Do not overstate value of Macron’s win

I was very pleased Emmanuel Macron was elected President of the French Republic. I would have happily voted for him in both rounds – as a well rounded, liberal internationalist.

Nevertheless, we should not understate how close France came to another political disaster.

In the first round, anything could have happened. A populist from the Far Left (look to Venezuela for how that works out) and a Thatcherite came within a whisker of being Le Pen’s rival in the final round rather than Macron.

In the second round, faced with an obviously competent centrist candidate, a far right nationalist (someone worse than Farage, who has never been directly elected to anything) received over a third of votes cast.

We may express relief that the outcome in France was what it was. But the narrowness of the new President’s passage in the first round and the shock of 11 million people choosing Le Pen (a lot more than 15 years ago) should not be ignored.

Democracy and civilisation remain under attack from populists and extremists. Be in no doubt about that.

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6 thoughts on “Do not overstate value of Macron’s win

  1. William Allen says:

    I am certainly happy that Le Pen did not win, but I can not say I am overly happy that in the end it was between her and Macron. The reason being that while he may be liberal in many ways, he is hostile to the UK. For example he wants to end the deal that allows the UK to check the status of people trying to cross the channel in France rather than in England. Allowing the arrangement to continue as no disadvantage to France (other than meaning more illegals remain in France and the EU, which is a EU policy problem not the UKs). Ending the arrangement directly hurts the UK.

    • Leaving the EU directly hurts the UK. But that’s not Macron’s fault!

      • William Allen says:

        No it is not, but leaving the EU is also not an excuse for France or any other EU nation to seek to deliberately hurt the UK. Especially as the attitudes of many of the EU nations (especially Germany) share a big part of the blame for the leave side winning the referendum and not taking advantage of May’s obvious reluctance to trigger Article 50.

  2. Yes i agree worse in uk because of our first past post electoral system and lib dems were sold a pup in cameron’s coilition agreeing to a referendum on a diluted form of PR which was never going to pass with considerable members of opposition as well as tories against it
    A bad judgement by nick clegg in fact i agree the numbers did not stack up in 2010 for anything else but still the coilition did lib dems much damage and may even have helped cause the premature death of Charles Kennedy, since he hated having to vote for things like the bedroom tax and he began to realise losing his seat in the highlands to SNP was inevitable.

    • It is easy in retrospect but the LibDems should never ever have allowed tuition fees to be part of the coalition deal.

      They also messed up the 2011 referendum by being ill-prepared for the dirty tricks that would be employed during it (the “cost of the machines” nonsense was similar to “£350m for the NHS”).

      Mind you, I’d still be voting for them this time…! 🙂

      • William Allen says:

        We seem to have gone off track (as Malcolm’s post has nothing to do with your blog entry). The truth is that the Liberals have a real problem (as does the Alliance Party here in Northern Ireland. The Conservatives have a real identity, Labour has also, but I have always struggled to see exactly where the Liberals fit. To me they largely seem to be the party that asks people to vote for them because they will raise your taxes. In a country were we are already crushed by taxation (how on earth did we ever let ourselves get into the position where we are taxed when we earn, taxed when we spend, taxed if we try to save it and taxed if we die and try and leave it to our children???) that is never going to be a vote winner.

        Here in Northern Ireland the Alliance were always going on about not being either unionist or republican, but never actually decided what they are. This is compounded by Alliance’s efforts to be seen to favour both sides of the divide equally regardless of the morality of the case. For example voting with SF/SDLP to stop flying the Union flag on City Hall despite the obvious fact that this was proposed by those parties deliberately to generate sectarian trouble.

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