Sunday, May 6, 2007

Let's go, Sarko!

It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me well that I am backing Nicolas Sarkozy for the French presidency.
A year before the race for president began, I wondered, why doesn't "Sarko" go for it? He was the only person in Chirac's cabinet that seemed to have any clue as to how France was changing and how that change must be dealt with. All we ever heard from Chirac and Co. was typical Gaullist head-in-the-sand railings against "les Anglo-Saxons." Sarkozy, however, is a transatlanticist, someone who admires both Britain and the U.S. and seeks a much closer relationship with both. He also wants to bring greater economic liberalism to France by allowing a 40-hour week (or more) and liberalizing the economy by tearing down some of France's protectionist walls.
Sarko did gain some notoriety by calling the French "hoodies"—young deliquents with nothing better to do than cause trouble and blame it on French society—"scum." Well, Sarko is right. They are. Last month's riot as the Gare du Nord station in Paris was a disgrace. With Sarko in charge, heads will start cracking and I would dearly love to see it.
Segolene Royal or "Sego," his socialist rival, looks to protect welfare benefits for layabouts and slap the thugs on the wrist. Not impressive. Royal also, typically for a Left-winger, sees Israel as an aggressor and America as a threat. Nothing will change if she's elected.
But, fortunately, I don't think that'll happen. Sarkozy is leading Royal 55%-45% going into today's election. There is still a considerable-sized undecided voter base left over from the independent moderate Francois Bayrou, who has criticized Sarkozy. However, on the subject of Sego, Bayrou has been quiet but refused to endorse her campaign, much to her party's bewilderment and anger. A proportionate amount of those planning to vote for Royal say they are only doing so to keep Sarkozy out, not because they like her, whereas one woman who voted for Bayrou in the first round said she will vote for Sarkozy, even though he "scares" her, because she does not think Royal has what it takes to be president. If this the majority opinion among Bayrou voters, then this could be a cakewalk for Sarko.
And France will be much better off for it.

1 comment:

abel said...

I was glad Sarkozy won. Though not the perfect canidate, he was a much better choice than Royal