This video from France says about itself:
27 September 2013
In the French papers this morning – Housing Minister Cécile Duflot lashes out against Interior Minister Manuel Valls over his controversial comments on the Roma community.
By Alex Lantier in France:
French prime minister beaten into second place in Socialist Party presidential primary
23 January 2017
French President François Hollande’s government suffered another humiliating setback last night in the presidential primary of his Socialist Party (PS), as former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who resigned his position to run for president, was beaten into second place by Benoît Hamon.
Hamon, a former education minister, took 36.21 percent of the vote, Valls 31.19 percent, former Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg 17.62 percent, and Vincent Peillon 6.48 percent. The remaining candidates each won less than 5 percent. …
Hamon, who ran based on appeals to discontent with Hollande’s austerity policies and a … promise to institute a minimum universal income for everyone in France, called for his voters to again vote in the second round of the PS primary this coming Sunday. …
Hamon also thanked Montebourg, who left the race with an appeal to his voters to vote for Hamon in the second round of the primaries.
Valls, who in the days preceding the vote had been expected to take first place but then lose in the second round to Hamon, tried to put the best face on his surprise second-place finish and claimed to be the only viable candidate to oppose Donald Trump, Russia, and the National Front. …
Like other European social-democratic parties that have imposed a ruthless austerity diktat since the 2008 Wall Street crash, like Greece’s Pasok or the Spanish Socialist Party, the PS now faces the prospect of collapse or even electoral annihilation. …
Valls personifies like no one else the socially regressive character of the PS. A politician who has called for the PS to simply abandon the name “socialist,” he is directly associated with the most reactionary policies of Hollande’s presidency. He defends the state of emergency, austerity measures like the labor law and the Responsibility Pact, and the ever-closer integration of the PS and the police and intelligence apparatus, based on law-and-order and anti-Muslim appeals.
Should Valls fail to defeat Hamon, powerful sections of the bourgeoisie will intensify pressure on his allies within PS to rally behind [presidential candidate] Macron, effectively liquidating itself into the personal electoral movement of an investment banker with close ties to the nationalist far right, such as Philippe de Villiers. In other words, Valls’ posturing as an anti-FN force is a hypocritical and empty fraud.
Hamon received endorsements from several high-ranking PS figures, including Lille mayor Martine Aubry and Hollande’s former justice minister, Christiane Taubira. Like Hamon and Montebourg, who were Hollande administration ministers affiliated with the PS’s “rebel” faction in the National Assembly, Aubry and Taubira were publicly critical of several key initiatives of the Hollande administration. Aubry criticized Hollande’s regressive labor law, which allows the government and the trade unions to scrap protections in France Labor Code, and Taubira opposed Hollande’s call to inscribe in the constitution the state’s ability to deprive individuals of their French nationality: here.
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The Socialists in France are conducting a Presidential Primary this week. The first round was held last Sunday. Remarkably, the candidate who espoused the policies that people believed would improve their lives actually won that first round.
Notably absent was any discussion of the grabbing of private parts, or the use of private e-mail servers. There was, however, a robust discussion of the right to privacy (or as it is called in Europe, “the right to be left alone.”)
Also a no-show was any debate about whether the candidates had paid taxes, or how much money they had received from speaking engagements. There was, however, a vigorous debate about how much the rich should pay in taxes, how much pay French workers should receive for their work, and what their working hours should be.
The campaign was mercifully brief. The first-round winner declared his candidacy five months ago, but the campaign really didn’t get underway until the incumbent President announced, just last month, that he would not be running for reelection.
The first poll after the candidates qualified for the ballot, earlier this month, showed former Prime Minister Manuel Valls with a large lead over former Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg and former Education Minister (for four months) Benoit Hamon:
Manuel Valls 43%
Arnaud Montebourg 25%
Benoit Hamon 22%
There were three nationally televised debates, all in one week (Jan. 12, 15 and 19). During the debates, the candidates propounded the following agendas:
Valls – ?
Montebourg – ?
Hamon – extend Social Security to everyone, at $950/mo.; reduce the work week to 32 hours; legalize marijuana.
Hamon won the first round of voting:
Benoit Hamon 36%
Manuel Valls 31%
Arnaud Montebourg 17%
Montebourg immediately endorsed Hamon for the second round of votes, happening this Sunday.
(By the way, please excuse the non sequitur, but Hamon’s Wikipedia page features a picture of Hamon with Bernie Sanders.)
So in less than three weeks, Hamon soared from third place to first place. What was his secret? He sketched out for ordinary people what he could do and would do, as President, to make their lives better. He convinced them that he actually would fight to make these things happen. And his audience, understanding the opportunity that comes with choosing a national leader, demanded substance from the candidates.
“Duh,” you say. Isn’t that what elections are all about?
“As if,” I say. Is that what our Presidential election just looked like – no, what it felt like – to you?
Elections ought to be a celebration – a celebration of our democratic opportunity to choose leaders who will take action to improve our lives. Not a two-year-long dental appointment without anesthesia, with the pain so awful that it brings the entire tearful country to the verge of a national nervous breakdown.
I understand that it is not politically popular to praise the French, as John Kerry learned in 2004. Oh, I know — they did help us during the Revolutionary War, and we fought side by side with them in World War I and World War II, but then les hexagones refused to join us in the war in Iraq. That prompted my former employer, the U.S. House of Representatives, to re-designate the French fries served in our cafeteria as “freedom fries.” Hah – that showed them! (That, plus the 250,000+ American troops who returned from Iraq with permanent brain abnormalities.)
But let us give credit where credit is due. The current Socialist Presidential Primary demonstrates that the French know what elections are all about. Elections don’t have to be painful. In fact, they shouldn’t be. For the French, at least, politics is l’amour (love), not cheap display.
Tuesday 24th January 2017
posted by Morning Star in World
LEFT-WING outsider Benoit Hamon won the first round of the French Socialist Party’s presidential candidate race on Sunday night.
Former PM Manuel Valls’s bid for the candidacy was thrown into doubt when he finished only second in Sunday night’s party primary to the former education minister, who has been compared to Britain’s Jeremy Corbyn.
Mr Hamon picked up 35 per cent of the vote to Mr Valls’s 32. A run-off vote between the two takes place this Sunday.
“Left-wing constituents voted with their hearts and have not given up,” Mr Hamon said.
He has pledged to repeal the EU-dictated labour law forced through last year — against opposition from parliament and six national trade union federations — that raised working-time limits and attacked national collective bargaining.
Mr Hamon wants to introduce a €750 (£650) a month minimum “universal income” for all adults, paid for with a tax on industrial robots, as well as legalising cannabis.
Eliminated third-place candidate Arnaud Montebourg called on his supporters to support Mr Hamon, to ensure there is a candidate who can resist the “brutal” candidacies of pro-free-market conservative Francois Fillon and National Front leader Marine Le Pen.
In an interview with newspapers Le Monde and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung yesterday, Mr Fillon called for a new European military alliance in the face of US President Donald Trump’s “aggressive discourse” towards Nato.
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