3.00 FYI France: Ejournal and archive

by Jack Kessler, kessler@well.sf.ca.us

January 15, 2007 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on January 15, 2007.

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Versions of the following have appeared online regularly, since 1992, as a feature of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which is distributed for free via email every month except August. Ejournal subscriptions may be obtained via email request to: kessler@well.sf.ca.us

Here this file is one of a number made available -- hopefully attractively, all in one place, and relevant to libraries and online digital information work in France and Europe -- as part of FYI France (sm)(tm), an online service to which anyone can subscribe for 12 months by postal mailing a check for US $45, payable to Jack Kessler, to PO Box 460668, San Francisco, California, USA 94146 (site licenses also are available): please write your email address on the front of your check. And you can pay via PayPal, on the FYI France homepage:


Please email suggestions for improvements to me at kessler@well.sf.ca.us




The French elections 2007, resources [bis]


France faces electoral choices no less stark than the political decisions confronting US citizens, this Spring. As portrayed by various pundits on both sides of the Atlantic -- by the truly significant ones, anyway, from Le Canard Enchainé to The Comedy Channel -- in each case the Devilry of the one political choice seems matched by the Deep Blue Sea of the other.

In both cases, US and French, incumbent political leaders out-of-touch with much of their political mainstream nevertheless are willing to take their countries to extremes, but they confront the unknowns and insecurities of new political faces and platforms and policies: polarization. In the US, the "lame duck" President Bush Bush faces an invigorated US Democratic Party -- in France Nicholas Sarkozy fights the specter of the steadily strengthening Front National, looming over his shoulder, as he faces the rising tide there of Ségolène Royal and her Socialists.

Some resources follow here, then, for understanding the French situation at least: "Les présidentielles resources bis" -- see also the Jan 15 2006 issue of FYI France, http://www.fyifrance.com/restricted/Fyarch/fy060115.htm, although by now the field has narrowed and the goalposts are in sight. The présidentielles take place in France April 22, and hot & heavy campaigns are well under way: the oldest ally of the US in Europe faces the prospect of swinging to an extreme Right or an extreme Left, this Spring, in both cases perhaps violently...

And anyone sceptical of the "violence" claim need only recall the torched cars in every French city in the Fall of 2005 --

-- and the nearly complete failure, since, to address that problem nationally --

-- so Le Canard's version now is a cartoon of the two leading présidentielles candidates, each with a bare-bottomed unruly baby bentover the knee -- the lady is saying, "A spanking plus a kiss from Mama", while the gentleman declares, "A spanking plus a trip to the border" -- stark choices, this year.

But then the US, too, has a parallel "ongoing problem" to face this year:


Political will, it seems, is insufficient for political change, in either case. Or perhaps it is something deeper, some flaw in the notion of political will itself. Or perhaps it is just that democracies change slowly... I personally believe, or perhaps naively hope, that it's only that...


Anyway, once again the US and France have a few things in common, and here the subject is the French: so, information resources --



The world grows confusing... sometimes a good sign, sometimes not... Some call political periods of change such as our own, "The Dawning of a New Age" -- or the politicians involved always do, anyway -- others call such periods, "A Time of Troubles".

A teacher I once had described the periodic "quiz" he would give the class, "an opportunity to gauge progress". Perhaps that is the best description of the political turmoils of Spring 2007 in both the US and France, I think: the decisions we both make now will tell us, and tell others, how much political progress we each have made...

My personal hope is that the result will be "a great deal", my fear is that it will be "not much": we'll know in a few years.






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M. Eiffel

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Last update: January 27, 2007