19 February 2012
Bonjour Tristesse - Professional Pols hard at work in France
Francoise Sagan will excuse the title, but checking the 'credentials' (or lack of thereof) of the two leading contenders for the French Presidency in the upcoming elections one can only feel sad, for France, for Europe and for Democracy in general. Both Francois Hollande as well as Nicolas Sarkozy have no experience in the real economy, outside the closed world of free-spending civil 'servants' (it should actually be the other way round as the citizens are now usually the servants, or maybe serfs of the political class). One has to be sceptical of President Sarkozy's sudden willingness to 'give' the electorate a say in some carefully selected and orchestrated referendums. This should not trick anybody as these concessions towards a real democratic government could quickly be consigned to the dustbin in case he would be reelected. Only a fundamental shift in the political system in the direction of full and comprehensive direct democracy offers any hope for a change in France's fortunes.