May 8, 2007

WARNING: This post is about politics, not weirdos in the gym showers or cute videos of dogs or drunken whores making arses of themselves.

On Sarkozy being elected the French president, Bicycle Mark makes some interesting points:

An old friend of mine in France once said, as much as his fellow citizens would never admit it, the French are very similar to Americans in many things. Every now and then, like in these elections, I think she was right.

He plays on fear. He threatens to be tough on immigrants and to cut taxes and benefits and whatever else he can cut. He goes on and on about national pride and what a great country it is.

From what I know about the French elections, people are unhappy with a number of things such as the high unemployment rate, the 35 hour week (limiting the money people can earn), crime, immigration issues and high taxes.

On that, Madge Weinstien said people people needed to become more media savvy in order not to fall for such fearmongering.

The French have apparently been indocrinated by Western corporate propaganda oozing out of the pores of just about every international news network and especially out of Rupert Turdcock.

This is evidenced not only by an increased need for ‘more and more’ but also by the xenophobia evident in French voter interviews by the New York Times. Fear mongering + Fear of terror + fear of loosing your job+ fear of arabs= this mess we’re all in.

So the US has what, 3.5 unemployment compared to the French’s 10%? Big deal. Do you know how many Americans work at Starbucks for 20 hours a week just to get health insurance. And how many ’employed’ Wal-Mart workers are being subsidised by the US Welfare systems while they work for peanuts?

This is what Europe wants? I don’t think so.

It is surely possible to make social security, national healthcare and fair employment conditions work for all involved. Resentment from things such as immigration often stems from mismanagement or misrepresentation of the situation, not diehard racism. People don’t want their slice of the cake to be smaller. Take the opposite example: economic immigrants can be welcome in a country with a booming economy, as the UK shows (Daily Mail readers aside).

But clearly the French are wound up about these things because a lot of people voted – there was an 85% turnout. Mark goes on to talk about this high voter turnout:

Then again, 85% voting, with more than 50% of them choosing a pretty hardline conservative candidate also makes it hard for a country to deny who they are. At least in the US you can say “hey.. that’s only half of the 40+% that vote who chose that bum, we’re not really like that”. In France, you can’t say that anymore. So if Sarko ends up rounding up all the immigrants and putting them in labor camps. Or joining the US military in its latest adventure to invade and bring democracy somewhere. It won’t be just a small percentage of crazies that took over the government. Nope… it’s a majority of the country that actually shares (at least some of) these values.

That would be true, but from what I know about the French if Sarko actually attempts to do away with any of the things they French get out of their taxes, or take away their hard-won rights, there will be hell to pay. This election result seems more like the classic French “non”. Really, they just want to express that things aren’t working out.

Therefore, this election must surely be a failure of the Left to present ideas that address these issues by opting for the status quo, which is seen not to be working. This failure has allowed Sarkozy to turn it into a binary decision. Well, he’s in for an interesting ride.


7 Responses to “Sarko”

  1. Andy Melton Says:

    It’s two thousand god damned seven. Seriously. When the fuck is this planet going to move on. I seriously think that when my generation, the generation below us and further down the line gets to the point where we can be in a public office, things will get much better because we see how shitty things are now, we see what it’s like to be led by bigoted assholes.

    At least, that’s what I hope.

  2. Steve Says:

    Dream on! 😀

  3. John Ong Says:

    I tend to agree with Steve. Or at least hope that the French are not going to go through two terms of stupidity, fear, and stubbornness. Look at Bush’s approval ratings now, in the 20’s. But sorry, we are two years too late. I hope the French won’t make the same mistake the Americans did – selfish blindness. Now, it’s too late. Fixing Bush’s mess requires many more decades of hard work. People who voted for Bush in the name of homeland security should rethink how safe are we today in the USA with our troops in Iraq fighting a made-up war, and our National Guards in Iraq, who’s is protecting us, right here in America. The military is stretched so thinly, if we have another national disaster or god forbid, terrorist attack, who will protect us? It is you who voted for Bush in the name of security that caused us to lose our security.

  4. Miguel Says:

    Personally, I don´t know what´s worse. The American “I don´t give a fuck and I won´t vote on any of these bastards”, or the French “burn the witch!”. Because thats what we´re really talking about. The sad thing is, its going to get (a lot) worse before it gets any better.

  5. bicyclemark Says:

    I predict they privatize everything… and they do it, surprisingly with the public’s approval. How? Ugh.. annoying and underhanded PR campaigns to convince people that the health system isnt changing its just..”improving” with new management.. and less costs to the tax payer. they’ll launch a whole series of campaigns and the morons will eat it up, and only after the trains start crashing into each other and the hospitals start closing down.. will people say boo.. and then it will be too late.

    thats my humble prediction.

  6. Steve Says:

    Mark, that sounds eerily familiar.

  7. David Says:

    So where’s the cute dog wearing a french beret?

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