Sunday, May 06, 2007

A Pro US France?

The French have elected a new president. One who sounds more favorable to the US, one who is not a socialist, and one who has said the US will always have a friend in France. Could this be a new day in France?

The two French candidates ran on very different platforms. The winner ran on a pro-US, pro-job growth, and pro-immigration control platform. The looser ran promising to protect welfare benefits, and promised to create new government jobs for young people. The French people have spoken. They have voted (by 53 %) for a more conservative president. I think there are a few very important long term implications for the US with this election.

One lesson is obvious. A Pro US foreign leader is always good for us. France has an important vote in the UN. I disagree with our involvement in the United Nations. However, the more pro US votes in the UN, the better for the United States. In addition, the new French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, ran on a tougher immigration policy. He believes that many of the rioting that has taken place in France since 2005 is because of a weak immigration policy. He stated that France cannot become the refuge for, “…all the world’s miseries.” Could it be that a European government has started to recognize the war the West is in with Islamist?

The other important lesson that should be taken from this is that France has thrown out socialism. The Socialist party in France has lost its third straight presidential election. Democrats in our country need to pay close attention to this lesson. The Socialist party has been preaching an anti-US, anti-capitalist, government can do everything message. The people of France have tired of it. The Democratic Party in the US runs a very similar message. If France is willing to reject this message for three straight presidential elections, might US voters as well?

Some of the problems cited as defeating the socialist are problems that might face Democratic candidates for the 2008 election. Two of the examples cited on include: suggesting huge government programs with no way to fund them and backing off core party beliefs while the party power based attacked their candidate for it. Both of these tactics have started to appeal to potential Democratic Presidential candidats.

Many, including myself, would argue the 2006 election was more about the Republicans loosing the election than the Democrats winning the election. The Democrats have made themselves the American Socialist party. They have campaigned on the belief that America is the root of many of today’s problems. Party leadership has declared the war in Iraq lost, while playing political theatrics with those fighting the war. The Democrats need to study what happened in France or they may find the same happening here.


HollyGL said...

Interesting post, Andy. I definitely learned a thing or two about French politics!

Andy D said...

Thanks for the compliment. I try to educate in addition to spuring debate.

Deadpoolite said...

There has been a shift lately in European politics towards the centre to right wing parties instead of the centre to left wing parties (socialistic ones). This is probably because people have been tired from ideologies that regardless how good they look on paper do not seem to be applicable in real life terms or at least they cannot live up to their potential since, as all ideologies, these are dictated by individuals who put their own agendas before the public ones.

It is a sad day indeed for European politics since the focus of politics in this continent has been shifted from "politics with man at the centre, to politics with numbers at the centre".

I also think that the socialist party candidate in France made two mistakes right at the end of her campaign : First she put at the forefront the fact that she is a woman as a reason to vote her which looked more an act of desperation and probably alienated some people

Second she couldnt keep a united front in the socialist party (something that seems to be the consensus in socialist parties at the moment as they are going through a major identity crisis). Old time socialists want to take "the back in basics" approach and stick to what worked in the past while newcomers want to take a more right wing orientated approach to proceedings which although practical seems to make the average man pose the question : "Is there actually any difference at all between left/centre wing and right/centre wing politics?"

I apologize for the lenghty comment.

Keep up doing good work on the difficult subject that is worldwide politics!

Andy D said...

Thanks for the comment. Since you sound like you know something about European politics, I will ask a question to you: Do you think there is much difference between the Socialist parties in Europe and the Democratic parties here in America?

Deadpoolite said...

Although I dont know much about the infrastructure of political parties either in Europe or the US, I think I 'll just put down my opinion for the record.

From an ideological point of view there is no doubt that the Socialistic parties of Europe and the US liberal party have a lot of similiraties at heart and at least when they emerged in the political scenery "the average man's welfare" along with preservation of basic human rights was of the highest priority for both.

I can see two basic differences between the "two worlds" at the top of my head.

Firstly, Europe is a multi-cultural place and that expands to exhange of information and influences among countries on all levels including politics. So in that respect the socialist parties in Europe operate more as an interconnected vessel of diverse influences and ideas. This means that they are simply more likely to evolve politically just because of the availability of different perspectives that each separate national party brings to the front.Naturally, the parties of the biggest countries have more influence on proceedings.

On the other hand, the US liberal party, as I see it anyway, is more of an isolated political behemoth so true change and evolution is harder, since they have to emerge solely from internal conflict without any external influences. In essence there are less ideas available on the table and fewer possibilities to start thinking "outside the box" so to speak.

Secondly in the US, from my limited knowledge, (please feel free to correct me on this one) the word "left wing" was kind of "forbidden" for a lenghty period in American history. Personally, I've never heard of a truely left wing party in the US. Left wing in the US seems to have been identified for a lot of years with USSR politics and the cold war era and that limited its political presence to isolated organisations of limited scope rather than full pledged parties as the ones existing in Europe.

However, left wing influence has a lot to do with what socialism is all about (maybe to a lesser extent nowadays where socialism is rapidly merging with centre to right wing approaches ). European socialist parties have had this influence and a lot of the major personalities or leaders of the european socialist parties' course in history, started off from the left wing , albeit not the far left wing, political sector.

I really hope I make some sense and do excuse any factual mistakes regarding US politics since I am very shallowy informed on the topic.

Andy D said...

Thanks for the perspective. I have been wondering for some time now if there is much difference between the two and thought I would ask for a secound opinion.

My feeling is that the DNC is approaching a socialist platform, but is reluctant to label itself a socialist party. On the other hand, I think they would attract a few voters if they did go ahead and adopt that label. Most of my friends who vote Democratic tend towards very socialist views.