French Parliamentary Elections

Continuing the discussion from Centrist Macron thrashes far-right Le Pen in French presidential election:

Well, the first round was last night, and it seems like they’ve massively exceeded my expectations. They’re in line to win one of the largest parliamentary majorities since the war. For a party that didn’t exist prior to this election this has to go down as one of the greatest political achievements Europe has seen.

Only thing that tempers the result somewhat is the incredibly low turnout (a record low of 49%), obviously they had a lot of motivated voters, but they possibly wouldn’t have done as well with a larger turnout. Though even then, they still would have been the main party with the support of Le Republicains.

Macron now has the ammunition to implement whatever reforms he wants basically, only question remains will he be able to bring the unions with him, or whether there’ll be large scale strikes and civil unrest, my money is on the latter.

Le Pen looks set to win a seat for the first time, FN will increase their total seats from 3, but doesn’t look like they’ll hit the threshold of 15 required to have any input in terms of the opposition.

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I was staring at the results earlier, and I have to admit my jaw dropped. I didn’t see that coming. I didn’t follow the campaigns during the last weeks, and lost contact to my French colleagues and friends lately.

The second round is going to be interesting. Especially because of what you said: [quote=“caze, post:1, topic:102540, full:true”]
Only thing that tempers the result somewhat is the incredibly low turnout (a record low of 49%),

I’ve already seen different explanations for that, and I have no idea which one is the most likely. Some claim loads of Macron’s supporters stayed home since they thought the election would be win anyway, others claim the non-supporters stayed away since they didn’t want to support the established parties either and thought the turnout wouldn’t be that devastating for them. And so on. IDK. Sounds all possible.

Neither do I have any feeling how next Sunday well turn out. But it seems that Macron will have nearly carte blanche for the next years, notwithstanding extraparliamentarian opposition.

Given his background, this will be very interesting. Not to say partly frightening.

For the record, while I don’t believe their motives to be benevolent, I do see the other parties criticism that democracy itself is endangered by such a strong majority has a point. Let’s hope Macron has learned Peter Parker’s lesson.

(And hell, I hate to admit it, but even bloody MLP has a point when complaining that the French voting system inherently is leading to an under-representation of minority votes. But that’s a different story altogether.)

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A couple more for you, why not:

  • The Partie Socialiste has fallen off the damn map. They were half of the five-hundrend-and-something seats last time, now they’re just hoping to get the fifteen required to stay in government. It’s a spectacular collapse, and it seems like a lot of socialist voters decided their party isn’t going to win so they can’t be bothered. I’m inclined to understand this in terms of the same concerted propaganda efforts to discredit left-wing parties in other countries, but the mechanism here has been less obvious to me than, say, “Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable, everyone says so!”
  • Some electorates had as many as 26 candidates running. For some people the choice was overwhelming, with too many candidates with too similar platforms, and in the end they didn’t bother.
  • Voter turnout in St Denis was at 25%, which says to me that immigrants and their families aren’t voting much. The French system is great when you’re in it but it leaves altogether too many people behind and there is a lot of disenfranchisement. I can’t even find voter turnout statistics for French Guiana, because nobody cares about French Guiana, so French Guiana tends not to vote much.
  • This is part of a long-term trend. I’m probably not a great source to listen to when it comes to French political history, but I have a sense that the French government has over time become less and less effective at representing its citizens. It’s easy in France to roll out a new social program to help this group or that, but if you try to restructure or scale back a social program then its beneficiaries are liable to take to the streets in protest. So because you don’t restructure as you go, the system becomes increasingly rigid and difficult to change, to the point where it can take the government’s statistics department more than a year to produce a report on the potential effects of changes to a social program, because they are so complex and full of concessions to special groups. So my impression is that young voters coming online for the first time increasingly see a system that protects the status quo to the point that it seemingly has no room for new citizens.

That is definitely a big question for Macron’s LREM party. The other question that seems pertinent to ask is, who the fuck are these people? Apparently under normal conditions it takes a party about two years to properly vet and onboard a new candidate; La Republique en Marche got their entire posse together in six months, with many candidates entirely new to politics and from the look of it a lot of skeletons in a lot of closets. One candidate is forbidden from running a company due to dodgy tax practises, another had a six month prison sentence, one falsely claimed to have been a mayor, another was head of Infogrames (now bankrupt), another deleted a bunch of homophobic posts off facebook, another is under investigation for conflicts of interest, another lied about her diploma, another is accused of giving false testimony, another may have threatened to kill someone… I don’t know how many of those particular candidates will get through but it seems like there is a real risk that this presidential term will get bogged down in a shitfest of scandals and incompetency.


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