France Insider/Paul Ben-Itzak

March 17, 2008

It’s the economy, stupid

Filed under: Uncategorized — franceblogger @ 8:20 am

The debate in France over last night’s municipal election results, which (loser, in Pau) François Bayrou correctly characterized as a “tidal wave from the Left” has largely focused on whether the results should be read nationally, and thus as a rebuke of the right-wing government of Nicolas Sarkozy, or locally. But it seems to me that, as Socialist Party premiere secretary François Holland has pointed out, the two over-riding factors in determining the electorate’s disillusionment with the Right are the loss in purchase power — and Sarkozy’s effectively excusing himself from any responsibility for same, after having campaigned as the president of purchase power — and an almost personal rejection of Sarkozy himself and his manner of governing. Or to put it another way — and anticipate the misreadings that we’re about to hear on the BBC — it’s less about fear of change than loss of change. (Petite note de traduction pour mes lecteurs françaises: En anglais, le mot ‘change’ a une double sense: C’est aussi a dire ‘monnaie’ ou monnaie aux poches ou monnaie au porte-monnaie.)

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