Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Two Weeks Till France Decides

The European decision about the direction and the magnitude of the response to the ongoing immigration wave is about to revealed. There are big differences in the choice between socialism and the alternatives. Whatever France decides to do, the policy effects will spill over onto all the lands of the old world powers.

Hard choices ahead: With fewer than two weeks to go before the French presidential elections, what might a Sarkozy victory mean for France's immigrant communities? … France's voters are being presented with a choice between two, or perhaps three, main candidates.

On the one hand, they can vote for the Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal, the first woman to stand a real chance of winning a major French election. She is a politician who has been careful to distance herself from the unpopular, and largely male, "dinosaurs" of the French Socialist Party, choosing instead what she calls a new way of doing politics that is closer to people's everyday concerns.

On the other, they can choose to head into what for France are largely uncharted waters by voting for the centre-right UMP candidate Nicolas Sarkozy, who has similarly distanced himself from the kind of politics-as-usual represented by the outgoing French President Jacques Chirac, himself from the UMP. Sarkozy has caused disquiet among many voters by provocative statements he has made about the need to shake up French life and politics.

More background at French Election 2007