Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

French Left Presents its Common Programme.

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Projections of Left Vote in June French Parliamentary Elections. (Basta!).

The French left alliance of La France insoumise (Jean-Luc Mélenchon), Socialists (PS), Communists (PCF) and Greens (EELV), as well as a number of small left groups and mico-parties, NUPES, has just published its programme.

There are over 650 proposed measures, and 33, ‘nuances’ on which a consensus could not be found. The headline proposals of NUPES are: a minimum wage at 1,500 euros net, retirement at age 60, a price freeze. There is also a plan for the creation of a (more Parliamentary) new constitution, a sixth Republic, an idea long pushed by Jean-Luc Mélenchon and also the former (2017) Socialist Presidential candidate Benoît Hamon. This, enthusiasts claims, would create a truly parliamentary regime with the legislative controlling the executive (unlike a Presidential one, the main feature of the 5th Republic created by De Gaulle in 1958). This they claim will be stable, “un régime parlementaire stable, avec une nouvelle constitution adoptée par référendum” with power in the hands of the National Assembly, and allow MPs to hold the PM and Cabinet to account, “Permettre au Parlement de réellement contrôler l’action de l’exécutive”) The new governing arrangement is topped off with with Proportional Representation and citizens’ initiative referenda (culled from a call of the, very far from universally admired on the left, Gilets Jaunes).

Such a radical reduction in Presidential power and (in the vison of La France insoumise) opening the way to the recall of Deputies by constituents, would require the assent an existing President, which, with Macron as head of state, is not going to happen. One could equally ask if it would be really by the “replies sociale” dreamt of by Jean Jaurès, with a socialist slant based on self-organised – working class in the broadest sense – politics.

The latter 233 ‘nuances’ (shades of differences) , 5% of the total, includes some significant disputed issues: the position on NATO (Mélenchon wishes a gradual withdrawal, the PS wants to stay), Ukraine (all defend Ukraine’s sovereignty against Russian aggression and Putin’s war crimes, “crimes de guerre décidés par Vladimir Poutine“, but the PS and EELV want a commitment to sending more arms, and a total embargo on imports of Russian oil, coal, gas and nuclear fuel), and other issues, ranging from animal rights (EELV wishes to have their fundamental rights recognised) , how the legalisation of cannabis could be organised, sectors to be nationalised, votes at 16 (the PCF is against) and renewable energy and nuclear power (the PCF wishes the ‘transition’ to these sources to run parallel to the use of nuclear reactors – note the left (historically Communist) trade union, the CGT Mines-Energie has some strength in this industry.

On Europe the NUPES alliance promises to disobey any EU rules that get in the way of their programme, or, in slightly softer tones, to shake up the existing EU framework. Measures span ideas on how to make taxation fairer and a crack down on business tax evasion. The programme includes a promise to renationalise airports, and the motorways (drivers directly pay to use autoroutes) to have a “moratorium” on the ‘public-private partnerships’ used for a variety of projects, and marked by the inefficiency and private enrichment we see in the UK.

Those with plenty of time can read the full document: Programme partagé de gouvernement de la Nouvelle Union populaire écologique et sociale.

A fine article in Libération outlines how the different lefts have got round their divergent approaches to the European Union:

Written by Andrew Coates

May 20, 2022 at 2:02 pm

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