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French Politics - Research Paper Example

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The government of France is a semi-presidential system determined by the French Constitution of the fifth Republic, in which the nation declares itself to be "an indivisible, secular, democratic, and social Republic". Traditionally, presidents under the Fifth Republic have tended to leave day-to-day policy-making to the prime minister and government; the five-year term of office is expected to make presidents more accountable for the results of domestic policies…
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French Politics
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Download file to see previous pages Sarko represents UMP (Union pour un mouvement populaire). He is neo-liberal, authoritarian, pro-American and pro-Israeli. Except for Socialist Francois Mittereand's 14 years reign, France has been ruled by right wing forces since 1958 when Charles de Gaulle ushered in the new Republican regime. Paving the way for the electoral victory of the 52-year old leader of the French Right were the simultaneous decomposition of the French Left and Sarkozy's successful unification of the three streams of the Right - neoliberal, national and fascist.
When Sarkozy became "Monsieur le President de la Republique," the 23rd French chief of state, the sixth since the new Constitution of 1958 that initiated the Fifth Republic of France, his true intentions for promised new directions were still ambiguous.
Upon the election of Nicolas Sarkozy there was a strong current in the media - both in France and internationally - claiming that "things had changed". Sarkozy, it was said, was the man who would cut back the "gluttonous" French state, "modernising" the economy by curbing the power of the unions and replacing the France of the 35-hour-week with a new more "flexible" culture that valued "hard work". French workers had to prepare for Sarkozy's onslaught. As we have seen with November's rail strikes, university occupations and rioting in the suburbs, resistance to Sarkozy is deep-rooted.
Some activists have used the catch-cry "Sarko-facho" ("Sarkozy-fascist"); portrayed him as nothing but a lickspittle of George Bush; or, as the Iranian media now have it, a Mossad agent. Yet most of the French President's pronouncements seem to be in tune with the anti-working class, conservative and authoritarian political tradition of General de Gaulle.
On the other hand, Sarkozy's underlining of great national objectives means distancing France from the spirit of liberal free trade.
The French Left accuses Sarkozy of being authoritarian and of unstable character. The Left's electoral campaign early this year aimed at trying to rouse his ire and demonstrate his incapacity of leading la douce France. The crude reality is that while the French Left claims a monopoly on morality, the political Right dominates this largely conservative, extremely traditional nation.
We only have to think back to spring 2006 when the previous UMP [Gaullist] government attempted to introduce the CPE law to undermine young workers' job stability, or 2005 when it backed the EU Constitution. The continuity in the history of the French right is examined in some detail in the latest issue of the Ni Patrie ni Frontires journal*, which devotes some 62 pages to assessing the character of so-called "Sarkozyism".
Sarkozy has taken on great personal power, setting great store by his own image and casting himself as somewhat of a national saviour, in the mould of de Gaulle or a Napoleon.
The assertion that Sarkozy represents an ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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