Yesterday, Nicolas Sarkozy won the French presidential elections. He is well known as a baby boomer child (he is now first French president elect born after WWII), a conservative, as a pro-American (can you imagine that), as being the son of an immigrant (no Sarkozy is not a French name), yet as wanting to make immigration laws stricter, as being anti-crime, and as being against France's 35 hour work-week. as being for allowing employers to hire and fire with more ease. In addition he referred to those responsible for the 2005 riots in France as "scum".
Now if you look at the list I just gave to you, you will realize that with all you may know about France, over the years since WWII France has not been very supportive of the USA. Even when our donations of money to the victims of the Tsunami dwarfed those of all other nations, France complained that the people in the USA did not donate enough - typically liberal! In addition, despite having what were called conservative presidents over the past few administrations, France has somehow remained very socialistic; therefore its economy has lagged behind the rest of the other members of the European Union, what with a 35 hour work week, and with employers finding it very difficult to fire sluggards because of employment laws. So, knowing these things, you may wonder how on earth did Sarkozy win the election by defeating his opponent: Segolene Royal, who ran on an obvious socialist ticket.
Well, first of all, Sarkozy won by a very good margin, about 54% of the vote, compared to 46% for Royal. The way he did that was by gaining a lot of votes from those across party lines, and from camps other than the conservatives. According to the article: France's President-Elect Sarkozy Plans Quick Reform Package @ http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,270398,00.html:
"Exit polls offered some surprises. Some 49 percent of blue-collar workers — traditionally leftist voters — chose Sarkozy, according to an Ipsos/Dell poll. Some 32 percent of people who usually vote for the Greens and 14 percent who normally support the far-left also went with Sarkozy. The poll surveyed 3,609 voters and had a margin of error of about 2 percent."
Just look at those numbers. Look at how many eligible voters turned out: 85% - WOW! He got almost 1/3 of the votes of those who usually vote for the green party (pretty far left as anyone goes), and 14% of those who usually vote extreme left. The 49% of the blue collar workers is also amazing in that he wants people to work more hours, but then again, he gives a tax incentive, no tax on overtime pay. Yet the question remains, how did he get all those votes.
So how did he do it, in a country like France. Well, I put it to you that he did it with the help of the riots, and the
Time will tell if they got what they needed. I don't like every platform on which this man ran. For one, many believe he will bring France into the EU more completely by having France ratify the EU's constitution. I think that is a mistake. He has also been spouting off about global warming and how the USA should lead the world in its fight against it (yes french conservatives are fairly liberal by anyone standards but he seems less so than most). I think France can do well without the socialist agenda of the EU; and I think Frances needs to worry about itself before it worries too much about the global warming lunacies. Maybe he will take care of problems at home first, and things will improve based upon the house cleaning of France itself. Hopefully he will really be tough on crime, really get tough on illegal immigration, really institute immigration reform, really boost the economy through employment laws, and really be a good ally of the USA.