Archive for French elections
Here is the table that kept most French commentators on the primaries busy on Monday, since the fit of the results at 10am to the results at the previous midnight is perfect, indicating the 10am results are not results… There was even a line in Le Monde about achieving this perfect fit being of order 10⁻³, “un miracle statistique de l’ordre d’une chance sur mille”, although no details of this arcane calculation are provided! I wonder why a journalist writing about nonsensical data feels obliged to add more nonsensical data to “support” one’s argument. [Thanks to Arthur Charpentier for sending me the data.]
After a surrealistic debate last week between the two primary candidates about their comparative proximity to the catholic pope, and the reminder by the winner, François Fillon, that he did not consider abortion as a fundamental right, the French catholic church hierarchy has been trying to block a new law that criminalises anti-abortion websites that mimic as official websites, while providing misleading information… With the usual newspeak deviance of arguing for a freedom of speech that is not under threat.
While at a much lesser scale than the US election result, the outcome of the French Republican primaries of last weekend shows a similar shift to the right of the electorate, who thus favoured the arch-conservative [Thatcherite] François Fillion over the milder center-right Alain Juppé. Some proposals in his program are downright [very much down and very much to the right] scary, among which
- cancel the 35 hour legal working week and let companies “negociate” up to a 48 hour working week
- apply an increase of 10% of the VAT, this most unfair of taxes, against a decrease of 40 billions € on company taxes
- cut 500,000 public sector jobs, increase working hours in the public sector and restrict the status of civil servant to a few ministries
- prohibit adoption and medically assisted procreation outside heterosexual and married couples
- collaborate with Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin, including ending sanctions against Russia’s annexation of Crimea,
- turn the EU into a Europe of Nations (which happens to be the name of the extreme-right group in the European Parliament)
- rewrite history school programs to deliver a “story of the French Nation” that plainly replace teaching with State indoctrination
- strip French terrorists of French nationality (a proposal that goes against Article 15 of the Declaration of Human Rights)
- leave the European Court of Human Rights (as Theresa May),
- and ban burkinis from beaches, an obviously definitive answer to all secularism issues!
Scary enough to make me decide to vote against him at the second primary election next Sunday, as the winner is likely to be the next French president. (The alternative is simply terrifying!)