The Right’s Dominance of France

By: inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

(Note: I strongly encourage you to click the image links on this post when reading; they're essential to understanding what I'm saying.)

The story of the 2012 French presidential election is quite interesting. Right-wing incumbent Nicholas Sarkozy entered the election deeply unpopular. Opinion polls consistently showed him losing by around 20%.

France’s presidential system has two rounds. In the first round, everybody can be a candidate. The top two winners of the first round move to a second round run-off.

As election day approached, Sarkozy’s deficit continually shrunk.  Opinion polls just before the first round showed Sarkozy losing by low double-digits. As the campaign for the second round began, they showed him behind by high single-digits.

Sarkozy ended up losing by 3.2%. That’s a pretty steep drop-off from the polls that showed him behind by 20%.

To be fair, Sarkozy’s opponent François Hollande isn’t the best politician. But the fact that Hollande barely defeated one of the most unpopular presidents in the history of France’s Fifth Republic says something about France.

Indeed, the right has dominated the left throughout the history of French presidential elections.

As this chart shows, the French right has won seven presidential elections; the French left has won just three. The right’s greatest election victory occurred in 1958, when French war hero Charles de Gaulle defeated hapless Communist candidate Georges Marrane with 79% of the vote.

The left’s greatest victory occurred in 1988, when incumbent François Mitterrand took 54% of the vote over Jacques Chirac. A French left-wing presidential candidate has yet to win by double-digits; the right has done this multiple times.

In addition, there are two instances when the French left failed to make it into the second round. This happened in 1969 and 2002, which are colored darker blue above (the margin in these years indicates the first round). In both instances the second round ended up being between two right-wing candidates. So far a French presidential election has never featured two left-wing candidates in the second round.

France has generally had a reputation of being a very liberal place, and this analysis might seem surprising from that perspective.

To be fair, the French right is very different from the American right. France’s right-wing is probably to the left of America’s Democratic Party (at least on economic issues). France’s left used to be the Communist Party; today it is the Socialist Party. Both parties would never win a presidential election in the United States.

Finally, and ironically, as I write these words the French socialists have just won an absolute majority in Parliament. France’s socialists today hold more of the levers of power than they have ever held in the history of the French Fifth Republic. But historically, it has been the right and not the left in power in France.

 

Political Spectrum Moves Right

Host of The Young Turks Cenk Uygur guest hosting on MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan Show explains how the political spectrum has shifted far to the right in the last 30 years.

 

 

Air America sez Glenn Beck is Osama or WTF

First, note what Beau Friedlander ('editor-in-chief of Air America'), in What 'Bin Laden' Is Saying About Glenn Beck, thinks is a laughable contention, something Air Americans must never consider the least bit reasonable:

Bin Laden once again pointed to the US support of Israel as the main cause of it's problems in the Middle East, and more specifically at Secretary of Defense Robert Gates continuing on with President Obama, which indicated that Obama was really a puppet of [the] Republican agenda, and specifically Bush policy in the Middle East. One supposes this might have been funny if bin Laden had better timing.

The rest is a hard-to-follow rant -- if you haven't been part of the orchestrated pro-Obama band very concerned about right-wing anti-Obama protests -- but apparently Friedlander thinks Glenn Beck and his minions are either behind or supportive of the Bin Laden tape, cuz they want to kill Obama and and so apparently does Bin Laden:

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The People's Agenda in Washington

Just arrived at the Washington Hilton in DC for Realizing The Promise:  A Forum on Community, Faith & Democracy.  More than 2000 community organizers and leaders from across the country are here to talk with our elected officials including 2 senior members of Obama's transition team.

http://www.realizingthepromise.org/webca st

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Swing for the Fences!

Over-reach is good. Eyes bigger than your stomach are good. Cat-killing curiousity is great. Knocking a bunch of dingers out of the park is fantastic.

As has often been the case of late, my thoughts turn to the November election. While others have found cause for concern I have rejoiced. Senator Obama is plotting a course that substantively mirrors what I expected of him last year. He is demonstrating a pragmatism and frankly ideological consistency that many folks are missing. Far too many have accused him of peddling this "New Politics" and then delivering a centrist platform. They claim that this is some kind of "bait and switch." I find this notion hilarious.

Crossposted from my new blog, Seldon's Gambit:
http://reaper0bot0.blogspot.com/2008/07/ swing-for-fences.html

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