Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Elections are turning France into an amusement park
Every single day brings new twists in the country’s political affairs. The presidential campaign continues to reach new lows at every turn, while President François Hollande looks more and more like a sad clown who lost control of his ghost ship.
The latest, after telling Donald Trump that in France no one uses guns to shoot into crowds (oops – Bataclan, Charlie Hebdo, Nice ….), and inviting him to Euro Disney to better understand France (no it’s not a joke), one of the snipers in charge of Hollande’s security accidentally discharged his rifle in a crowd, wounding two by-standers.
On the political front, the campaign now looks more and more like a judicial battle between the candidates while the streets are taken up by angry immigrants and extreme left radicals. Every single meeting of Marine Le Pen is now assaulted by so-called anti-fascist groups, who recently smashed buses carrying Front National’s MPs. François Fillon’s public appearances bring leftist militants who organize “concerts” with pots and pans.
Today, Fillon, who looks worse and worse in the polls, had to cancel his meetings to attend a summon of the court. He learned that he probably will be indicted with his wife on March 15. While everybody was expecting his withdraw from the campaign during the press conference he gave in the afternoon, he chose to resist. The timing of his indictment is unprecedented and so obvious that his voters may back him up.
Marine Le Pen in the meantime ignored such summons to focus on her campaign, but was stripped of her immunity from the European parliament for a few graphic tweets showing the horror of ISIS. The establishment seems out of ideas, and doesn’t know what to invent next in order to preserve its interests. The demonization and the media harassment of Marine Le Pen may seriously backfire, a surprise turnout of the elections is more and more likely.
Emmanuel Macron also has his own problems. After a good start, he made a few blunders which hit him hard. He is now back in the saddle in terms of better numbers in the polls after François Bayrou withdrew from the race to join him.
François Bayrou, a typical example of the French political system’s worst product, is a centrist who is often called a radish or “pink outside, white inside, and always close to the butter plate”… He was a minister during three rightist administrations, Balladur, Juppé 1 and Juppé 2, and decided to back up Hollande at the last presidential elections. I
In 2017, Bayrou started to strongly badmouth Macron before joining him a week ago. A typical double-edged alliance which brought Macron acerbic comments. For some one presenting himself as the anti-establishment candidates, he is now surrounded by a good flock of dinosaurs. Macron is also facing possible judiciary problems as more attention is being raised about his revenues as a banker and the fact that he evaded taxes.
The latest polls show Macron 2 points behind Le Pen in the first round, and as the winner of the second round. But nothing is certain until the people cast their votes.