Who to vote for in the French election
The choice that French voters are facing in today’s election is not obvious. I would be puzzled myself if I had to choose among the two main candidates; Sarkozy and Royal.
To start with Sarkozy, he has important advantages; he is quite liberal when it comes to economics, and I think France needs some liberal reforms especially when it comes to labor market and taxation. Sarko favors a mini-treaty for the EU, without renewed referendum, that’s clearly better than Royals promotion of a more social Europe and a new convention for a more social constitution. Sarko favors closer ties to the US, indeed very interesting for both French and EU transatlantic relations to have a US-friendly French head of state. But then again Sarko has a lot of disadvantages, he is violently against Turkish EU membership. With him entering the Elysée palace the cornerstone of future European enlargement and thereby a revitalized Euro-turkisk economy and common security policy would be stopped by the French. Sarko also has tried to intimidate French media that dared to critisize him (according to the Swedish program ”Medierna” in P1) and his immigration and refugee policy is all but pleasent.
So what about Royal then. She is promoting a more social Europe, and I dont believe in more harmonized social policy, especially not when it is favored by a socialist. Royal has a socialist agenda with proposals such as revitalizing the 35-hours labor week, a French failure that ought to be buried and forgotten. The more positive parts of Royals policies is her mentioning of reforming the European agriculture policy (CAP) which is pretty unique for a French presidential candidate. AND even more importantly, she doesn’t seem as anti-Turkish as Sarko. There is one more reason for Royal being an interesting candidate; she would be the first woman president in one of Europes most important countries, she would thereby state an important example to millions of girls around the continent that the highest political post in France no longer is reserved for men; she would be the first Madame le Président!
With all the good and bad sides of the two main figures of the French election campaign, maybe I should be glad I don’t have to vote in France…