07 May 2017

How Can You Govern a Country Which Has Two Hundred and Forty-Six Varieties of Cheese?*

Emnanuel Macron defeated Marine le Pen in the French Presidential elections, and it wasn't even close:
The pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron has won the French presidency in a decisive victory over the far-right Front National leader, Marine Le Pen, and vowed to unite a divided and fractured France.

Macron, 39, a former economy minister who ran as a “neither left nor right” independent promising to shake up the French political system, took 65.1% to Le Pen’s 34.9%, according to initial projections from early counts.


Despite the wide margin of the final result, Le Pen’s score nonetheless marked a historic high for the French far right. Even after a lacklustre campaign that ended with a calamitous performance in the final TV debate, she was projected to have taken almost 11m votes, double that of her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, when he reached the presidential run-off in 2002. The anti-immigration, anti-EU Front National’s supporters asserted that the party had a central place as an opposition force in France.

Turnout was the lowest in more than 40 years. Almost one-third of voters chose neither Macron nor Le Pen, with 12 million abstaining and 4.2 million spoiling ballot papers.
In 2002, le Pen pere got 17.8% of the vote, so this is an improvement, but still a blow-out.

It's a loss, but it is a major improvement, and she picked up 15% from what she got in the first round, as versus a roughly 1% that Jean le Pen gained in the 2002 2nd round.

I do not think that this trend has reached its high water mark, this will continue until the EU fixes some very serious problem:
  • The EU remains an anti-democratic institution, and creating meaningful representative democratic functions.
  • It remains in the thrall of neoliberal economics.
  • German hegemony,  with the associated faulty German economics, and German punitive morality, is a petri dish for xenophobic nationalism among the rest of the EU.
If these flaws are not addressed, I expect to see the end of the Euro, and possibly the end of the EU.

As I've noted before,  many of the deep problems in the EU come from Germany's preeminent position in it.

*It's a quote from Charles de Gaulle. He was talking about France.


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