Quiet France stirs again. I've mentioned this topic from time to time as it is of some interest to me. I had a brief time in France as a student so I do keep half an eye on happenings there. One thing that I've noted in reading is that there is a grand undercurrent there that is right wing. Ultimately, they are a tolerant lot with a favorable eye toward socialism but in terms of social norms, they are fiercely protective of language and culture. FN has an eye towards Dirigisme and Gaullism which counterintuitively, makes it popular with the average Frenchman. Due to the structure of their political system, the major urban areas dominate politics and the more rural areas tend to get run over by civic concerns. There are noted exceptions to this rule (vinters) but it largely holds true.
Politically, this is not unlike the Tea Party here. The two are completely different in ideology but alike in their origin. The Tea Party grew out of discontent with wild spending and borrowing over the cliffs of fiscal sanity. The FN is not dissimilar except that they are coalescing around an already existing party and one with a troubling history. FN has been successful in rebranding itself as a nationalist party first and a socially conservative one second. They are decidedly leftist (by US standards) but rather towards the center than Msr Hollande. They are drawing numbers now, I believe, because the two previous PMs refused to deal with the unassimilated immigrants and the associate problems it creates. The average Frenchman sees the growing influence of Islam at home and the waning influence of France abroad and sees a world that is upside down. FN seeks to flip this on its head and restore France to its "rightful" place. Should Hollande and the socialists ignore these problems at their peril. How much of a nudge does France need to make FN a major player? What happens if they gain a majority in the assembly? I'm afraid we may find out before too long.Posted by Duffy at October 15, 2013 03:48 PM | TrackBack