Sunday, January 14, 2007

Political Similarities A World Apart

The French presidential campaign is in full swing. And Super Frenchie has got extensive coverage at his blog. For those that do not know much about French politics, these links are for you.

Here are the players:

From the Right

From the Left

That should get you acquainted with the names. But the real education comes from reading the comment threads. Even at that, these two are not the best of example, by far. For that one, you'll have to read his latest election thread, here.

Do that, then come back and tell me, just how much our political campaign debates are heated and divisive. I see little difference, myself. Parts is parts. Politics is politics.

What's interesting to note in all of this is, Europe appears to be every bit as divided, as we are in the United States.

In Germany recently, Merkel won by a very narrow margin and was forced to form a coalition with her closest and almost equally popular rival, SPD. Now, we have France staring at a potentially very contentious contest, with much uncertainty as to what the outcome may be.

Some are concerned, I am sure. Some are calling for the halt to immigration. Some are talking about the national debt. And many actually desire to see the fall of the "Fifth Republic", and the rise of the Sixth.

But when the dust clears, the" Republique" will survive, as it always has.


superfrenchie said...

LA: /Do that, then come back and tell me, just how much our political campaign debates are heated and divisive. I see little difference, myself. Parts is parts. Politics is politics.//

The difference is this: ours have always been very divisive, what with parties running from the extreme right to trotskysts and communists on the extreme left. Your politics, just a decade ago, in comparison were the summum of boring with pretty much everybody agreeing on the main points (market economy, etc...) and some disagreements on the details (more or less taxes, that type of things).

I agree that both are now just as divisive. But in the US, it's a new phenomenon.

JPH said...

France is always divisive in politic. Always. Because the republican spirit is very strong.

LASunsett said...


//I agree that both are now just as divisive. But in the US, it's a new phenomenon.//

I disagree. 1960, 1968, 1976, 1992, 2000. and 2004 were all pretty divisive, as I recall. Now, if you mean nasty campaigns, I am with you.

Mary Ellen said...


Regarding SF's comment, I agree with you. Perhaps he didn't follow too closely our past presidential elections. Although I was young, my family was very active politically and the discussions at the dinner table during the Nixon and Kennedy election showed that the country was very much divided. That race couldn't have gotten much closer and there were plenty of dirty tricks on both sides of the aisle.

As far as the election in France this year, I have to laugh at some of the arguments. The French seem more American regarding elections than they may want to admit. I just saw an article recently in the Chicago Tribune about Sengole Royal(sp?). It sounds like she is running her campaign on sound bytes and with the help of a PR firm. I see a lot written about how she looks and what kind of mom she is, but where is the substance in her speeches? The article also pointed out that many women don't like her but the men do. What a surprise! The French actually are judging this woman on how she looks and that she seems like a nice person, and not on her policies. I haven't seen or heard anyone speak of her foreign policy platform. Could it be that she has none? Sounds pretty American to me.

Of course, this is coming from an outside view...just as the French judge Americans with their "outside view".

JPH said...

it is not an outside view. It is an inside one too ! You are not wrong on this subject. Thks to share our political life. ( thks to LA too)

Mary Ellen said...


Thank you...I hope the last line about "outside views" didn't sound insulting! It wasn't meant to. I really shouldn't blog early in the morning, before coffee.

LASunsett:You and I are about the same age, do you remember the Democratic Convention in Chicago...riots, mayhem? I think that is when I started paying more attention to what was going on with our government. As young as I was, it made such a big impression on me. I have to wonder if the last two presidential elections will have such an impact on the kids today.

hzngtc said...

It was not at all insulting. I understood it very well, don't worry. You see you can blog before your coffee !

JPH said...

What did I do ? sorry, the last post was from JPH, sorry.

Mary Ellen said...


That was strange...I was wondering who
hzngtc was! It looks like the word verification letters came up as your name....

LASunsett said...


//do you remember the Democratic Convention in Chicago...riots, mayhem? //

I remember them well. My interest in politics came at the time Bobby Kennedy was assassinated. I lived in San Bernardino at the time, about an hour away from where he was killed. I followed politics closely afterwards and watched film of the riots on the nightly news (probably Huntley and Brinkley or Cronkite, I can't remember which).

That was a very divisive period. And that was something we haven't seen the likes of, before or since.

JPH said...

I remember Very well when Bobby was assassinated. I was 17. I was 12 in 1963, when JFK was assassinated, it opened my mind to the world.

LASunsett said...


I remember JFK as the guy that interrupted my Saturday morning cartoons to tell us about some silly old missile crisis. But my most vivid memory is when he was assassinated. I wasn't paying attention in school one day and the intercom came on. All I heard was the radio with some news, so I shut it out. My teacher listened for a minute or so, and then gasped and said, "Oh my God, the President has been shot!".

It was summer vacation time, so there was no school when Bobby was killed. My mom woke me up out of a sound sleep to tell me that he had been shot. I stayed up all night watching the coverage.

It happened about 11 or so, she awakened me a little after midnight.

Both were a shock, to say the least.

JPH said...

In nov 63 , I was 12, alone in the apartment, waiting to go to school, I was listening radio set doing my home work. Suddenly, this information : JFK assassinated in Dallas ! I don't know why, but I liked him. For Bob I was older, it is not the same thing.