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Maciamo
17-11-06, 10:52
The next presidential elections in France will be held (in two rounds) on 22 April and 6 May 2007. This is an important event after 12 years of Chirac, and 14 years of Mitterand. Chirac is not expected to run for a third term, and evn if he did his chances of being reelected are close to nill.

Yesterday, 220,000 members of the French Socialist Party selected Ségolène Royal, a 53-year old mother of four, as their presidential candidate. She will be the main contestant against the favourite candidate of the central-right UMP party, Nicolas Sarkozy, and the current Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin.

Mrs Royal could become the first woman president of France if she is elected - and she certainly has her chances in today's political climate, with a divided right and an increasingly unified left. This would be a big thing in the still rather chauvinistic (in both senses of the term) France.

Duo
25-11-06, 04:32
I voted for Sarkozy. He seems very shrewd and I agree with his tough stance on immigration and integration. Furthermore he is fairly young and energetic. I really got tired of seeing old Chirac prancing around uselessly.

Maciamo
27-11-06, 13:26
Here is a detailed article outlining the profile of the two main candidates : The Economist : Royal coronation (http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8323495)

Personally I wouldn't mind Sarkozy as president and Royal as Prime Minister. It would make an interesting couple.

Michèle Alliot-Marie, the current Defence Minister, would also make an interesting presidential candidate for the right, but splitting too much the right would compromise the right's chance for presidency. Anyway, the January primary will decide on a sole UMP candidate.

Maciamo
13-12-06, 00:38
Ségolène Royal is striking hard. She was elected as the sole candidate of the P.S.. but also managed to get Jean-Pierre Chevènement, the leading candidate of the MRC, to abandon the race for the presidency in her favour, and also made a deal with the Ecologists. Most of the left is now unified under her lead, something that hasn't been seen for a while in France.

Maciamo
14-01-07, 14:35
Nicolas Sarkozy is being nominated as the only candidate of the UMP today. Michèle Alliot-Marie, the defence minister, finally gave her support to Sarkozy. Here are a few highlights from the UMP congress today :

Michèle Alliot-Marie, commenting on Ségolène Royal's disagreement with her socialist party, including her husband and party president, François Hollande :

"Ségolène Royal, c'est blanche neige contre le 7 percepteurs." ("Segolène Royale, it's Snow White against the 7 tax collectors.")

Jean-Pierre Raffarin, former Prime Minister :

"Semer la division, c'est récolter le socialisme." (sowing division results in harvesting socialism.")

Maciamo
15-02-07, 20:19
Here is a BBC summary (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6357899.stm) of the main policies of Royal and Sarkozy.

I thought it might be nice to have a female president for a change, but the more I listen to Ségolène Royal's opinions, the more I am convinced that she is incapable of running the country, and indeed causes a serious threat for the French economy.

Some of her policies are absurdly demagogic, such as raise basic state pension by 5% or giving jobless 90% of salary for first year of unemployment when there money already lacks.

Increasing the minimum wage to rise by 250 euros to 1,500 euros per month will also cause unemployment to rise dramatically, because employers will be discouraged to recruit new staff (too costly). She also wants to keep the 35-hour work week, which has been widely criticised for decreasing France's GDP, and preventing motivated people from working (and earning) more.

Reducing France's dependence on nuclear power will also cause serious economic upheavals in the country, so I don't think it is a solution.

On the other hand, I totally agree with almost all of Sarkozy's views, except maybe on the international scene (without really being opposed either).

Maciamo
19-02-07, 01:03
Until recently it seemed like we were going to have a duel Sarko vs Sego, but that is not what some of the latest polls indicate. Bayrou and Le Pen are becoming serious contestant. In one poll Bayrou was even ranked above Royal and Sarkozy, with 30% of vote intentions. In other polls Bayrou and Le Pen had about 15% each. Le Pen, who was opposed to Chirac at the second turn of the last presidential election, is doing better than he was at this period of the year 5 years ago.

Maciamo
15-03-07, 20:30
Bayrou now has about 23% of the intentions of votes, against 26% for Royal and 27% for Sarkozy.

The problem with Bayrou is that his UDF party only has 27 seats in parliament out of 577, against 359 for Sarkozy's UMP. If he is elected, it will thus be very hard for him to have a stable and supportive government, which will only stifle the much needed reforms. What's more, his center-right policy seems to be fairly laxist and more in line with Chirac in terms of energy, which is not at all what France needs today.

Le Pen would have even more troubles gathering support from the Parliament.

If Sarkozy doesn't win, France is doomed for the next 5 years.

Elizabeth van Kampen
26-03-07, 13:00
I am silently hoping that Mme Ségolène Royal will be the next president of France.
But maybe that is not so good for the French people?
Maciamo you wrote; "If Sarkozy doesn't win, France is doomed for the next 5 ÿears."
You mean that France needs a strong hand? Anyhow I sincerely hope that all goes well, since France is absolutely my favourite country in Europe! It is also one of the most important countries in Europe.

Maciamo
26-03-07, 13:11
I am silently hoping that Mme Ségolène Royal will be the next president of France.
But maybe that is not so good for the French people?
Maciamo you wrote; "If Sarkozy doesn't win, France is doomed for the next 5 ÿears."
Royal's economic programme would be catastrophic for France. Experts have analysed the propositions of each candidates, and only Sarkozy can create job and stimulate the economy. Royal's plan would result in tens of thousands of job losses and an big increase in the public debt (as usual with the socialists).

