France's Sanders-esque candidate has a chance at the Presidency


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/04/18/la-france-insoumise.html


#2

That’s the nice thing about a parliamentary system. Third parties can actually do some good.


#3

A Le Pen/Mélenchon final round could get really unpleasant.


#4

The problem is that if you compare Sanders and Melenchon, then Sanders would be almost an ultra right wing candidate - Melenchon is so far out to the left. Melenchon is an excellent speaker, but his views are of a communist utopia. Sadly. That meme comparing the three candidates and equaling Sanders to Melenchon or Clinton to Macron only shows that the author of it has no idea about who the candidates are or what they are actually proposing.

Actually Bernie Sanders would count for a very mainstream centrist politician in most of Europe.


#5

Anti-German and Pro(ish)-Putin - Not really what Europe needs right now.


#6

(“Unsubmissive France”)

I smell La Awesomeness!


#7

Oh FFS, that dude is the Jill Stein of France, come off it. Bernie Sanders ran as a Democrat, did not win the nomination, and endorsed Hillary Clinton. Jill Stein ran in a third party, demogogued on issues where she has no expertise, and pulled non-trivial votes in some key states. I understand why you don’t want to acknowledge the more accurate comparison, but vote-splitting is a very real thing that can have very real consequences for the people of France, lets not be cute about this.


#8

Although France does have the safeguard of the two-round election to at least mitigate the risk of vote-splitting.


#9

That’s a brilliant example of photo messaging right there. The colour palettes, the poses, the backgrounds, even the open necked shirts and glasses. Well played, whoever put that together.


#10

If you think Mélenchon is a communist you have no idea who he is or what communism is. There are two communist candidates and their programs have nothing to do with Mélenchon’s positions. His mentor was Mitterrand, for whom he was a minister. And he was senator for more than 30 years and still is.
He’s totally mainstream, the problem is that our society is increasingly reactionary.


#11

I didn’t say he is a communist but that his views are of a communist utopia. That’s a difference. Believe me, I know well what communism is about, having lived in it for quite a few years and having had mandatory education in marxism and leninism in school.

I know that he is a former socialist party member and a long term senator. And so what? Does that make his views more realistic? Like having a mandatory pay grades from 1-20 in all companies (including private sector), employees could block sale of a company, tax on financial transactions, create employment by reducing the work hours (yay, the 35 hour week experiment that did cost France so dearly is obviously not enough …), trade protectionism, more progressive taxes (yay for tax increases - France is among the countries with the highest income taxes already).

He also wants to either renegotiate EU treaties (good luck with that) and offer the French a referendum on leaving the EU. If that renegotiation doesn’t work, then his plan “B” is stopping the French EU contributions and abandoning the free movement of capital and goods. Good luck with that either. Blackmail works really well.

He has plenty of good ideas but his economic programme is an unrealistic disaster. But to be fair, he is by far not the only one with similar crazy notions of how to run the economy in France.


#12

Like having a mandatory pay grades from 1-20 in all companies (including private sector), employees could block sale of a company, tax on financial transactions, create employment by reducing the work hours (yay, the 35 hour week experiment that did cost France so dearly is obviously not enough …), trade protectionism, more progressive taxes (yay for tax increases - France is among the countries with the highest income taxes already).
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He also wants to either renegotiate EU treaties (good luck with that) and offer the French a referendum on leaving the EU. If that renegotiation doesn’t work, then his plan “B” is stopping the French EU contributions and abandoning the free movement of capital and goods. Good luck with that either. Blackmail works really well.

So, no downside?

I say this as an American who now lives in France because I can’t stand what the US has become. I dearly, dearly hope that Mélenchon wins. The EU does need restructuring (Piketty has some good ideas about that), the Euro is a disaster that needs fixing (not abandoning), and using the same threats to drive this reform that Germany implicitly and explicitly uses is exactly what is needed.

He has plenty of good ideas but his economic programme is an unrealistic disaster. But to be fair, he is by far not the only one with similar crazy notions of how to run the economy in France.

Bullshit. You obviously know nothing about macroeconomics. (I do, by the way; I have a PhD and work in a business school here in France, so I have studied it quite a bit.) What he is proposing economically is exactly the way to get France out of its doldrums. Productivity in France is as good or better than the rest of the developed world. That the 35 hour work week hasn’t worked as well as intended is due more to the porous net of “exceptions” that Macron and Fillon want to increase.

I lived 50 years in the US. Trust me, France does not want to move closer to that model.


#13

Oh, and I forgot to mention. The tax rate is a little higher than in the US, but not much. What I get for my taxes here is much more than what I got in the US.


#14

Wrong. He’s polling in 3rd or 4th place now, and in easy striking distance of 2nd and making to the second round. Frankly, even though I like Hamon, it’s Hamon that is playing spoiler now, as he is a distant, distant 5th place. With his votes, Mélenchon would come out in 1st place on the first round. And he would easily defeat the Le Pénistes.

Go look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_French_presidential_election,_2017


#15

This election is already complicate enough, I don’t think comparing the American and the French candidates is helping anyone.


#16

That’s not fair, he’s both experienced and knowledgable. He also embraces some extreme positions, but he is far more qualified to lead a country than Stein.


#17

Well, overall, to consider that Melenchon’s policies would be anywhere near communist ones, when they are mostly textbook Keynesian (did I spell that right ?) shows just about how far down the neo-liberal rabbit hole we’ve fallen.


#18

I wont dignify the words that followed, but guess what Cory? Repeating nonsense doesnt make it true at all. Frankly I trust the Jews I know in France far more than you to make a judgement on this topic.

Thats assuming Mélenchon can pass round 1 to begin with. Even the registered Socialist voters Ive spoken to lately are sick of their party.


#19

A Le Pen/Mélenchon final round could get really unpleasant.

The polls show Mélenchon beating the LePéniste easily.

Thats assuming Mélenchon can pass round 1 to begin with. Even the registered Socialist voters Ive spoken to lately are sick of their party.

Mélenchon is not a member of the socialist party, and hasn’t been for quite a while (he ran in the last presidential election too). The main reason that people are fed up with the socialist party is because it stopped being socialist.


#20

s/socialist/liberal
s/socialist/conservative
s/socialist/democratic
s/socialist/republican
s/socialist/liberal democratic
s/socialist/labour

…I’m sure that I could find a whole bunch more, but that seems to work with a surprising number of political party names, just off the top of my head.