nazi made it over the threshold, campaigning entirely on a platform of "Hey, at least I'm not a Nazi!" The Fifth Republic needs to go.

Couldn't electoral reform simply be accomplished within the 5th Republic by using Instant Runoff Voting for presidential elections and by using a pr system like STV for legislative elections? I think the U.S. would also be better off using IRV/STV for their elections. That's what Fair Vote USA is supporting.

http://www.fairvote.org

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

JKR wrote:
cco wrote:
For all that she was an economic Blairite and on the right-wing censorious side when it came to social policy, I do find myself missing Ségolène Royal's idea for a 6th Republic that shifted the balance of power back in favour of a proportionally elected Parliament. It's looking increasingly like the next four or five French presidential elections may between Nazis and whichever non-Nazi made it over the threshold, campaigning entirely on a platform of "Hey, at least I'm not a Nazi!" The Fifth Republic needs to go.
Couldn't electoral reform simply be accomplished within the 5th Republic by using Instant Runoff Voting for presidential elections and by using a pr system like STV for legislative elections? I think the U.S. would also be better off using IRV/STV for their elections. That's what Fair Vote USA is supporting.
">http://www.fairvote.org

To answer that, we'd need to know whether the current French electoral system is established by statute or the constitution of the 5th Republic, and if it's a constitutional thing, how difficult it is to amend the 5th Republic constitution.  

Also, since the only reason De Gaulle created the 5th Republic was to make it impossible for a left-wing government to come to power and actually carry out the program it's elected on, what's the point in preserving it?  

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

BTW, French presidential elections are already ON a runoff system, so how much difference would Instant Runoff Voting make in that?  

JKR

Ken Burch wrote:

BTW, French presidential elections are already ON a runoff system, so how much difference would Instant Runoff Voting make in that?  

I think IRV would allow one of the left of centre parties a better chance of winning or at least coming in second place. Unfortunately vote splitting is a problem encountered with two-round single-member plurality voting as it is in the one round version that we use. A party that comes in third or fourth place on the first ballot in an IRV election can win the final ballot of an IRV election but a party that comes in third or fourth on the first ballot cannot win a two-round SMP election. I think in the last French election Le Pen would have come in fourth place using an IRV ballot instead of being one of the two finalists in the two-round election.

JKR

Ken Burch wrote:

Also, since the only reason De Gaulle created the 5th Republic was to make it impossible for a left-wing government to come to power and actually carry out the program it's elected on, what's the point in preserving it?  

I think it might be a lot easier to just tweak the current political system instead of introducing a whole new constitution.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Wanting to change the electoral system so that parties you favour will have more of an advantage will be resisted instantly by everyone else. It would appear you are trying to rig the system in your favour.

JKR

I think the goal of an electoral system should be simply to ascertain the will of the voters. Single-member plurality only does an acceptable job ascertaining the will of the people when there are only two candidates running. When there are more than 2 candidates running FPTP requires more rounds of voting to provide a fair result. So when 3 candidates are running it may require two rounds of FPTP voting to ascertain the will of the voters and when their are 4 candidates running, 3 rounds may be required and so on and so forth. IRV just allows for many rounds to be enumerated at once.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

progressive17 wrote:

Wanting to change the electoral system so that parties you favour will have more of an advantage will be resisted instantly by everyone else. It would appear you are trying to rig the system in your favour.

Yet that's largely what DeGaulle did.

And as to public reaction and effectiveness, one of the most important political movements in British history was the Chartists-a trade union/socialist movement who made a package of electoral reforms called "The Charter" the centerpiece of their campaigns:  here's what The Charter called for

(  source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chartism )

  1. A vote for every man twenty-one years of age, of sound mind, and not undergoing punishment for a crime.
  2. The secret ballot to protect the elector in the exercise of his vote.
  3. No property qualification for Members of Parliament in order to allow the constituencies to return the man of their choice.
  4. Payment of Members, enabling tradesmen, working men, or other persons of modest means to leave or interrupt their livelihood to attend to the interests of the nation.
  5. Equal constituencies, securing the same amount of representation for the same number of electors, instead of allowing less populous constituencies to have as much or more weight than larger ones.
  6. Annual Parliamentary elections, thus presenting the most effectual check to bribery and intimidation, since no purse could buy a constituency under a system of universal manhood suffrage in each twelve-month period. T

Now, they didn't acheive all of those objectives-some Chartists were killed in the fight for the Charter-but most of what they fought for was eventually implemented and paved the way for other democratizing measures, such as women's suffrage.  It's thanks to the partial achievement of the Charter that the UK ever had Labour governments and the National Health Service.  So it is possible to win an arguement for electoral reform, and to persuade the populace as a whole that electoral reform serves the greater good.

lagatta4

Yes, the struggle for universal manhood suffrage certainly played a part in later struggles for voting and other rights for formerly enslaved Afro-descendants, women ... and later still, Indigenous people here.

Many progressive Frenchpeople call for a 6th republic, but that would require at least another mai 68.