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  #1  
Old Apr 21, '17, 9:44 am
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Default France Is About to Vote in the Craziest Election the World Has Seen Since, Well, November

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/...on-nationalism


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France Is About to Vote in the Craziest Election the World Has Seen Since, Well, November

French voters will go to the polls on Sunday to vote for a new president. The election will have profound reverberations around the world. Will France take a nationalist turn to the right? Will it seek to withdraw from the European Union and restrict immigration? Will a young candidate with a pro-Europe, pro-immigration message convince enough of his voters to actually show up? Will the "French Bernie Sanders" upset the establishment and convince voters that his left-wing populism is the way to go?

Voters will choose between 11 candidates, with four clear front-runners: right-wing nationalist Marine Le Pen, independent centrist Emmanuel Macron, center-right conservative François Fillon, and left-wing populist Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Sunday's election will narrow the field to the top two vote-getters (unless one candidate earns more than 50 percent of the vote), who will then go head to head in a runoff election on May 7.
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Old Apr 21, '17, 9:45 am
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Default Re: France Is About to Vote in the Craziest Election the World Has Seen Since, Well, November

Mother Jones also lays out the positions of the leading four candidates:


Quote:
When the news starts to come in from Europe this weekend, here are some key points about each of the leading candidates to keep in mind:

Marine Le Pen: The far-right firebrand has been getting a lot of the attention during the race, and polls show she is likely to get through to the second round. The 48-year-old daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of the far-right National Front party, Le Pen is riding a wave of anti-immigration and anti-globalization policy that could make her France's next president...

While polls showing Le Pen doing well in Sunday's free-for-all election, she consistently lags behind both Macron and Fillon in polls of runoff scenarios. While the National Front has historically been associated with anti-immigration zealotry, Le Pen has recently stirred controversy for aligning herself with an outsider: Russian President Vladimir Putin. Under Le Pen's leadership, National Front took out a $30 million loan from a Russian bank. Le Pen told reporters that she had to do so because French, American, and English banks won't lend her money. She says her stance toward Russia is more about reducing American and European Union control over the world and elevating other nations to be more on equal footing with the United States. She's also taken several pro-Russian positions, including supporting Russia's annexation of Crimea, pulling France out of NATO and the European Union, and dropping sanctions against Russian interests.

Emmanuel Macron: A former investment banker, Macron, 39, is the country's former economy minister. Where Le Pen favors a France-first, populist approach, Macron is pro-European Union and pro-NATO and has supported increasing sanctions against Russia if the country does not follow through on plans to address its actions in the Ukraine. The knock on Macron is that he's too boring, and his platform is trying to be all things to all people, according to Politico, balancing "the big paradox of French political life. Voters want radical change—but they also want candidates to put forward realistic, bordering on safe, platforms."

Macron is polling nearly 30 points higher than Le Pen in a two-way race. He's currently about a point up on Le Pen for Sunday's race, so it's likely he'll make it through to the May 7 final election.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon: The "French Bernie Sanders," as Mélenchon is often called by the US press, is a comparison that isn't totally accurate, as pointed out by the Intercept. Mélenchon is running from outside the main political parties, whereas Sanders ran for the Democratic Party nomination in 2016. But that hasn't seemed to hurt Mélenchon's chances. The 65-year-old supporter of Hugo Chavez and the Castros in Cuba seems to be riding a growing wave of popularity among "disgruntled, blue collar voters" who, despite their troubles with the status quo in France, "do not want to vote for Le Pen," according to Foreign Policy.

If he were to edge ahead of Macron, French voters would likely be left to choose between a far-right and a far-left candidate, a prospect that the Wall Street Journal called "a nightmare scenario for investors." The theory underpinning the investor-worry is that both candidates in that scenario would advocate policies that would scare investors from servicing France's debt, lower the value of its currency, and stunt economic growth. According to the Financial Times polling data, Mélenchon is polling 18 points ahead of Le Pen if the two were to compete in May.

Still, there are many in France who agree with his message—similar to Sanders' during the 2016 US presidential election—that wealth in France is concentrated in too few hands at the top of the food chain. Mélenchon has proposed a 32-hour work week, cutting the retirement age from 62 to 60, and a 100 billion euro ($107 billion) stimulus plan. But he also proposes pulling France from NATO, a move that would remove one of the alliance's strongest members. Mélenchon isn't as anti-European Union as Le Pen, but he says he wants to reform the European Central Bank to respond more to political interests than economic interests.

François Fillon: As a former prime minister, the conservative 63-year-old was an early favorite to win the race...

As far as policy positions, Fillon has strong support from Catholics and other social conservatives for opposing same-sex marriage. He's proposed increasing the retirement age, slashing public benefits, getting rid of the 35-hour work week, and cutting 600,000 public-sector jobs. He has also said he's ready to battle the country's strong unions. He's pro-European Union but has advocated better relations with Russia in order to defeat ISIS.
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With insight into the futility of narrow nationalistic politics, the countries of Europe which have agreed to delegate sovereignty to a supranational organism have embarked on a salutary way

- Pope Pius XII (1957)

Last edited by Vouthon; Apr 21, '17 at 10:00 am.
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  #3  
Old Apr 21, '17, 10:17 am
Caldera Caldera is offline
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Default Re: France Is About to Vote in the Craziest Election the World Has Seen Since, Well, November

Emmanuel Macron, the current favorite to win the French presidential elections, has described terrorism as an “imponderable problem” which will be “part of our daily lives for the years to come”.
...
http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017...aris-shooting/
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  #4  
Old Apr 21, '17, 11:20 am
7 Sorrows 7 Sorrows is online now
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Default Re: France Is About to Vote in the Craziest Election the World Has Seen Since, Well, November

