Not So Cozy with Sarkozy

by Ryan on April 23, 2012

in Election 2012,Europe,France,International Relations,Politics

Sunday’s elections in France have produced a May 6 run-off between socialist Francois Hollande and President Sarkozy.  In the first round of voting Hollande edged-out Sarkozy for a 28.2% to 27% plurality.  Sarkozy’s second place finish is the first time that a sitting president was out-polled in the first round.  Sarkozy is apparently pegging to the right in an attempt to take some of Marine Le Pen’s 19% in the next round.

What might all this mean?

Holland and Sarkozy are quite different on the issues, making France’s election much like ours in November — a striking contrast of different visions.  If France votes to end their flirtation with austerity and embrace a Keynesian-like socialist spending spree, then their economy will quickly move towards that of Southern Europe, taking the EU with it.  If France votes to keep Sarkozy, France will stay above water for a while longer, maybe even weathering the economic shocks Greece, Spain, Italy, etc. are bound to eventually produce.  However, the French people seem tired of belt-tightening and may be poised to embrace “change.”  We know where that leads.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mike April 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm

I don’t think this is necessarily a striking contrast between two different visions. True, Sarkozy implemented some common sense reforms, but even he is to the left of the British Labour Party in terms of taxation, spending levels, and state involvement in the private sector. That said, a vote for Holland is a vote to turn France into Greece.

The polling in France affirms how difficult it is for an incumbent to argue that things would be worse if the other side won power. If Sarkozy can’t pull it off when the argument is true, it’s tough to see how Obama can pull it off when the argument is false.


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