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Ronan Farrow's Audience Consists Of People Whose Remote Has Died, Family, And People Paid to Watch And Make Fun Of Him | Main | CNN: We're Not Covering Leland Yee Because It's a Local Crime Story
March 31, 2014

"Cauchemaresque," "Sans Precedent:" The French Left Loses Huge in France's Municipal Elections
Update: France's Prime Minister Resigns

Update: France's PM has resigned. MereMortal posts this tweet:

French Prime Minister Ayrault's office says he has resigned as prime minister - @Reuters

Note this is not the President (Hollande), who will remain in office even longer than Obama (the next presidential election is sometime in 2017, probably March).

...

"Nightmarish," says LeMonde.

"Without precedent," says Le Figaro.

France just held its municipal elections -- held every two years to vote in mayors, town councilors, etc. -- and the Socialists (PS, Parti Socialist) lost badly.

At least 155 towns with 9,000 inhabitants or more switched from leftist rule (PS or associated leftist parties) to rightist (usually Sarkozy's party, l'UMP). Some towns, which have had socialist rule for 37 or 43 years, have now dumped the socialist party in favor of the UMP.

Limoges has been ruled by socialists since 1912 -- except during the Vichy years (when the Nazis ruled it) and except for 1946-47, when it was ruled by... Communists. That town has now flipped to a UMP mayor.

The "far right" party, the Front National (FN), picked up something like 15 mayorships as well.

The Prime Minister (himself PS) confessed the defeat.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault acknowledged the vote was "a defeat for the government and the [Socialist] majority".

"This message is clear... The president will draw conclusions, and he will do so in the interest of France,'' he added, in an apparent reference to a likely cabinet reshuffle.

These elections don't directly affect the national government. The elections for the French Senate will be held this September (I believe this is exactly the midway point in a President's five-year term). But this is the public's first chance to weigh in on Hollande's socialist rule, and they're not happy about it.

I doubt this has much to do with American politics, except in this minor way. When Democrats are in trouble, the media frequently portrays the public as "in an anti-incumbent" mood, as if they're just against incumbents, period, without parsing out between which incumbents they're most displeased by.

Similar crap was/is going on in France, with much made of the very poor turnout rate -- the elections featured an all-time high of people choosing not to vote in a municipal election.

Thus the public was in an "anti-incumbent" mood.

But they didn't vote out all incumbents. Only three towns moved from having a rightist (UMP) mayor to having a leftwing one. Meanwhile, at least 155 moved the other way, in what is being called the droitisation (rightward movement) of the electorate.

Hollande is not directly affected by this. Even if he looses the September elections, he still won't be booted out of power, because the Prime Minister is selected by the Senate, but the President (like the President in America) serves his full term no matter who holds the Senate.

But this is obviously a major blow to the left. So much so that Hollande will address the nation at 8 PM (their local time) to say something or other about what is variously being called a "rout," "debacle," and "penalty" for the left.

Interestingly, it's also frequently said that a "vague bleu" swept France -- a Blue Wave. The French have retained the historical use of red for the left, so the right is blue.

Oh it's also being called the left's Berezina. The French don't speak of "meeting one's Waterloo," for some reason. Usually they refer to another of Napoleon's major setbacks, that at the Battle of Berezina (a river in Russia in 1812). Like our own Waterloo expression, it means "disaster" or "catastrophe).

BTW: There's some lame spin in the world press that the left's "consolation" is that Paris elected its first female mayor.

That is not consolation. Hildago's opponent, NKM (I forget her full name) was also a woman.

It has been known that Paris would have a female mayor, whether the PS candidate Hildago or the UMP candidate NKM, for a full year.

Meanwhile, some "anti-fascism" groups are protesting the FN's wins in some towns by... threatening political violence.

I'm not sure if they understand what "anti-fascism" means.






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