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