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Le long, long chemin vers l'Élysée

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Alexander Howard
1229349.  Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:16 am Reply with quote

For comic value and manufactured scandal, this show has to run and run. Until someone gets their baggage in the Palais de l'Élysée on 7 May 2017, expect new revelations and dishonest accusations daily. No country can trump this.

 
Jenny
1229381.  Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:54 pm Reply with quote

Got any good links about this Alexander? It's not a story I've been following and given the distractions on this side of the Atlantic it hasn't featured heavily on the media here.

 
Alexander Howard
1229415.  Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:52 pm Reply with quote

Trying to find the links is not easy after so much news.

In November, the assumption was that whoever won the nomination of Les Républicaines would waltz into the Élysée on 7 May after seeing off Marianne Le Pen in the second round. Accordingly, François Fillon could start writing his inauguration speech the moment the party ballots came in.

Then he was accused of fiddling expenses, which he denied (isn't it a good idea for a politician to hire his own wife as an office assistant? Seeing what politicians seem to get up to with their assistants after hours, isn't it best for them to be married?) His poll rating collapsed, and those honeyed words prepared for his big days must have turned to ashes in his mouth. An official investigation began - but you have to remember that the law and juges d'instructions are political in France. When those allegations paled, more turned up (apparently this time completely fabricated). Fillon's home was raided for a bit of theatre. A news story in a left-wing scandal magazine was turning France's most popular politician into its least popular.

A fourth candidate, Macron, suddenly appeared out of nowhere to become the favourite.

Then Marianne Le Pen was threatened with prosecution for posting pictures of Daesh atrocities (after someone accused her of being like ISIS and she decided to show them what actually ISIS is like, and the European Parliament withdrew her immunity from prosecution. For posting some pictures? They protected their own when accused of tax fraud, but no one likes Le Pen. (I'll not weep for her, but I believe in fair play.)

Sudden, specious criminal investigations for minor alleged breaches, both denied, suddenly launched against main presidential candidates at the height of an election campaign? Imagine if that happened in the English-speaking world: it would be scandalous.

(Sorry about the Guardian quotes. Their stories are twisted and often unreadable, but their website is searchable. I don't want you thinking I read such a newspaper.

 
suze
1229417.  Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:17 pm Reply with quote

Alexander Howard wrote:
I don't want you thinking I read such a newspaper.


With the exception of The Times - to which you could not link here even if you wanted to, because of its paywall - I would rather imagine you reading The Guardian than any other British newspaper.

 
Jenny
1229567.  Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:36 pm Reply with quote

Alexander Howard wrote:
Sudden, specious criminal investigations for minor alleged breaches, both denied, suddenly launched against main presidential candidates at the height of an election campaign? Imagine if that happened in the English-speaking world: it would be scandalous.


What, you mean like the FBI director suddenly claiming ten days before the election that they were looking into new allegations about the Democratic candidate's emails?

Thank you for the links and I'll be interested to see how that turns out. Not LePen I hope.

Personally I find the coverage the Guardian offers to be fairer and more balanced than most of the rest of the British press.

 
Alexander Howard
1229573.  Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:28 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Alexander Howard wrote:
Sudden, specious criminal investigations for minor alleged breaches, both denied, suddenly launched against main presidential candidates at the height of an election campaign? Imagine if that happened in the English-speaking world: it would be scandalous.


What, you mean like the FBI director suddenly claiming ten days before the election that they were looking into new allegations about the Democratic candidate's emails?


Yes - that would be unthinkable and suggestive of improper political intervention. Oh.

 
barbados
1229609.  Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:08 am Reply with quote

What would be really odd is if his main opponent in the election were to suggest that there was still a smoking gun out there, and it will come to light ten days before the election.

The conspiracy theorist would have a field day.

 
Alexander Howard
1235349.  Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:32 am Reply with quote

Eh bien, c'est le Macron ennuyeux contre Le Pen dangereuse ....

L'énarque, contre l'anarche.

 
Jenny
1235373.  Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:01 am Reply with quote

According to today's Daily Telegraph, Le Pen has stepped down as leader of the Front National. Does anybody actually believe that?

 
suze
1235380.  Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:06 am Reply with quote

Even she doesn't believe it!

I've only seen this reported on in English, but it is suggested that the wording of her announcement in French made it plain that the move was temporary.

The idea is that she wants and needs votes from people who will under no circumstances vote for the Front National, and so she is temporarily stepping outside it. If (ie when) she fails to become President, she will no doubt return to the fold.

 
tetsabb
1235389.  Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:09 pm Reply with quote

Is she doing a Farage-like "I'm leader, I'm not" type thing?

 
suze
1235409.  Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:09 pm Reply with quote

From a French news website, I've now found the statement that Mme le Pen actually made.

Marine le Pen wrote:
Il faut passer des paroles aux actes. Il m'a paru indispensable de me mettre en congé de la présidence du Front national. Ce soir je n’en suis plus la présidente du Front national, je suis seulement la candidate. Je me sentirai plus libre et au-dessus des considérations partisanes.


I shall translate that below. 'yorz or anyone else who speaks decent French, please could you check my working.

"I must put my words into action. It has become necessary for me to take a leave of absence from the presidency of the Front National. Tonight I am no longer the president of the Front National, I am just the candidate [for President of France]. This will make me more free, no longer bound by party considerations."

The key bit is the expression mettre en congé, which means "to take a leave of absence" rather than "to resign".

 
tetsabb
1235443.  Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:57 am Reply with quote

Schrödinger's party leader?

 
'yorz
1235447.  Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:07 am Reply with quote

Sounds alright, suze. It also means 'put on notice'. It does however remind me of 'the Dutch expression 'zijn congé krijgen' = to get fired.

 
Alexander Howard
1235472.  Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:20 am Reply with quote

The conventional wisdom is that the voters will vote anyone-but-Front-National.

There is a danger though that this will turn on target fixation, like Trump: every step of the way the conversation is 'Le Pen a dit X', 'Le Pen va faire X', 'On doit éviter Le Pen'; like the motorcyclist fixated on avoiding the approaching corner so much that he hits it.

 

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