In two months, there will be presidential elections in France. Who's your favorite ?
I picked Sarkozy. I'm not flipping head over heels for him, but I find him far preferable to Royal, mostly because I don't agree with almost anything that Royal stands for (and I'm not familiar with any other viable candidates). Also, if you're asking who I expect to win (not who I'd prefer to win), the answer is still the same.
Gokul, I have much respect for you and I think you are a very bright person. As a consequence, I also think you do not know who Sarkozy is.
Sarkozy is a very young man to be were he is today. Especially considering that he has an unconventional background for a french politician. During his career, he has always had little remorses in betraying the people around him in order to get the power for himself. Sarkozy has only one goal : having the power. He does not have a project for a country, or a political ideology. He wants to be the master. At what costs ?
I could list countless instances where Sarkozy has displayed no respect to the fundamentals of democracy. But in a sufficiently subtle and controversial way so that he can get away with it. To begin with, I will give one example. As minister of the Interior, he repeatedly shew no respect for the separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary. He did this in many different occasions, but I will quote one. There is a famous justice disaster in France, Outreau trial, bearing ressemblance with the Dutroux Affair. In that case, among 18 alleged offenders, only 4 were found guilty and condemned. Sarkozy, at exactly the right moment, suggested that the government itself issued a trial against the responsible magistrate. But he did not state that in a serious manner, just an idea of what could be done, something like a threat to magistrate so that, in the future, they should be more responsible.
Well, I'll even give another example. Once a fifty years old guy found three burglars in his living room at night. He killed one. Sarkozy declared that he should not be in prison waiting for the trial, that there should not be any trial at all, because that was self-defense. Well, the buglar was shot in the back. But of course, the majority of people from whom Sarkozy gets his votes like that kind of declarations.
I am certainly not happy with the other candidates. But at least I am not afraid of them, or what they could commit with the powers at hand.
Well, I should add that by far I'm also in favor of Sarkozy. Not that I think that he's the utmost best candidate, but he sounds to me far far more reasonable than all the others - except maybe for Bayrou.
The real flying danger seems to be Royal, who wants to be "loved" and "the star of the public", and who is in an entirely religious/ideologic mood.
Now, let us pick some critique apart about Sarkozy.
First of all, he made two terrible mistakes in his life:
1) getting in trouble with Chirac's daughter, who hates him now for life
2) betting on the wrong candidate about 15 years ago and joining the wrong team.
This got him the reputation of not being faithful. I have to say, then one can say that too of Bayrou, who was in the majority, still has a minister in the gouvernment, but voted against about half of the proposals made by said government (which didn't matter, as the rest of majority was still largely sufficient).
Or you leave individual politicians some liberty to change their minds about issues, or you want them all to be sheep, except for a few dogma leaders.
As to his suggestion that judges should bear the responsability for their judgements, I can only approve. The with independence comes responsability. Now, the system is such that a judge can do about anything he likes, he is not responsible for it. The Outreau case is such a case. I think that that judge should be disembowled on a public place, after having had arms and legs broken, and then let him die slowly while the birds eat his eyes. But ok. I will settle for less. To think that the guy is STILL a judge!
I never heard the case about the burglar. In many states in the US, what the guy did was totally legal, so it is not such a crazy proposal.
I watched about all public debates, and I have to say, I didn't find one single statement by Sarkozy which I was vehemently opposed to. Some things, I would maybe see them slightly differently, but about all he says sounds very reasonable. It is very pragmatical, and not inspired by some ideology, except maybe one: merit should pay.
As to his project for France, I couldn't agree more with it: put people to work and reward effort. Results pay. Bad behaviour will be punished. His idea is: if you create wealth, THEN you can distribute it (a bit). If you don't put all efforts in creating wealth, you will have much less in the pot to distribute from in any case. Sure, that is a right wing policy. But I think France is in need of some, to come to similar levels as its European partners.
As to his desire for power, he doesn't hide it. He clearly says that for him, politics is a passion, and he wants to reach the top. Now, that's ok with me. In fact, that's much more ok with me, than people who want just to have power in order for them to use it to get a better (sex) life.
As I said, I wouldn't mind Sarkozy. I wouldn't mind Bayrou either. I wouldn't have minded Strauss-Kahn. But PULEEZE not Royal. That woman tells stupidity after stupidity.
Just one topic: education. She tried to put public teachers to 35 hours of teaching a week, confusing hours of work and hours of teaching (there's about a factor of 2 between them). Next she was going to raise minimum salary to 1500 Euro (knowing that a starting teacher has about 1400 Euro).
She forgot that she thus put teachers BELOW MINIMUM WAGE. The cleaning woman would make more money than a teacher who got a masters. The other joke is that she says that unemployment is a priority while proposing a raise of minimum wage, and she wants to get rid of a certain flexibility in working contracts. She should follow 101Economics.
Next she attacks private initiatives to give private courses: "why should teachers in their evening hours make some extra money by giving private courses, while we could make them do it for free".
And when polls indicated that she lost support amongst the teachers, which are a large and usually left-wing public she would normally have, then suddenly, she said that one of her priorities would be education! And suddenly she went to visit kindergarten and all that. She quickly promised a lot of money for education and research. Money which would come from economic growth. And then she promises a serious tax raise. Yeah, that will go together. She wants to decrease specific tax favors to companies, and instead, wants to give free driving courses for all people who get a CAP (that is a technical workers degree if you don't go to high school).
Other great statement: she would support Quebec as an independent state (getting in troubles with Canadian diplomacy for her statement - imagine Blair say that he would suppport an independent Normandy).
She "feels", she is "compassionate", "she understands", ... gee.
