Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bayrou the Third Man French Presidential Elections 2007

In the battle for French presidency : Segolene Royal was nominated by the Socialist Party on 17 november to be the party's candidate. And on 14 january, 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy was elected by the Union for a Popular Movement. Between the two great leaders, there is a third man : François Bayrou and the centrist Union for French Democracy (UDF), who has now embarked on a process of rejecting the two-party system. The president of the centrist party (UDF) François Bayrou perceives this two-headed eagle as a figure of lackness of democracy, or some duopoly play between socialists and center-right partisans.

The UDF was founded in 1978 as an electoral movement to strenghten Presidency Valery Giscard d'Estaing. This centrist policy is christian-democratic and Social Centre towards centre-left, after the defection of the Republicans and the Radicals to UMP. At the congress of Lyon 28-29th January 2006, the majority of members voted the independence of the UDF and quited the UMP, to change UDF into a social-liberal party reaching a balance between socialist and conservative policy of the centre-right UMP. Then, François Bayrou led the UDF as a partner of cabinets of UMP Prime Ministers policy, with some controversial participation of the centrist Gilles de Robien as Education minister. Following the scandalous Clearstream affair, on 16 May 2006, François Bayrou voted the motion of censure with the socialist deputies for the resignation of Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin's government.

Bayrou is a pro-european federalism. The UDF policy support an European Union turning into United States of Europe. And the centre favors more liberal policies : as for the civil unions of homosexuals. François Bayrou has taken a personal stand on issues pertaining to safeguarding the political process legitimacy and credibility, and individual freedom as well as more technological issues as free software. He used the opportunity of the debate in the French parliament about the "law on author's rights and related rights in the information society" the bill reforming French copyright, to distance himself from the center-right party. Moreover, Bayrou branded the parliamentary process, that voted the law on 21 March 2006, which was forced through Parliament under the influence of lobbies and merchants.

In 2007, Bayrou focuses his campaign for presidency on a strategical stake : French electors will reject the anticipated duel between Nicolas Sarkozy and Segolene Royal. And finally, the voters will turn to the third man and UDF. Despite polls don't confirm his hope, his supporters and bloggers are very active on internet. However, Bayrou, as the third man, could surprise everybody with is net-strategy, based on online activism and bloggers mobilization. Last month, some in the States called him : "A French Howard Dean", the surprising candidate during the last American presidential election.

Bayrou claims that electors will soon deny media's predictions and polls which nip the first ballot in the bud and wait for the second ballot. Hurriedly, they lead to the same error of 2002, when Jean Marie Le Pen, the leader of extrem right-wing, reached the second place. "It is the whole media which has, with regard to those whom they believe are the dominant candidates, an obséquieuse attitude. The moment when they meet a candidate considered by them minority, then (...) there is not enough condescension. This manner - weak with the powerful ones and scornful with weak that is not the Republic and these are not the principles that the law obliges us to respect.", said the President of UDF.

The blogs of supports for UDF make equal game with Socialist Party, letting UMP behind. In this UDF blogospher, one can feel the attractive mood of the blog "Free Youth" of Quitterie Delmas, a young mother-of-two and President of the "UDF's Youth". Quitterie Delmas is candidate of the 10th constituency to become member of the parliament, next June in Paris. And throughout the blogospher, she is very active in the presidential campaign. "UDF blogospher is mainly young and forms itself around the site of UDF young people which is central in the middle of the galaxy and which we find on the published interactive map" said Guilhem Fouetillou on "". A poll, on the famous european Citizen Media "AgoraVox" of Carlo Revelli, places Bayrou at the head of vote intentions. So, he is a phenomenon which escape traditional media.

François Bayrou explained on an interview "Each candidate fights with their weapons, dominant parties have an audience in dominant media. I go to the most independent. On the Web, citizens are active in front of news". This battle for the Presidency is a two rounds fight with three candidate, and perhaps with a sort of third round in the blogospher. Finally, Bayrou, as the third man for the third round, could be the real master of the whole game.

Demian West


Jean Cabon said...

Bravo Demian,
Pour votre article sur François Bayrou, à destination de nos amis anglophones.
Il est temps de leur faire savoir que la France échappe encore (pour combien de temps?) au principe du bipartisme politique.
La lecture de vos notes est toujours un plaisir !

Anonymous said...

Bonjour, un petit mot pour vous faire part de la sortie en librairie sur le territoire de Lafrance du livre "les loups le sarkozysme expliqué aux enfants"

Blog du livre :

Les auteurs ont choisi une forme totalement inédite pour parler de politique : le conte... « À l’ère glaciaire du sarkozysme, les loups étaient des prédateurs. Ils vivaient et chassaient en meutes organisées. La hiérarchie y était stricte. La meute était dirigée par un mâle alpha et une femelle alpha... » Ce petit livre nous raconte une grande histoire. Celle d’une méthode pour accéder au pouvoir, cruelle et violente, faite d’allégeances et de hurlements : les loups côtoient toutes sortes de renards, parfois en connivence, et les chiens comme les brebis doivent se contenter des restes du banquet des loups. Parmi les loups dominants, le loup alpha règne sur la meute et sur tous les autres animaux. Cet ouvrage - qui peut être lu de 7 à 97 ans - marque une nouvelle manière de « parler politique », et dessine les contours d’une nouvelle République où les hommes et les femmes, enfin, se tiendront debout. Un livre très original qui parle de la politiquement autrement, un OVNI littéraire qui devrait faire mouche à l’aube de cette année électorale ou l’on voit un peu toujours les mêmes livres de commentaire. Les Loups. Le sarkozysme expliqué aux enfants, Yannick Chatelain & Loïck Roche 144 pages - 14 €, en librairie le 20 janvier 2007