Sunday, 6 May 2007

Segolene Royal wins French presidential poll

The polls are closed in the only French presidential election that really matters: that of Liberal Polemic's readership!

I asked Liberal Democrats, libertarians and anybody else who visited this site "Who would you support in second round of the French presidential elections?"

The results are a clear victory for the Lady in Red.

Nicolas Sarkozy 40% (16)
Segolene Royal 53% (21)
Rather emigrate 8% (3)
(40 votes total)

So there you have it, folks. Confirmation, if it were ever needed, that even in the blogosphere, the Lib Dems are a left leaning bunch, who would prefer to elect an unreconstructed socialist who offers a continuation of France's economic, social and welfare failure, with the only innovation being a few dollops of extra public expenditure to be financed by further wringing an already-squeezed tax base.

Forunately, the French still have a chance to vote differently. Segolene Royal's opponent may not be a warm or comofortable figure; indeed, he is more like our own first female premier than France's. However, Nicolas Sarkozy is correct to see a need for "rupture" in French politics. The old methods of high taxation, a bloated welfare state and excessive labour laws have squeezed the life out of the French economy. Unemployment is at 8.3% nationally, but over 20% among 18-25 year olds and possibly twice that in the deprived banlieues. The economy has performed sluggishly over the past decade and will continue to do so. There are entrenched social problems.

France needs to free up its people and its economy, to loosen the State's grip on all of French life and usher in a period of sustained growth that will help ease the social problems that have beset the country. Only Nicolas Sarkozy offers real solutions to France's problems. The French may be ready for the medicine he offers.

I guess when one is not suffering the ill effects personally, one can afford to be more concerned with how unpleasent the medicine tastes

Who would you support in second round of the French presidential elections
Nicolas Sarkozy
Segolene Royal
I would rather emigrate
Free polls from

UPDATE: Paul Griffiths has rightly taken issue with my (albeit rather tongue-in-cheek) suggestion that a small and self-selecting poll provides "Confirmation" or anything. Readers are warned that such claims should be taken with a cellar of salt and a wry smile.


Paul Griffiths said...

A rather sweeping conclusion about Lib Dems, based on only 40 votes.

Anonymous said...

As interior minister, Sarkozy managed to create weeks of riots. Any social problems he fixes by anglicising the economy will be massively outweighed by the social rupture he inspires by his attitudes and illiberal social views.

Kit said...

I suspect, like me, that most of those voting against Royal were not LibDem supporters. I am a regular reader of yours and I cannot understand why you support the LibDems.

As for anonymous' "Sarkozy managed to create week of riots". I suspect the rioting was 'managed' by the disgruntled socialists. Socialism and democracy are not comfortable bed fellows.

Tom Papworth said...

Sadly, Paul, based on my wider experience of the party, I suspect that if anything my poll rather underestimates the proportion of Lib Dems who would have chosen Sego over Sarko. But I'll agree it is not really proof of anything. Not only is 40 too small a sample, but it is self selecting.

Anonymous, the suggestion that Sarkozy "created" the riots is nonsense. He may have added fuel to the fire by taking a tough line, but to therefore blame him for their erupting in the first place is baseless revisionism.

Kit, I'm surprised and disappointed. I always thought you were a Lib Dem at heart ;o)

Anonymous said...

Well, choosing between Sarko and Sergo is harder than it first appears. Sarkozy may liberalise the economy, but then again Royal is much more likely to follow a liberal social program. It is unlikely that any economic reforms under Sarkozy would yield liberal results. Without the guiding principal of liberty, centre-right parties have a tendency to liberalise an economy only as a way of increasing growth, and in many circumstances they end up supporting corporate power over real economic freedom. For this reason I suspect there is a deep seated resentment of conservative parties amongst some groups of liberals for stealing parts of our ideology, implementing it for the wrong reasons and doing it in such a heavy handed fashion that they have discredited liberal economics in the eyes of large sections of the public. Sarkozy may pass reforms that boost the French economy, but when it comes to the question of Sarkozy giving anymore freedom to the French than Royal would, that is debatable.

Tom Papworth said...

"a deep seated resentment of conservative parties ... in the eyes of large sections of the public."

I completely agree. However, I do not think that Royal will actually implement any liberalising policies.

Sarkozy may only promote the economic side of liberalism, but that will at least free both employers and employees from excessive state regulation. It might also enable more people to find work, which is surely a good thing.

By comparison, Royale would crate a bigger and more powerful state, further regulating the lives of workers and employers alike, while binding ever more people ever closer to the state machine.

Sarkozy is not ideal, but he remains preferable to Royale's rampant socialism.

Tristan said...

There does seem to be a trend for many LibDems to oppose the economic side in favour of the social side, but that seems like a total contradiction to me.

With state control of the economy, the state has control of most aspects of your lives (economics not being the study of money, but the study of human interaction, motives and incentives).

Greater economic liberalisation leads to greater freedom to choose your own life. Economic freedom leads to greater individual autonomy which allows you to adopt life choices which are away from the norm. As more people can do this, it becomes clear that society will not collapse and people become far more open to socially liberal moves.

Greater econommic liberalisation reduces racial discrimination, it gives women more power through the markets, it decreases the chances of discrimination along non-work related lines (if you discriminate then someone else will hire them and gain their expertise).

Joe Otten said...

I am with anonymous #2. Conservatives are not liberals. It takes a lot of economic reform to make up for a typical conservative's contempt and loathing for ordinary people.