French presidential election 2017 thread

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by juanm, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. juanm, Mar 2, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017

    juanm macrumors 65816

    juanm

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    #1
    The French presidential election will be held on April 23, 2017, so it's about time we have a proper thread for it.
    For those who don't know, if there's not a majority, a run off election is held between the two top candidates.

    So far the contenders are:

    • For Les Republicans (LR) - Right: François Fillon.
    He was the former Prime minister under Sarkozy, and after an easy victory in his party's primaries, it looked like he would be the next French president, but last month it was revealed that he had hired his wife and children in his cabinet and other public jobs, paying them over 1.000.000€ in bogus positions. After promising he would step down from the race if he'd get investigated, he didn't, provoking a turmoil in his own party. This scandal changed everything in this election.​

    • For Le Front National (FN) - Far Right: Marine Le Pen
    She took the baton from her father, and has transformed the projected image of the FN from angry racist old man to the kind of Populism Trump has used to win the White House: the country is broken/vague promises about everything/she's not the establishment/foreigners are to blame.
    According to many sources (among which the newspaper that first published Fillon's wife scandal) Le Pen's presidential campaign has been financed with money borrowed from Russian banks through a series of shell companies. She's also stated multiple times that if she were elected, she'd want to leave the EU and befriend Russia. Sounds familiar?​

    • For Le Parti Socialiste (PS) - center-Left*: Benoit Hamon
    Within his party he was the underdog, as opposed to the usual big names. He has to face the legacy of Hollande's bad presidency (same party). He was the minister of education under Hollande, but resigned because he felt Hollande (and more generally, the PS) had abandoned the socialist ideals. He won the PS primaries against Valls, showing that many PS voters want the party to go back to its roots, instead of the aimless drift to the right of Hollande's first and only term (a bit like Sanders gaining the Dems nomination against Clinton).​

    * For US readers: "socialist", just like "liberal" has different meanings in different countries. You could roughly compare them to the Democrats in the US.

    We also have two "newcomers":

    • For En Marche! (EM) - Center: Emmanuel Macron.
    The youngest of the lot, he has juggled between politics (becoming minister of the Economy and Industry under the Hollande administration) and investment banking (for the Rothschild bank). He was also a member of the PS for a few years, but doesn't really identify with that party. He polls very high, but a lot of people are suspicious of him, as he is, by his education and past, the archetype of the French elite. A lot of people disgusted by Fillon after the recent scandal will turn to voting for Macron for sure.​

    • For La France Insoumise (FI)* - Far Left: Jean Luc Mélenchon
    He's way on the Left, as opposed to the PS's mildly left-of-center ideals. In 2012 he came in 4th with around 11%. His voters are dismayed with Hollande and Valls' drift to the right. He's anti-EU, so in some aspects he appeals the same voter as Marine Le Pen (blue collar, put out of work by the modern economy), but it does embrace typically left policies like environmentalism.
    * it translates as "Unsubmissive France".... you've got to love them.​

    Also, Yannick Jadot, the leader of the Green Party has withdrawn from the race and announced his support for the PS/Hamon. This is a blow to FI/Mélenchon.


    Quick reminder: in 2012, the first round ended like this:
    1st: Hollande/PS 28.63%
    2nd: Sarkozy/UMP 27.18%
    (they later changed the name to Les Republicains)
    3rd: Le Pen/FN 17.9%
    4th: Mélenchon/Front de Gauche 11.1% (they later changed the name to France Insoumise)
    5th: Bayrou: MoDem: 9.13%
    6th: Eva Joly/Green Party: 2.31%

    The second round ended
    1st: Hollande/PS 51.64%
    2nd: Sarkozy/UMP 48.36%
     
  2. DearthnVader macrumors regular

    DearthnVader

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    #2
    I don't know a thing about French politics, but that won't stop me from voicing my opinion:D

    If le Pen wins, it will set the idea of a Globalist world on it's ear.

    After all the terror attacks in France, it wouldn't surprise me if the common French person is feeling that Open Boarders isn't the best policy, but then the French are not really know for the brilliance when it comes to defense.
     
  3. juanm, Mar 2, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017

    juanm thread starter macrumors 65816

    juanm

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    #3
    Up until a few weeks ago, it seemed clear that Fillon would win. Now, nobody knows.
    As things stand today, I'd venture to say the main contenders are hovering at around 20%, with no clear leader. Le Pen will make it to the second round, but the other parties would push to vote for whoever is her contender, like Chirac vs Le Pen (father) in 2002 when Chirac got 82%. It's hard to make any assumptions based on past performance though, considering it's the first election for half of the top 4 (Macron and Hamon).

