Thursday, March 15, 2007

French Election Update

Up and down, Bayrou suddenly surges for no apparent reason other than he says nothing of actual substance. He seems safe to many, a sure choice to stop Sarkozi and LePen, but Segolene Royal fights on, surging ahead, now virtually neck and neck again with Sarkozi and Bayrou has lost a few points.
Le Pen, as we all knew he would, got his signatures. He plays the same role in every election, the martyr, a victim of prejudice, the common French man trampled by the intellectuals...His influence has banalized racist hatred. Sarkozi is wooing his sizable block by trying to lure them with his talk of creating a new Ministry of Immigration and French Identity. To the far right, it doesn't go far enough. To the rest of France, he has appalled them with the vision of a new fascist ministry to deport first and ask question later. In an even more disturbing vein, the political journal, Marianne, reported that 1,200,000 French will be voting with new machines which have not been talked about at all in the news. The voting process is controlled by the Minstry of the Interior. Mr. Sarkozi is the Minister of the Interior and the scope of his abuse of power in this election is just beginning to come to light. When the inevitable protests about the machines began, The Ministry was quick to point out that they were supplied by the same company that had been supplying the voting boxes for years, so "they must be trustworthy"...uh, huh....This is an issue that has just appeared and the furor is just beginning.
The death of Lucie Aubrac today brought the images of French Resistance in WW2 back to the minds of the public. Lucie was 94 and a national hero. She and her Jewish husband were historical scholars and professors when the Germans invaded. They both fought and organized the resistance in the area around Lyon. When Raymond was captured by the Germans, she bravely walked into Klaus Barbies office and took the neccessary papers to effect his release. After the war, she fought for womens rights and the rights of minorities. For the next week, she will be eulogized and remebered for who she was and what she stood for. Another unplanned bump in the smooth machine of Sarkozi which has developed some real problems lately!
As I type, Segolene is on TV again live doing a two and a half hour question program and acing it. I predict that tomorrow she will gain a few points in the polls and pull ahead of Sarko as we head into the real beginning and last leg of the campaign. The first round is now 38 days away!

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