You asked me, the other day, where France was going. Honestly, I wish I knew, for the two or three roads between which our new governing team can choose are uncomfortable, steep and full of pitfalls.
The easiest one, at first view, is to continue with ‘’business as usual’’, spreading social benefits over a demanding population of unemployed, ill-housed, illiterate ones who would, this way, reconfirm their socialist vote. This can work a couple of months until the evidence of the deepening public debt makes the market react with such borrowing rates that, around mid-summer, while half of France is asleep on sunny beaches, a survival reaction is imposed by a socialist government sure of its majority at the Chamber.
Another way could be imposed if the new opposition party, the former governing UMP, could convince voters that all socialist promises are stories for the birds, impossible to finance and based on a projected economic growth twice or thrice serious forecasts. There is a slim possibility that the voters, always reluctant on this side of the Channel to give one party all the powers, would listen to such a speech. But the outlook is almost as dull, with a continued paralysis when the constitutional powers of the President and those of the Chamber magically neutralize each other. Five more years of lack of action could be as deadly as a risky socialist move.
Is a third way open? Knowing that France is largely rightist (over 55%) the recent votes could lead to a long-awaited reconciliation between the traditional UMP right and the largest share, just as democratic as most others, of the so-called ‘’ultra-right’’ Front National. But while the two populations of basic members are looking for similar political measures, the Party heads are essentially incompatible and have prepared no common program. It then looks as if the French right will continue its self-destruction and pave the way to a lasting domination of a leftist minority.
Last but not least, the future of France is so inter-twined with that of Europe, and, through Europe with the global world, that I am not sure one way or another will make that much difference!!