Tuesday, March 20, 2007

TSS on the Left

Yesterday I wrote about the TSS principle in French politics, which, on the left side of the political spectrum, stands for tout sauf Ségolène (anyone but Ségolène Royal). Today Martin Arnold reported for the Financial Times that left-leaning voters actually have six ways to choose an "anyone." They make for an interesting assortment:

  1. Olivier Besancenot – Trotskyite LCR party – a postman who likes to run for president
  2. José Bové – anti-globalisation campaigner – standing in his first election
  3. Marie-George Buffet – communist party – struggling to revive a flagging party
  4. Arlette Laguiller – Trotskyite Lutte Ouvrière party – standing up for all workers
  5. Gérard Schivardi – Trotskyite parti des travailleurs – representing far-left mayors
  6. Dominique Voynet – greens – has struggled to harness public interest in green issues

That's quite a field, and it is probably not surprising the there should be three opposing Trotskyite parties! The total number of parties, by the way, is twelve; but, since Bayrou is a centrist, that does not really make for an even divide between right and left. Also, I have to wonder whether or not at least one of those parties was invented by Monty Python:

Frédéric Nihous – the CPNT hunting and fishing party – appealing for the rural vote

The basic message, though, is that Royal has a lot of work cut out for her if she is to avoid the fate of Lionel Jospin (knocked out of the runoff by Jean-Marie Le Pen) in the last presidential election.

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