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Sunday, May 7, 2017

We'll Have to See Who Wins The Next Election in France

In just a little while, the French are going to have their next election.  Today, Emmanuel Macron won the presidency, and that is no small feat.  In a little over a month from now, however, the seats in the French legislature will be up for grabs.  Macron has no real party behind him; he ran as an independent and not as a creature of one of the major parties.  Will his people run on their own party line?  Will Macron rely on the Socialists?  Will the National Front of Marine LePen win a major share of the seats in the French legislature?  These are not minor questions.

Remember, Macron won big today, but when all of the candidates ran two weeks ago, Macron got less than one vote in four.  If the French populace split again along the lines of the initial presidential vote, there will be no majority party in Paris.  Indeed, it is hard to figure out just which party would be in control.  A coalition might work, but it might have to be a left/right coalition that would constantly be a loggerheads over policy.  The alternative is a coalition that includes LePen's party (not likely) or one that includes the Communists (also not that likely). 

The results of the legislative votes will tell us a great deal about Macron's presidential term.  The French system has a strong presidency that was designed for Charles DeGaulle many decades ago.  It cannot function well, however, absent something like a majority in the legislature.

This may be the start of a seven year mess for the French.  We will have to wait and see.  That is not to say that a LePen victory would have made things better in France.  This is pretty much a mess that the French made for themselves.

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