"I feel pretty, feel so pretty, I smile, vote for me and I'll promise you the moon"
Please not that Barbie doll in the Elysee...
humanino, I'll easily concede I do not know nearly as much about Sarkozy as I would require myself to know, if I were French. What little I get is from listening to the BBC while I drive. And they spend more time going over the cadidates' positions, strategies and actual polling numbers than they assign to talking about past actions. Moreover, it is natural that you will find more wrong in Sarkozy's past than in Royal's, since he has been a more public figure due to his roles in Interior.
Going strictly by positions rather than history (which I'm mostly unaware of), I find Sarkozy's economic agenda much preferable to Royal's. I find most of Royal's opposition to any free market forces and fundamental freedoms completely opposite my own views. Also, I find Royal to be quite ignorant of international issues and it appears that she has no sense of what makes for good foreign policy.
Reading the two paragraphs that you wrote about Sarkozy, the first one makes me extremely uncomfortable, and the second one makes me slightly worried too (but less than the first, only because I couldn't come to much of a judgement without seeing more details of the actual case).
Despite the injustice that a horrible person be rewarded, I think Sarkozy may be the better option for France from an economic point of view. I think a strongly socialist agenda will do France's economy some serious damage. On the other hand, the majority of the population, if I'm not mistaken, does hold very left-leaning views on labor policy, so I don't know how much a Sarkozy government might actually be able to accomplish.
Thank you both for helping me going forward.
Apparently Sarkozy has won the run-off election!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas_Sarkozy (May 6, 2007)
Royal just won with 67%
made you look
What? Where did you hear this? That would be quite a turn around in the last few moments of counting.
53% + 67% = 120%
Now that's impressive.
No, that would simply be impossible, even if all the vote not counted yet would be in favor of Royal.
Sarkozy is our next president. Let us not look at the past and hope he will be a decent president. Or better, let us look at the past, and realize that some good presidents were far worse before being president, and some very decent candidates revealed catastrophique presidents.
What a relief !
(I stick to my comments earlier in this thread)
Especially for the nuclear sector, I'd say, of which Sarkozy is a defender, and Royal was an opposition (she wanted to stop immediately the construction of a new power plant and all research on the matter).
I'm happy for the French. May your new president lead you prosperity and pride in your nation.
Sarkozy will deconstruct France, destroy its core values, making it another pawn in the international globalist agenda with plenty of anti-immigrant bashing and other rhetoric.
I heard Sarkozy is already trying to end the 35-hour work week -- however, maybe if he is bad enough before the Parliamentary election, the French will vote in a Parliament that will restrain him.
Obviously democracy is dying in France like it has here in the US.
and what are those core values ?
anti immigrant bashing ? What on earth is that ?
A 35-hour week ? :rofl: Look at economic reality. 35 hours is NOTHING and ofcourse that needs to be altered to a higher value. Did you not follow 1 % of the economic evolution in Europe ?
Rubbish, he was elected by majority vote. That is it.
So was Hitler. And no, that's not a fallacy. Of course he was elected by majority vote, but that doesn't mean Democracy isn't dying, orbitalpower was talking about all the other little bits that make democracy work, not just the voting part which is imho a minor aspect of democracy.
(fyi, I'm not agreeing with orbitalpower, just saying that's a bad counter-argument)
YES that's a fallacy because although Hitler was elected in a "democratic way" (which cannot be compared to today's election process in Western Europe) his reign was far from democratic. Sarkozy still has to begin that stage so you cannot compare that. That is why it is wrong to bring in Hitler.
Also, Sarkozy did not write a book àlla Mein Kampf while he was in prison. The ideas behind his politics are far away from those of the NSDAP before and after (ofcourse) they got elected. Again, by no means can you make this -predictable- counter arguement.
Finally, one cannot say "democracy is dying" at the stage of democratic elections. This also applies to Germany in the 1930ties.
Not to mention Hitler was never elected to the position he ended up in when he declared himself dictator.
On a party level he actually was elected to the position of Führer of the Nazi Party with dictatorial powers by 543 votes for and only one against. He had threatened to resign from the party if they didn't give him the powers he wanted.
On the national level his powers as Führer of Germany were also legitimately attained by persuading the Reichstag to vote through a number of enabling acts which granted him governmental dictatorial powers. The main one being the "Law for Removing the Distress of the People and the Reich". It needed a 2/3 majority to pass and the vote was 441 for and only 84 against. The vote was held in the Kroll Opera House in Berlin on Mar 23rd 1933.
I mean that he was never elected as head of state. The position of Chancellor was the head of the government, but the president head of state. When Hindenburg died, Hitler declared himself in charge. Granted, a referendum was passed legitimizing the appointment, but he never ran in an election against anyone. In fact, even Chancellor was an appointed position he was never elected to.
That really isn't very unusual even in functioning democracies especially in european democracies.
Different countries have very different approaches to how democracy is applied.
To compare the US and Britain; the prime minister of Britain is appointed by the governing party with only party members having a say in who gets the job and even that is not on a 1 man 1 vote basis. A good example at the moment is the unopposed succession of Gordon Brown whereas in the US your head of the executive branch is elected directly to the position while on the other hand in the US the executive branch are all unelected apart from the president and veep whereas in Britain all senior ministers have to be elected MPs.
Well, Ford came to power in basically the same way Hitler did. He was appointed as Vice President to Nixon, then when Nixon left, Ford automatically took over, but he was never elected to either office. In fact, he wasn't even confirmed.
The thing is, realizing that, we say that Ford was the only US president in history to not be elected. So, by the same token, even though Hitler came to power by a means made possible through constitutional channels in a democracy, I would also say that he was unelected, which stands in contrast to Sarkozy.
Separate names with a comma.