What is more, Royal has already done many gaffes on the international scene, and was even "scolded" by the current foreign minister. She is almost as bad as Bush when it comes to foreign affairs. :rolleyes:

Elizabeth van Kampen
26-03-07, 13:32
Royal's economic programme would be catastrophic for France. Experts have analysed the propositions of each candidates, and only Sarkozy can create job and stimulate the economy. Royal's plan would result in tens of thousands of job losses and an big increase in the public debt (as usual with the socialists).
What is more, Royal has already done many gaffes on the international scene, and was even "scolded" by the current foreign minister. She is almost as bad as Bush when it comes to foreign affairs. :rolleyes:

Oh no!! Your last line: "She is almost as bad as Bush when it comes to foreign affairs"" does it. Meaning; That is horrible!

Okay, then let's hope that Sarkozy will win the election. Thank you for your information.

Maciamo
03-05-07, 00:17
I have just watched the (only) debate between Royal and Sarkozy on France 2, which confirm that Sarkozy deserves much more to be president than Royal.

Here is a selection of what shocked me in Segolene Royal's comments :

1) she wants that France boycotts the 2008 Olympic Games in China, because of China's human right record. She even blames China for the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. Yet, she is the only presidential candidates to have visited China, with great emphasis from the media, where she praised China in front of the TV cameras. This shows how hypocritical she really is. But that is not all. She is ready to cause a political conflict between France and China, in order to improve relationships between France and Africa !! Not only is the connection far fetched, but who in the world would be irresponsible enough nowadays to turn's one back on China and choose Africa instead ?

2) she completely lost her temper on the topic of education, overtly insulting and scorning Sarkozy, then refused 3x to admit that she either "lost her temper" or was "unnerved" (when it was obvious to everybody).

3) Royal constantly infringed on her speaking time, constantly avoiding to answer the questions. She was asked many times by the moderators to stop on a topic, but always continued. Sarkozy, on the contrary, respected his allocated time, and answered the questions clearly and directly. At the end, Royal ended up with 3 minutes over Sarkozy's time, despite attempt by moderators to balance each others' time. This demonstrates that she cannot manage her time properly or cannot summarise her ideas, which can be a serious problem for a head of state.

4) As in all her speeches, Royal reminded the audience that she was the proud mother of four children. I haven't heard Sarkozy mention that he was also the father of 3 (with two different women). In any case, Royal's husband being her party president and thus also heavily involved in political life, I don't think that Segolene Royal or her husband François Hollande are the best example of parents devoted to their children. Sarkozy doesn't boast about his qualities as a father, and yet his children are in the good care of their mothers. Who is taking care of the four children in the Royal-Hollande household, and who will if she is elected president, a 24 hours/7 days job ? Maybe they are old enough as teenagers to take care of themselves, but Royal's dedication to her political life doesn't make of her the archetype of the good, caring mother. So what is she boasting about ?

Maciamo
03-05-07, 20:37
Royal and Sarkozy argued about numbers regarding the education of handicapped children and the proportion of nuclear energy in the production of electricity in France.

France 2 channel has cleared up the numbers in the news tonight. Segolene Royale claimed that Sarkozy's party (UMP) suppressed 7000 jobs related to the education of handicapped children, which startled her anger and series of abuses against Sarkozy. The facts are that these jobs were not suppressed, but were renamed. Royal also claimed that less handicapped children were provided with schools because when the UMP was in power. Again, the facts show that the number of handicapped children in schools almost doubled between 2003 and 2007, passing from 86,000 to 160,000. So, not only did Royal lie, but she managed to insult Sarkozy with these lies.

Regarding nuclear energy, Royal made tried to make a fool of Sarkozy because he said that half of the country electricity came from nuclear power. Royal claimed it was only 17%. The facts are that 78% of the electricity in France is of nuclear origin. Neither were right, but Sarkozy was much closer. Royal again claimed to know better when she was completely mistaken. Shameful.

Elizabeth van Kampen
04-05-07, 21:46
Good evening Maciamo,
I watched the debate between Royal and Sarkozy on FranceTV5 Monde, that was transmitted from Frans 2, yes.
You were so right about Royal. I found her way of talking really digusting.
Sarkozy was so right when he told her that she got angry each time when she couldn't be proved right. I found this lady extremely arrogant now and then during this debate. She is not a bit like Merkel from Germany.

I hope for la douce France and for us all in Europe that Sarkozy will be the next president of France.

Maciamo
06-05-07, 22:01
Sarkozy has won; France is saved.

The BBC announced his victory labeling him as a "conservative". This is a surprising mistake from the BBC. Sarkozy is first and foremost a reformist, all the opposite of a conservative. Not only is he the most progressist of all 12 presidential candidates, but he is also the most liberal. When I hear "conservative" in France, I immediately think of the anti-EU and anti-globalisation extreme right and extreme left parties. The Socialists of Royal and the Centrists of Bayrou are also more conservative in many respect than Sarkozy.

BBC News : Sarkozy takes French presidency (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6630797.stm)


Conservative Nicolas Sarkozy has won the hotly-contested French presidential election, according to projections made from partial results.

Kinsao
10-05-07, 11:22
:cheer: :cheer:

Maciamo
12-05-07, 10:23
Here (http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9149752) is a well written profile of Sarkozy, with a summary of his plans for change.