France’s politics would appear to be in deceptively rude health. As Sunday’s first stage of the country’s two-round presidential election approaches, the vital indicators return vivid signs of life.
Mass meetings in Paris and elsewhere have drawn numbers and passion hard to imagine in some parts of an exhausted Western Europe. Online politics has made an impact for the first time. There is a choice on the ballot paper of ten candidates, ranging as fully from right to left as from plausible to eccentric.
France’s rarely quiescent intellectuals have offered their customary profusion of commentary on the country’s choices.
[...] In present circumstances, given present choices, the only responsible vote in France next Sunday is a vote for Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front. This requires to be immediately qualified in several important respects:
[...] Marine Le Pen remains, among an imperfect choice in urgent times, the only candidate capable of saving France’s control over her finances, borders, and identity.
She is the only candidate available to conservative voters advancing the case for an exit from the Euro, the one measure which if executed carefully might yet save France from being swamped by foreign debts amassed elsewhere in a European project largely of its own making.
While Nicholas Sarkozy raises the prospect of securing French borders through withdrawal from the Schengen area, she possesses the requisite disdain for European entanglements which he all too comprehensively does not. Her defence of French national identity in the country with Europe’s most numerous Muslim minority is credible, whereas Sarkozy’s betrays his increasingly impotent opportunism.
France next elects a president to the Élysée Palace in 2017. The most urgent question in this election ought to have been whether the next will matter much. There is no good reason as things stand to believe that France will escape the impotent slide into the morass of multiculturalism and bankrupt late European social democracy.
By Richard Waghorne
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2132611/French-elections-2012-Marine-Le-Pen-responsible-vote-France.html
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