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Originally Posted by Caldera View Post
Emmanuel Macron, the current favorite to win the French presidential elections, has described terrorism as an “imponderable problem” which will be “part of our daily lives for the years to come”.
...
http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017...aris-shooting/
That might be an understatement.
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Old Apr 21, '17, 11:30 am
Seamus L Seamus L is offline
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Default Re: France Is About to Vote in the Craziest Election the World Has Seen Since, Well, November

Maybe this election will be the tipping point for France, or maybe it'll be afterwards, but that day is coming.
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  #6  
Old Apr 21, '17, 11:44 am
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Default Re: France Is About to Vote in the Craziest Election the World Has Seen Since, Well, November

Praying their Catholic roots show through. Saint Jean d'Arc pray for your homeland!
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Old Apr 21, '17, 11:49 am
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Default Re: France Is About to Vote in the Craziest Election the World Has Seen Since, Well, November

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Originally Posted by Crusaderbear View Post
Praying their Catholic roots show through. Saint Jean d'Arc pray for your homeland!
What would Saint Joan think of France today?
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  #8  
Old Apr 21, '17, 11:56 am
Seamus L Seamus L is offline
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Default Re: France Is About to Vote in the Craziest Election the World Has Seen Since, Well, November

What would Charles Martel think of modern France ?
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  #9  
Old Apr 21, '17, 12:08 pm
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Default Re: France Is About to Vote in the Craziest Election the World Has Seen Since, Well, November

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What would Saint Joan think of France today?
I hope that is a rhetorical question. More to the point who would she vote for. Perhaps we should not go there, lest we end up casting her out as a fascist extremist. But then that is what the English have always kind of thought anyway. And they did something about it.

Interesting times in France. I pray for them.
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Old Apr 21, '17, 12:13 pm
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Default Re: France Is About to Vote in the Craziest Election the World Has Seen Since, Well, November

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I hope that is a rhetorical question. More to the point who would she vote for. Perhaps we should not go there, lest we end up casting her out as a fascist extremist. But then that is what the English have always kind of thought anyway. And they did something about it.

Interesting times in France. I pray for them.
Two things I have never associated Saint Joan with are fascism and extremism.

She loved France and wanted to defeat the British.
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  #11  
Old Apr 21, '17, 12:18 pm
Seamus L Seamus L is offline
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Default Re: France Is About to Vote in the Craziest Election the World Has Seen Since, Well, November

Paris shooting: Marine Le Pen calls for all French terror suspects to be expelled after Champs Elysees attack http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017...officers-shot/

Makes more sense then waiting until they actually do something, like killing people.
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Old Apr 21, '17, 12:30 pm
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Default Re: France Is About to Vote in the Craziest Election the World Has Seen Since, Well, November

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Two things I have never associated Saint Joan with are fascism and extremism.

She loved France and wanted to defeat the British.
Agree. But for today's climate she is perhaps a bit nationalistic is my point. Over the top. To some, not to me.
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Old Apr 21, '17, 12:53 pm
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Default Re: France Is About to Vote in the Craziest Election the World Has Seen Since, Well, November

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Agree. But for today's climate she is perhaps a bit nationalistic is my point. Over the top. To some, not to me.

The idea that St. Joan was fighting for the French 'nation' is IMHO an exercise in historical revisionism. France at this time had two competing kings, one based in England and one in the territory proper. It was a legal and moral dispute that had led to a vicious civil war, one which Joan brought to a decisive end through her bravery.

She fought out of loyalty to her rightful king not for national sovereignty. France was not a nation at this time, although it was in the process of developing statehood (which it had been undertaking for at least two centuries). She was not fighting for a sovereign French nation that would be independent of Christendom. Indeed she actually argued that instead of English fighting French, they should both be united in a common crusade under the Pope against the Saracens. There is a letter of hers to that effect, which clearly demonstrates that she was no proto-nationalist and had a sense of wider Christendom.
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  #14  
Old Apr 21, '17, 1:10 pm
Seamus L Seamus L is offline
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Default Re: France Is About to Vote in the Craziest Election the World Has Seen Since, Well, November

I think forum members could make up there own minds by reading some of St Joan's letters such as this one written to the English at Orleans May 5 1429 http://archive.joan-of-arc.org/joano...ay_5_1429.html the words 'and go back to your own country' sound so contrary to the whole concept of the EU.

Here's the rest http://archive.joan-of-arc.org/joanofarc_letters.html
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Old Apr 21, '17, 1:13 pm
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Default Re: France Is About to Vote in the Craziest Election the World Has Seen Since, Well, November

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Originally Posted by Vouthon View Post
The idea that St. Joan was fighting for the French 'nation' is IMHO an exercise in historical revisionism. France at this time had two competing kings, one based in England and one in the territory proper. It was a legal and moral dispute that had led to a vicious civil war, one which Joan brought to a decisive end through her bravery.

She fought out of loyalty to her rightful king not for national sovereignty. France was not a nation at this time, although it was in the process of developing statehood (which it had been undertaking for at least two centuries). She was not fighting for a sovereign French nation that would be independent of Christendom. Indeed she actually argued that instead of English fighting French, they should both be united in a common crusade under the Pope against the Saracens. There is a letter of hers to that effect, which clearly demonstrates that she was no proto-nationalist and had a sense of wider Christendom.
I am content with leaving the task of assessing whether or not Joan of Arc was 'nationalistic' in the very capable hands (and minds) of the French people.
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