This may not be a wise decision on the long run, since a direct confrontation with Hezb is all but assured. A move to Chapter 7 will only ensure that the coming conflict be even more messy, shifting more decisions to foreign chancelleries.
In the context of the region, events in
This is the first in a Five-Part Series, in which I will look at the effect of the vagaries of the electoral calendar and the interplay among those nations. I’m starting in
can still act as potential spoiler, or "promoter".
It is possible that as much as 5% Sarkozy’s “declared” supporters may be closet “LePenistes”; some of the backers of the far right tend not to declare their preferences outright because of the stigma associated with it… In addition, with more than 40% of French who are still undecided, Sarkozy still has some convincing to do. Then again, the undecided may prove apathetic, and Sarkozy can still count on his party’s strong organization to mobilize the base and “get out the vote”.
While Madame Royal has demonstrated the power of empty slogans and TV packaging, one should not underestimate the lady’s determination. She muscled her way in becoming the socialist party’s candidate, and she is proving to be more than a match to Sarkozy.
Her inexperience and many gaffes are not helping her, but with 22.5 % of the vote, she appears to be more than a match for Sarkozy
A second surprise of this race has been Bayrou, often ridiculed as the eternal also-ran of French politics. With 19.5% of the vote, he comes close to both candidates.
He has benefited so far from Segoléne’s gaffes, and his stance may still encourage many undecided to support “anyone but Sarkozy” early on. Regardless of what the MSM may write about him, he's still very much in play.
Jean-Marie Le Pen
Le Pen has a stable support base, around 13% to 15%, but it can grow to 18% or 20% because of many “closet” supporters. The disgust he inspires among the majority of the French is not enough to have him elected as a president. However, in the French 2-round system, he can assure the election of whoever he opposes, if he reaches the second round.
No wonder any candidate would love to have him at the second round..
Style v/s Substance
The main question is; how does it all affect us? The short answer is; very little. Even a socialist president will not change the fundamentals; Their common interests are such that a new French president will become more accommodating to a new American president; with George Bush outta there, even a Presidente Ségolène will collaborate with the Americans. However, her inexperience, and the fact that she ran against her party, will make for a messy beginning.
A new shift towards Syria? Don't count on it; the Syrians appear durably discredited in Europe, and they're not helping their cause by failing to understand that Lebanon is not their exclusive backwater anymore... French troops in
Photo Finish (Update:
This weekend will decide the First Round of the closely contested election. Because Sarkozy’s lead remains slim, and because there are enough other minions (er... Candidates), LePen can still create an upset; he may not win a place to the second round, but he may steal just enough to create a Bayrou-Royal face-off.
This campaign created much opportunity for a few nice Photo-Ops. Enjoy the show: