French Politics

So Macron won!  Defeating that High Priestess of Fear, Marine Le Penn.  That’s what he called her during a debate.   Much of France seems to have embraced him.  Yet apparently many people abstained.  It’s certainly a crossroads fro France… and Europe.

I don’t totally understand the 5th Republic.  This constitution was written after the military coup in Algeria by de Gaulle.  During the 4th Republic there were 16 prime ministers between 1946 and 1958.  Whoa.  The 5th has been revised 24 times impacting 2/3 of its articles.  I don’t know if it started the two rounds of voting but it’s normal now.

And the results are in very fast.  The election was called for Macron at 8:04pm.  Most polls closed at 7, 8 in the cities.

And two weeks later, not 2.5 months, Macron is president.  That was Sunday.  The investiture is different from our Inauguration.  We have more pomp and circumstance.  But they have La Guarde Repubique on horseback.  They have Salon at the Elysees Palace.  We have a stand outside on the mall.

So here, Hollande was waiting at the Elysses Palais (their White House) for Macron.  Greeted him and they went upstairs for the “talk.”  Apparently to pass secrets…  I read Sarkozy and Hollande took 15 minutes – they dislikeeach other.  And then Hollande drives away.  Bye bye!  And Macron gets instructions abut the nuclear codes.

Then he walks down to the Reception room.  Ornate. Gold. Beautiful  Full of people.  And he stands there.  The president automatically becomes the Grand Maitre (Master) of the Legion of Honor and his chain is displayed and then Macron signs a certificate… making himself Grand Maitre I guess.  Then he stands while a guy talks to him.  No subtitles, but I could tell it was a retelling of the vote.  What he won in round one and then in round two.  So basically, he won.  And now he’s president.  I found out this guy was the President of the Conseil Constitutionnel.  OK.  No Supreme Court Justice.  No swearing in.  The French laughed at the idea of being sworn in … on a Bible?  Mais Non!  They are a secular nation…. That takes off every church holiday they can find as far as I see.

Today, Thursday, he has announced his cabinet.  Half female!  It also seems to be an interesting mélange of right and left.  Except nothing is simple in France.  And after this election, the usual suspects aren’t in the running.   In the past it was the Right – Sarkozy etc vs. the Socialists Hollande.  And neither made the last round.  In a way it’s a blank slate.

So what about the Assemblee Nationale?  That’s like our House, or Parliament.  Sort of.  Don’t hold me to that.

That election is June 11 and 18.  And Macron’s party is fielding candidates as I write.  So when you start a movement on the fly, you have to catch up quickly.

He called it En Marche.  I think of it – Let’s Move…. Moving forward…  Now it is La Republique En Marche.  I seem to be the only person who has noticed that the initials are the same as his…

Manuel Valls was the Prime Minister under Hollande.  He contacted REM and wanted to run for the Assemblee Nationale under that party.  Um.  No.  They were polite.  Said he didn’t meet the qualifications – was still a member of the Socialist party.  And HA!  Then the Socialist party tells him they don’t want him because he tried to support Macron.  Hoisted on his own petard.

So now we wait to see who’s elected and how well Macron is supported.

Funny note about Le Pen and Trump.  She traveled to the US earlier.  Seemed like she wanted to meet Trump.  Never heard it officially happened.   Trump made some comments over the months that implied she was following him.  Ah. NON.  She was explicit that her Front National party was doing all this long before Trump got into politics.  And, of course, she too likes Putin.

Let’s hope that the UK is smart enough to vote out Teresa May’s party in the coming election.  I have a friend in Brighton and have been reading more and more about their politics.  Shameful.

I am becoming much more of a socialist than I would ever have thought possible as I generally disliked government regulations while working in HR.  But how governments are treating people is shameful these days, in my humble opinion.

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