French Ruling Socialists Hit New Low with “Referendum” on Regional Election Left Unity.
French Socialists Resort to Stunts.
The French left is not in good condition.
An opinion poll (12th of October gives the following for the November regional elections,
Nicolas Sarkozy’s party (Les Républicain, LR), 31% the Front National (28%), Parti Socialiste (23%). Front de gauche (5%), les listes EEVL (3%), les listes d’alliance FG/EELV (joint Front de Gauche and Greens, 3%), various far-left confetti (3%), Debout la France, right-wing ‘Sovereigntists’ (3%). 21% of those polled have yet to give their voting intention.
According to the poll the abstention rate could be as high as 55%.
This ‘referendum’ – open to all those who sign up a declaration that they back the values of the left, of the ecologists and of the republic – was held, from Friday to Sunday in 2 500 polling stations organised by the Parti Socialiste and one could also vote on-line.
Why was it held?
The organisers state,
Face aux divisions, il faut défendre l’union car ce sont les régions qui agissent pour votre quotidien. Oui, pendant ces 3 jours, chaque voix compte pour pousser à l’unité de la gauche et des écologistes !
Faced with divisions, we have to defend unity, because in the regions this is a matter of your day-to-day life. Yes, during these 3 days, every vote counts to push forward the unity of the left and the ecologists.
In certain regions the French Greens (Europe Écologie – Les Verts, EELV) have preferred to stand candidates on joint lists with the Front de gauche, with both running independently of the Parti socialiste. This is, for example, the case in Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, amongst others.
The Question was this,
« Face à la droite et l’extrême droite, souhaitez-vous l’unité de la gauche et des écologistes aux élections régionales ? »
Faced with the Right and the Extreme-Right, do you want the unity of the left and the ecologists in the regional elections?
51 327 people voted, 135 027 by ballot box and 116 300 on the Net.
The Socialist Party chief, Jean-Christophe Cambadélis (a former ‘Lambertist’ Trotskyist back in the dawn of time), whose mad-cap idea this was, announced, “C’est un succès, c’est le top, pas le flop !“
Well, there are allegations of vote-rigging, and other irregularities, but given the whole masquerade is a joke we will let that pass.
Though for those who want to see how the clowning trick has been received on the left, this is a response Référendum Cambadélis : mi-escroquerie, mi-pitrerie. Guillaume Liégard. Technical faults of this farce: Référendum PS : « Soit ils ont merdé, soit ils affaiblissent la démocratie »
The French Socialist Party is losing members hand over fist.
This went from 256 000 in 2007 to 131 000 today, that is 50 %. le Monde.
Areas of the country, such as the North, have been particularly affected by the drop in activism and membership, leading to the observation that the historic base of French socialism in this once industrial and mining region, is evaporating – to the advantage of the Front National.
Another Parti Socialiste manoeuvre, the creation of a satellite ‘green’ party, this weekend (Geddit?) Le Front démocrates et Ecologistes! l’UDE, is unlikely to transform the situation.
That would require a balance-sheet of President Hollande’s policies and, more specifically, his present Prime Minister, Manuel Valls – one of Tony Blair’s last admirers in Europe – and his failure to connect with the left and labour movement.
Showing why important sections of the French Green party choose to align with the Front de Gauche rather than the socialists is fairly simple: they neither support Valls’ social and economic policies, nor those of his (even more right-wing) Emmanuel Macron.
La loi Macron – a set of 308 measures, designed to increase “competitivity” attack “corporatism” – that liberalising measures for the economy centred around getting rid of ‘red tape’ (albour protection to start with) is a good place to start if the PS wants seriously to look into its electoral difficulties. (Ce que contient (désormais) la loi Macron)
As in this: Philippe Martinez (head of the left union federation, the CGT) « Il est temps d’arrêter de faire plaisir au patronat » It’s time to stop pleasing the bosses.
Then, we would move onto the growth of nationalist anti-European, “sovereigntist” ideas which have even had an echo on the left, old fashioned la terre et les morts racism against migrants, refugees and straightforward racism; against North Africans, Africans, Jews, and the “anti-France”.
I have been asked to write on French left politics a number of times in the last few months.
My reply: it’s too bloody depressing…
Oh and I almost forget the ‘referendum’ results.
First estimates: 89% voted “oui” and backed the PS.
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