Like the French or not, they are going to the first of two polls on 22 April to elect a president. In what is generally being described as a lack-lustre campaign presently underway, DNA )(Daily News & Analysis) has considers who the candidates are for possible high-office.
Sarkozy, once the hyper-president, has lost his halo. He even had to apologise for his ‘people’ (Page Three) period during the first years of his presidency and fewer electors believe that he can deliver new miracles.
Hollande has never been an exciting postulant; further he does not have the charm of his ex-companion Ségolène Royal, Sarkozy’s rival in 2007; the Socialist candidate remains ahead in all surveys and will in all probability be the next president. He has the advantage of incumbency. But this does not make the campaign thrilling.
Bayrou, the eternal looser is unable to bring enthusiasm to a campaign that is turning duller by the day; Bayrou, who wants to be the ‘alternative’ has been downgraded to the fifth place in the surveys.
Marine Le Pen, the daughter of the veteran extreme-right provocateur, Jean-Marie Le Pen is not doing as well as she expected. A few months ago, she thought that she could topple Sarkozy and reach the second round. She is now in the fourth place behind Mélenchon, the only candidate who keeps making inroads, probably thanks to his wild populist promises. But one can’t expect a modern country to return to a Bolshevik system à-la-Chinese.
The less one speaks of the other candidates, the better.
Will the last days of the race, become more ‘sexy’ or at least slightly less boring? No, no, no would say Charlotte.
The real issue is that nobody has the solutions to sort out the economic and social problems facing the country. There is no readymade panacea.
More than 75 % of the French today believe that the globalisation is something negative and that the concurrence of countries like India or China will affect further employment.
Very few believe that a solution will come from the European Union, which is ‘too bureaucratic’ and excessively centralised in its decision process.
The British press never misses an occasion to make fun of the French. The Economist calls France ‘A Country in Denial’. The cover story points out: “What is most striking about the French election is how little anybody is saying about the country’s dire economic straits. The candidates dish out at least as many promises to spend more as to spend less."