Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Just in case you missed it, Europe held elections last weekend. For the European Parliament located in Bruxelles, Belgium. It's a bloated affair with over 500 delegates from all European Union nations, who in the end really have no executive powers. These lay with the European commission, a much smaller body.
Quite frankly, I have not yet fully understood how it all works in Europe, there seems a third body, the European Council. I will read up on it to be better informed for sure.

The result that gets biggest headlines obviously, is that 25% of all voters who went to the polls in France, gave their vote to Marine Le Pen, the current leader of Front National. The FN is at the fairly right spectrum of politics, though Le Pen has toned down her father's racist rhetoric quite a bit, but nobody really knows what's going on behind their closed doors.
Charismatic, telegenic and of course a very populist approach to topics that seem to matter inside France, Le Pen hit a home run. The hapless Socialists around Hollande received less than 15% of the votes. Outch.

Now. With the next general election in France an eternity of three years out, people start to wonder if Hollande will be a sitting duck from now on. He will be pummeled from every direction going forward and just maybe the socialists have to resign and call early elections. Exciting times. Jean Francois CopĂ© already stepping down from leading the UMP, paving the way for a possible comeback for  Sarkozy, who stands a better chance to beat down Le Pen on her own turf.


Ken Broadhurst said...

Did you notice that the UKIP — the British equivalent of France's Front National — got 28% of the vote over there?

H.Peter said...

Indeed I did. Let me be bold and predict, that just as with most other right spectrum groups in Europe, it will take the UKIP a generation to get a solid foot hold at national elections.

I love politics from an observation point of view. Austria, my country of birth, has the FPOE at 20% and they already were in power once. Weak second row members did them in.

While each and everyone of these groups has a charismatic leader or two, it's the second and third row of of politicians that are too many times unqualified to lead a ministry, never mind a country. Then usually
common sense prevails and people go back to Status Quo in the voting booth when it truly matters.

To be very honest, I cannot name nor judge a single person behind Marine Le Pen either. Short of her father who clearly is out of touch for 94% of the people.

Yet very much akin to your birth country Ken, sometimes when the cart is stuck in the mud, all it takes is a charismatic leader, who then hopefully surrounds himself with the right policy people.
RR case in point. A schmuck in policies and (some of his principles), but undeniably he knew how to rally the country. And the cart rolled on strongly.

And now my comment is longer than the post.

Nadege said...

I thought this was an interesting article as well as the comments.

H.Peter said...

I am not an expert, just an observer Nadege.
That article seems overly harsh on a few points. And you are right, it;s always the comment section that is more interesting than the journo part.