Jacques Cheminade: Following the Second Round of the French National Assembly Elections

19 de junio de 2007

June 19, 2007 (LPAC)--The second round of the legislative elections was characterized, as was the first, by very strong voter absenteeism: from 39.58% in the first round, abstention rate grew to 40.01% in the second. Let us recall that the absentee rate during the first and second round of the Presidential elections was, respectively, of 16.2% and of 16%.

Further, the "blue wave" of Sarkozysm expected by the opinion polls for the second round, evaporated. In fact, in the first round the voters rejected the disorder and absence of project from the left, and in the second, expressed their rejection of Sarkozysm in its liberal version. That between the two rounds, Messrs. Sarkozy and François Fillon contained Mr. Guaino and his lyrical statements to an office bureau in the Elysee, and adopted "right wing" proposals unbefitting the social and nationalist accents of the latter part of the Presidential campaign, undoubtedly led numerous voters from that side to abstain, while in an uncovering criss-crossing, whereby numerous Segolenist voters who had abstained in the first round, cast ballots in the second.

The defeat of Alain Juppe (PS) in Bordeaux, the weaker than expected victory of Dominique Perben in Lyons, and finally, the success of the Segolenist close guard (with the exception of Vincent Peillon) were thus the price to pay for the first measures of Mr. Sarkozy's liberal and anti-social "revolution."

The results in themselves will not block their power -- the UMP and its allies will have an absolute majority of 343 deputies in the National Assembly -- but what they reveal will stop them from proceeding as they would have liked to, in public opinion. Thus the impression this government gives, of floating and of amateurism -- it announces its intention to re-launch its dynamic before having really taken off -- only some days after its hegemonism had been proclaimed urbi et orbi.

As for the Socialist Party (PS), it is up for grabs. We will not participate in the juggernaut and multiplication of positions which characterize that battle, but we will define ourselves as contributing ideas, from within a project coherent for the opposition. That is our role, in defining a foreign policy for France -- New Bretton Woods, Eurasian Land-Bridge, attack against the financier oligarchy by using the BAE scandal -- which will make it possible to break the financial stranglehold, which is necessary to have European and domestic policies of mutual economic development and social justice.

The established political parties, too sure of themselves and of their control over the French bicycle, are pedaling with their nose on the steering wheel without realizing that they are riding on the road of the world...! Our task is to remind them of that, and to get them to raise their heads up.

In any case, the new Assembly is still characterized by the absence of women -- only 18.5% were elected, which in Europe leaves us behind Latvia -- and as for elected women of diverse origins, only one was elected, George Pau-Langevin, in Paris' 20th arrondissement.

In short, the result could have been worse but that doesn't mean it was good. All the work remains to be done to give France a policy and a soul in the image of that "definite idea" which created it, and which was raised so it seems a long time ago by General de Gaulle, and brought forth, in the left, during a second June 18th -- June 18th, 1954 -- by Pierre Mendès-France. These are our references in the gray hours in which we live, waiting for the occasion of an upsurge which we prepare and which we will not miss tomorrow.