The French Socialists have elected to put up Segolene Royal as their candidate for president. The French see American politics as the domain of “empty suits” but Ms. Royal is the embodiment of “form-over-substance” politics. Stylistically, she is a thoroughly modern French woman (see the picture in the link above), but substantively she offers the socialism of the 1980s dressed up in 1990s jargon about “social justice” and “participatory democracy.” I’m told she acquitted herself rather poorly in her debates against the other contenders, but her old-fashioned Socialist opponents stood roughly the same chance of winning hearts and minds as Queen Elizabeth did in the face of Princess Di.
I don’t know how Royal will fare in the election — given the terrible shape France is in under the ruling party she can’t be counted out. However, my wife, who often votes Socialist, has already announced that she will not vote for Royal under any circumstances.
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