The first round of voting in the French presidential election takes place tomorrow (Sunday). There are ten candidates. Tomorrow’s voting will narrow the field to two.
Here are the candidates, their party, and their campaign slogan (badly translated by me):
Nicolas Sarkozy – Union for a Popular Movement – “Strong France”
Francois Hollande – Socialist Party – “The Change Is Now”
Marine Le Pen – National Front Party – “Yes, France”
Jean-Luc Melenchon – Left Front – “Take the Power”
Francois Bayrou – Democratic Movement – “Nothing Can Resist A United Country”
Jacques Cheminade – Solidarity and Progress (France’s LaRouche party) – “A World Without La City and Wall Street”
Nicolas Dupont-Aignan – Arise the Republic – “The Free France”
Eva Joly – The Greens (you can tell by her green eye glasses) – “Ecology, the real change”
Nathalie Arthaud – The Workers’ Struggle – “A Communist Candidate”
Phillippe Poutou – New Anti-capitalist Party – “Worker Candidate” and “Our lives are worth more than their profits”
Sarkozy and Hollande, not necessarily in that order, are expected to advance to the run-off.
I started writing about Sarkozy in the early days of Power Line, and for the most part my writing has viewed him favorably. However, I’ve been disappointed in his presidency, due mostly to his posture towards Israel.
But with all of his flaws, Sarkozy is a leader, and not “from behind.” In addition, he seems to possess a pretty solid understanding of how the world works (I put his Israel policy down to cynicism, rather than animus or naivety). Europe and France will face enormous challenges, and quite possibly a major crisis, in the next few years. I consider Sarkozy the best equipped candidate to deal with what’s ahead.
Finally, a footnote. I understand that Anne Sinclair – a journalist (these days with the French version of the Huffington Post), TV personality, and wife of the disgraced Dominique Strauss-Kahn – will have a prominent role in French television coverage of the election. But for an incident in a New York hotel, Sinclair’s husband might well be the front-runner in this election.