May 06, 2007
SARKOZY WINS: Substantial margin, huge turnout.
UPDATE: More here:
Nicolas Sarkozy was tonight handed a decisive mandate to change France winning the presidential election by 6% after a massive turnout in one of the most divisive campaigns in recent history.
As thousands of his flag-waving supporters prepared to gather at Paris's Place de La Concorde, where heads rolled in the first French revolution, Sarkozyites were promising a new turning point in French history from a man who has promised an "economic revolution."
Instead of calling for the end of the monarchy, they had rallied round his cry to "liquidate the legacy of May 1968", end the nanny state, loosen the grip of "political correctness", lesson the power of unions and break the 35-hour week in the name of a nation that wanted to "work more to earn more".
I wish them success.
ANOTHER UPDATE: I'm posting this photo from the Washington French Embassy protests a couple of years ago one last time. Just because. . . .
And John Wixted offers a G7 national leadership election scorecard. But I think this is a bit of an exaggeration: "They might as well have just elected George Bush." Still, it's an improvement.
A report from Paris:
85.5 % voter turnout is not only amazing, it is also without precedent. Even in France, 75% voter turnout only last happened 40 years ago. This was a HUGE election. Every last granny in the nursing home went to the polls. 53-47 under those circumstances is one helluva mandate and Sarkozy knows it.
Sarkozy just gave his acceptance speech, in which he uttered the somewhat astounding—-and from a political point of view, needless—-line: "...and let me say to our American friends, they can count on our friendship."
Read the whole thing. I'm not sure about that history, though -- wasn't the turnout similarly high when Miterrand was elected?
MORE: Nidra Poller: "C'est Matin en France."
STILL MORE: Riots. Video at No Pasaran. More here.
MORE STILL: Bill Hobbs says the West is moving rightward. Possibly; it's at least not being overwhelmed by the blandishments of leftists. But let's not exaggerate this: Sarkozy is very likely much better -- for both America and France -- than Segolene Royal would have been. And he's likely to be an improvement over Chirac. But he's still French -- and so is France -- and I don't expect dramatic changes. We're likely to see the benefits more in terms of damage not done than of positive improvements.
FINALLY: Roger Simon has thoughts on what it all means: "On a more social note, American tourists will now be heading back to France. Brush up your French." En effet.
And more here: "The U.S. has now seen the leadership of both France and Germany pass to figures who believe, as a general matter, that American power is a force for good in the world, and not something that needs persistently to be constrained. Let's hope that in 2009 the U.S. still has a leader who concurs."
Plus a study in contrast.