On Sunday May 6th 2007, France will go to the Polls to elect a new President in the second round of voting. In all probability it will be the day that goes down in history as the last day of France as we know it.
Facing off are Nicolas Sarkozy, a brutish right-winger, versus Ségolène Royal an insipid pseudo left-winger. Sarko has been leading the Polls from the outset and much of the electoral campaign has been about as exciting as watching paint dry.
It is really with a growing sense of dread though, that it appears as though Sarko will take the cake on Sunday. The first round of voting on April 22nd saw Sarko take over 30% of the vote and it is highly unlikely that Sego is going to inspire enough warm feelings to mount a serious enough challenge to Sarko.
This is all truly scary. Our man Sarko is a truly nasty piece of work. Deceptively populist during the campaign period, France in all likelihood will wake up on Monday to a new regime governed by Nicolas Bonaparte, Emperor of all things French.
One of the dichotomies of French politics is that while everyone recognizes that French society needs a drastic overhaul, no one is willing to make the necessary sacrifices. Sarko is promising a raft of measures to bring about such an overhaul, and is pretty close to duping at least half the population into believing that he is the man for the job. It’s not that France doesn’t need to change; it’s that Sarko will bring about confrontation rather than cooperation.
That’s his political style and it’s unalterable.
While he has been spouting forth on many issues, with a turn of phrase that appears to win popular sentiment, I think many people are being deceived by a man who believes that one's destiny is determined by genetics at the age of four months, when they should be tested for delinquent traits. There is not enough blog space on the web to go into how bizarre and twisted many of his “ideas” really are.
In spite of what he says though, the lower and middle classes will end up paying not only more tax, but will be forced to cough up more for social, health and educational services. Sarko has no concrete plan to create jobs outside the service sector, and it is likely that wages will fall further behind inflation and that purchasing power will decrease as people chase after fewer low-wage jobs.
The thing that concerns me the most though, is that Sarko will actively seek out external confrontation to mask problems on the home front and rally people behind the flag.
Yes I do mean a la George Bush style, or perhaps even more to the point; Thatcher and the Falklands War.
Yes I do mean that the only real job creation under Sarko will be in the armed forces and gun factories. The only economic growth will be for the merchants of death and destruction. Like George or Maggie, he will pick on weaker enemies and spread the chaos around a bit. As Commander in Chief, this nutjob will also have his own personal nuclear trigger and that is truly frightening.
When people wake up though, and especially those who are duped into voting for Darth Vader, the predictable response will bring people out onto the streets and it is entirely possible that the French economy will actually contract during the wave of strikes and social unrest that is sure to follow the first Sarkozist moves towards neo-liberalization of the economic and political structure.
At the end of the day though, Sarko is a career politician whose sole ambition is seeking the top-dog job. He doesn’t give a damn about the French people or the real issues facing people in their everyday lives. If there is anyone he does care about, it’s his pals in the upper echelons of French society and the big corporate companies. Only the rich will benefit from Sarko, while the rest of France goes to hell in a hand basket.
Yeesh, talk about turkey’s voting for Christmas.