January 15, 2007 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on January 15, 2007.
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France faces electoral choices no less stark than the political decisions confronting US citizens, this Spring. As portrayed by various pundits on both sides of the Atlantic -- by the truly significant ones, anyway, from Le Canard Enchainé to The Comedy Channel -- in each case the Devilry of the one political choice seems matched by the Deep Blue Sea of the other.
In both cases, US and French, incumbent political leaders out-of-touch with much of their political mainstream nevertheless are willing to take their countries to extremes, but they confront the unknowns and insecurities of new political faces and platforms and policies: polarization. In the US, the "lame duck" President Bush Bush faces an invigorated US Democratic Party -- in France Nicholas Sarkozy fights the specter of the steadily strengthening Front National, looming over his shoulder, as he faces the rising tide there of Ségolène Royal and her Socialists.
Some resources follow here, then, for understanding the French situation at least: "Les présidentielles resources bis" -- see also the Jan 15 2006 issue of FYI France, http://www.fyifrance.com/restricted/Fyarch/fy060115.htm, although by now the field has narrowed and the goalposts are in sight. The présidentielles take place in France April 22, and hot & heavy campaigns are well under way: the oldest ally of the US in Europe faces the prospect of swinging to an extreme Right or an extreme Left, this Spring, in both cases perhaps violently...
And anyone sceptical of the "violence" claim need only recall the torched cars in every French city in the Fall of 2005 --
-- and the nearly complete failure, since, to address that problem nationally --
-- so Le Canard's version now is a cartoon of the two leading présidentielles candidates, each with a bare-bottomed unruly baby bentover the knee -- the lady is saying, "A spanking plus a kiss from Mama", while the gentleman declares, "A spanking plus a trip to the border" -- stark choices, this year.
But then the US, too, has a parallel "ongoing problem" to face this year:
Political will, it seems, is insufficient for political change, in either case. Or perhaps it is something deeper, some flaw in the notion of political will itself. Or perhaps it is just that democracies change slowly... I personally believe, or perhaps naively hope, that it's only that...
Anyway, once again the US and France have a few things in common, and here the subject is the French: so, information resources --
(This Spring there are several candidates, but the following three, Sarkozy and Royal and Le Pen, will be of greatest interest to non-French readers: URLs are in accented characters for non-French browsers, just copy & paste them in and they should work --)
* Nicholas Sarkozy's political party (in English)
* Union pour un mouvement populaire (in French)
* Ségolène Royal (in English)
* Ségolène Royal (in French)
* Ségolène Royal's political party (in English)
* Parti socialiste (France) (in French)
* Jean-Marie Le Pen's political party (in English)
* Front national (parti français) (in French)
* La République, les religions, l'espérance, de Nicolas Sarkozy, Thibaud Collin, Philippe Verdin (Pocket, 3 novembre 2005) ISBN-10: 2266157086 ISBN-13: 978-2266157087.
* Les Sarkozy : Une famille française, de Pascale Nivelle, Elise Karlin (Calmann-Lévy, 4 octobre 2006) ISBN-10: 2702137237 ISBN-13: 978-2702137239.
* Témoignage, de Nicolas Sarkozy (Xo, 17 juillet 2006) ISBN-10: 2845632878 ISBN-13: 978-2845632875.
* Testimony: France in the Twenty-first Century, by Nicolas Sarkozy (Pantheon, March 6, 2007) ISBN-10: 0375425055 ISBN-13: 978-0375425059.
* La face karchée de Sarkozy, de Philippe Cohen, Richard Malka, Riss (Vents d'Ouest, 15 janvier 2007) ISBN-10: 2749303095 ISBN-13: 978-2749303093.
* Ségolène, reine d'un jour, reine de toujours, de P. Blanchard, L. Varenne (Hugo Doc, août 2006).
* La prétendante, de Cassandre (Philippe Rey, août 2006).
* Ségolène Royal décryptée de A à Z, de Laurent Pfaadt (City Editions, 23 août 2006) ISBN-10: 2352880173 ISBN-13: 978-2352880172.
* Ségolène Royal : La dame aux deux visages, de Aymeric Mantoux, Benoist Simmat (L' Archipel, 20 septembre 2006) ISBN-10: 284187866X ISBN-13: 978-2841878666.
* Ségolène ?, de Pétillon (Albin Michel, 27 septembre 2006) ISBN-10: 2226171495 ISBN-13: 978-2226171498.
* Ségolène, l'électron libre, de Claude Fouchier (Anne Carriere Eds, octobre 2006).
* Mignonne, allons voir..., de Marc Lambron (Grasset, novembre 2006).
* L'irrésistible ascension de Ségolène, de Marie-Eve Malouines, C. Meeus (Editions Fayard, janvier 2007).
* Ségolène Royal, un destin français, de François Moulin (Nuée Bleue, janvier 2007).
* see Jean-Marie Le Pen, resource list (in English & in French)
The world grows confusing... sometimes a good sign, sometimes not... Some call political periods of change such as our own, "The Dawning of a New Age" -- or the politicians involved always do, anyway -- others call such periods, "A Time of Troubles".
A teacher I once had described the periodic "quiz" he would give the class, "an opportunity to gauge progress". Perhaps that is the best description of the political turmoils of Spring 2007 in both the US and France, I think: the decisions we both make now will tell us, and tell others, how much political progress we each have made...
My personal hope is that the result will be "a great deal", my fear is that it will be "not much": we'll know in a few years.
FYI France (sm)(tm) e-journal ISSN 1071-5916 * | FYI France (sm)(tm) is a monthly electronic | journal published since 1992 as a small-scale, | personal experiment, in the creation of large- | scale "information overload", by Jack Kessler. / \ Any material written by me which appears in ----- FYI France may be copied and used by anyone for // \\ any good purpose, so long as, a) they give me --------- credit and show my email address, and, b) it // \\ isn't going to make them money: if it is going to make them money, they must get my permission in advance, and share some of the money which they get with me. Use of material written by others requires their permission. FYI France archives may be found at http://firstname.lastname@example.org/ (BIBLIO-FR archive), or http://listserv.uh.edu/archives/pacs-l.html (PACS-L archive), or http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/Collections/FYIFrance/ or http://www.fyifrance.com . Suggestions, reactions, criticisms, praise, and poison-pen letters all gratefully received at email@example.com . Copyright 1992- , by Jack Kessler, all rights reserved except as indicated above.
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