    If I were to bet, as things stand today, it would be:
    1/2/3: Macron/Fillon/Le Pen
    4: Hamon
    But almost any combination of the above 4 in the second run is possible, especially the first three.

    Regarding who I'll vote for:
    Fillon: No way. Disconnected elite, corrupt, right wing.
    Hamon: I'm not thrilled by the PS.
    Le Pen: No way. for too many reasons to list.
    Macron: Maybe.
    Mélenchon: No way. I agree with many of his ideas, but I'm staunchly pro-EU.
     
  4. DearthnVader macrumors regular

    DearthnVader

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    #4
    Well it's "nice" to know that the US isn't the only country that is presented with false choices for elective office.

    At some point some first world nation is going to get tired of holding their nose while they vote.

    Just remember what we say in the US, no matter who wins, Goldman always wins.
     
  5. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #5
    Who do you like, and why? How many of them think Trump is fantastic?
     
  6. juanm thread starter macrumors 65816

    juanm

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    #6
    Interestingly enough, Trump and Brexit (both close to Le Pen) can have either outcome in France: either prop Le Pen up on the idea that outsider populism can make it, or push her down because it can be a "careful what you wish for" wake up call that a short sighted protest vote can have real consequences.
     
  7. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #7
    What is a false choice? You mean terrible choices?
     
  8. juanm, Mar 2, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017

    juanm thread starter macrumors 65816

    juanm

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    #8
    See post #3. Right now, for me it's between Macron and Hamon. In one case I don't like the guy himself, in the other I don't like his party: too much baggage and corporate DNA.

    Le Pen is the only one who is Pro-Trump (and she's also pro-Frexit, of course, and also overtly pro-Russia)

    For me, this time there's three terrible choices (for very different reasons) and two barely okay choices. It could be much worse, so I won't complain, but I won't be campaigning for any of them either, that's for sure.

    Mélenchon has no chance, so I'll leave him out, but whether his voters vote in the second round will matter.
    Hollande's term was disappointing in every way. From his affair, to his hairdresser, he stupidly sabotaged his own party, while being the most dull and uninspiring president one could imagine. That's why I think Hamon is unlikely to reach the second tour.

    If it's Le Pen vs any of the other three it'll be around 30%-70% against Le Pen. If it's between the others, it'll be much closer:
    Fillon vs Macron would send the PS into a downwards spiral and would probably see Macron win (PS voters would vote for him before Fillon)
    Fillon vs Hamon is unlikely and we'd be back to the Left/Right dichotomy of the past decades.
    Hamon vs Macron is unlikely and Macron would certainly win (although it would depend on the FN voters, many of which come from the left).
     
  9. DearthnVader macrumors regular

    DearthnVader

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    #9
    When every choice you are presented with is terrible, it is a false choice, because they all tell you how great things are going to be.
     
  10. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #10
    ...as in making choices based on the false statements of conmen. The problem we had in this last election were people choosing a con man and expecting a good outcome, as in his snake oil would cure them, or theirs was the anarchy vote knowing he was a conman but not caring.
     
  11. DearthnVader macrumors regular

    DearthnVader

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    #11
    Trump, seems to me, is trying to do the things he payed out in his "First 100 days" plan, just because you don't like him, or agree with his policies, doesn't make him a "Con Man".

    Tell me what politician doesn't pander to people, telling them what they want to hear, to get elected, then flip-flopping their position based upon the political or economic reality of the day?
     
  12. juanm thread starter macrumors 65816

    juanm

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    #12
    Related: 9% of the French are happy with the new US president right now.
    I'm guessing Trump being elected, Brexit problems, will hinder Le Pen rather than help her, but we'll see soon enough.

    confidence.gif
     
  13. DearthnVader macrumors regular

    DearthnVader

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    #13
    You'd think that people would learn their lesson about polling after Brexit and Trump, but no.................
     
  14. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #14
    This is really easy to address, thanks for asking. If Trump was not a con man, then 85% of everything that comes out of his mouth would not be a lie. Option B, the man is dangerous ill, living in his own reality not shared by most of us.

    Here is a real conversation from the Y lockeroom yesterday. No need to wonder why this country has run aground. :oops:
    Old Geezer: Trump really got the stock market going.
    Me: Yeah, except I don't like him.
    Old Geezer: I voted for Trump while holding my nose, cause I'm a Cruz guy. Trump is such a liar <chuckles>.
    Me: Yeah, the Liar'n Chief <mutual chuckles>.
     
  15. juanm, Mar 2, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017

    juanm thread starter macrumors 65816

    juanm

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    #15
    Good point. That said, I also take into account my perceived opinion of other people here in Europe. I've yet to find a single French person who is even neutral regarding Trump. The only ones I've met who like Trump were of the fringe alt-left type in Spain, the kind who think Russia Today is the absolute truth, and who are eagerly waiting for the return of the good old days of the Soviet Union.

    Now, @Huntn, can we keep the references to Trump as low as possible in this thread, please? I know this is a US-centric forum, and he's related to the topic, but there's plenty of threads debating the man ad nauseam. ;)

    The point is, Even if Le Pen had 25% or even 30% and finished in first position, that's still 70% of people who absolutely hate her and will virtually vote for anyone but her. In 2002 Chirac got 82% in that situation. The two round system in France would almost certainly prevent her from being elected unless she got 50+%, which is pretty much impossible (it hasn't happened since 1958 with Charles De Gaulle)
     
  16. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #16
    If you look back I responded to a comment regarding a US centric statement (at least it struck me that way) about false choices. I did not bring up Trump's first 100 days and will lay low on Trump comments here. :)
     
  17. juanm thread starter macrumors 65816

    juanm

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    #17
    I know, but the T. word will always trigger people around here, you know that, and then it's easy to get four pages with comment after comment about how amazing/despicable he is.
     
  18. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #18
    How true... for he who shall not be named go here, currently 13 pages worth. :)
     
  19. DearthnVader macrumors regular

    DearthnVader

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    #19
    One of the reasons we no longer see accurate polling is the people themselves will tell the pollers the politically correct answer, then when they get int he privacy of the voting both, they vote their perceived bigotry and self interests.

    It won't surprise me if anti-EU and anti-muslim immigrant shows better than polling will indicate. Will it be enough to push le Pen to victory, I'll wait and see.
     
  20. juanm thread starter macrumors 65816

    juanm

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    #20
    This is a poll about a foreign president. I don't think people would bother lying. Especially considering those who do like him will precisely be staunch supporters and very vocal about it.

    Right now Le Pen polls first (around 25% vs low twenties for Macron/Fillon and 15% for Hamon). But she's of course very polarising, and with the second round system, pretty much all those who voted for other choices in the first round would vote against her.
     
  21. DearthnVader macrumors regular

    DearthnVader

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    #21
    I think you under estimate the peer pressure to be politically correct, and people's need to avoid conflict in a casual conversation. I don't know the ins and outs of French culture, but in the US, it is considered rude to talk politics and religion in social settings, because it usually leads to arguments, in a nation build on violence, where people are armed to the teeth.

    I tell people what they want to hear, all the time, in polite company. To avoid the argument, but they don't caste my vote for me.
     
  22. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    #22
    Nah, most people would lie in order to prevent the typical two hour lecture that comes after you say "Trump is ok."
    Had several lengthy conversations with my friends back in Italy. You say Trump and they go on a soap box.
     
  23. juanm, Mar 2, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017

    juanm thread starter macrumors 65816

    juanm

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    #23
    The French LOVE complaining. You have no idea how much passion they devote to this national sport.

    According to the latest polls:
    Le Pen ~26% (seems a bit low IMO)
    Macron ~23% (no idea, it's a new candidate and a new party)
    Fillon ~20% (too high if you ask me, he should resign in shame)
    Hamon ~15% (the Hollande legacy is impossible to overcome)

    Right now If I were pressed to venture a guess, I'd say Macron will win with something like 60% on the second round. It'll depend a lot on how Fillon plays being investigated. If he doesn't withdraw, he'll be giving Macron and Le Pen a lot of votes.

    If ISIS attacked again, Le Pen will go even higher but even then she'd likely lose on the second round.
     
  24. DearthnVader macrumors regular

    DearthnVader

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    #24
    Maybe you get higher voter turnout in France, than we do in the US, but the 35% for Fillion or Hamon wouldn't translate to 35% of the votes shifting to the two runoff candidates. In the US, a large percentage of those voters would just feel disenfranchised by their candidates loss, and not vote.

    I can't gage the mood of the French electorate, but I know what mood I'd be in if there where that many massive terror attacks, perpetrated buy Muslim extremist in my county.
     
  25. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

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    #25
    I'm not going to voice my opinion since it's their country and they can make up their own mind.

    Likewise, I wish people outside the US would keep their opinions about US politics to themselves unless whatever the subject is directly impacts their country and themselves.
     

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