Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

French Ruling Socialists Hit New Low with “Referendum” on Regional Election Left Unity.

with 4 comments

Des militants socialistes ont installé une urne pour solliciter le vote des passants sur le marché Maubert dans le cadre du référendum sur l'unité de la gauche à Paris le 17 octobre 2015.

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%.

Le Parti socialiste revendique 250 000 votants à son référendum

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.

The reason:

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.

In May this year it had 131 000 card-holders against 173 486 in 2012 at the Congrès de Toulouse. That is a loss of  25%. RMC

Viewed over a longer period this decline is even more serious:

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”.

In conclusion…

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.

Mirobolant!

4 Responses

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  1. “All talk to the effect that historical conditions have not yet ‘ripened’ for socialism is the product of ignorance or conscious deception. The objective prerequisites for proletarian revolution have not only ‘ripened,’ they have begun to get somewhat rotten…. The historical crisis of mankind is reduced to the crisis of the revolutionary leadership.”

    – Leon Trotsky, The Transitional Program

    This is the problem of our time, encapsulated perfectly in the last line of Leon Trotsky’s quote above.
    We need to reforge the Fourth International,

    the Internationalist group states:

    A revolutionary party must be built in the best tradition of Cannonism.

    and

    Against the bourgeois lie of a supposed “death of communism,” we proclaim that communism lives in the struggles of the working class and the program of its vanguard. Our central task is to forge the party that is the living embodiment and instrument of that program in leading the workers and oppressed to victory.

    This is the historical task of our time – Reforge the Fourth International!

    Deigo

    October 20, 2015 at 4:16 pm

  2. Tendance Coatesy should study James P Cannon:

    Deigo

    October 20, 2015 at 4:25 pm

  3. “All the people of this type have one common characteristic: they like to discuss things without limit or end. The New York branch of the Trotskyist movement in those days was just one continuous stew of discussion. I have never seen one of these elements who isn’t articulate. I have looked for one but I have never found him. They can all talk; and not only can, but will; and everlastingly, on every question. They were iconoclasts who would accept nothing as authoritative, nothing as decided in the history of the movement. Everything and everybody had to be proved over again from scratch.”

    The Dog Days of the Left Opposition

    James P. Cannon.

    19444

    Andrew Coates

    October 20, 2015 at 5:21 pm

  4. Reforge the Fourth International — because it was such an incredible success the first time around.

    Trotskyism has become an American Civil War Reenactment Society. For some people, it is always 1938.

    At the end of the day Trotskyism is Classical Marxism plus a lot of baggage. Drop the baggage, Comrade Deigo.

    jschulman

    October 20, 2015 at 8:38 pm


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