May 6, 2007


Forget who'll win in France. Change is a loser. (Craig Smith, May 5, 2007, International Herald Tribune)

IN the months leading up to Sunday's presidential voting in France, there was a lot of talk about breaking with the past. Don't bet it will happen.

The French are notoriously resistant to change, and any new president would be hard-pressed to deliver any dramatic departure from the way people here live and work and get along with each other (or don't).

France's Margaret Thatcher (Seattle Times, 5/06/07)

Conservative Nicolas Sarkozy, a former interior and finance minister, may well prevail in the mode of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who shook up politics for a generation. This run-off election could set another record for voter turnout, topping the 84 percent from the first round of presidential balloting. Those results were clear to a point: Candidates on the ideological fringes were dismissed, and the centrist-party leader finished a distant third.

Sarkozy was comfortably ahead of socialist Segolene Royal, but she has campaigned hard to portray him not only as personally cold and taciturn, but also as a hard-liner on law and order and immigration. She is not proposing to shake things up.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 6, 2007 7:04 AM

The French are notoriously resistant to change

A country which in the last couple of centuries has had at least 2 emperors, a restored monarchy, 5 republics, a couple of German occupations and various miscellaneous forms of misgovernance and anarchy. The real problems is that they can't make any of them work.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at May 6, 2007 1:02 PM

He has to couch what he wants to do in terms of restoring order and glory to La Belle France. With that he may succeed in convincing them they are not changing at all, just asserting France's natural place.

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 6, 2007 2:33 PM