The editors of the Financial Times would have been happier with the ‘Speed and Shock’ of Fillon but will settle for Macron’s Neo-Liberalism Lite. In the pages of this newspaper Macron becomes the answer to all pressing questions, in the watershed of the failure of its hobbyhorse of Neo-Liberalism/Austerity/Stagnation. And the threat of politically restive 99%, called ‘Populism’ .
Of June 18, 2017
Anne-Sylvaine Chassany recites the Neo-Liberal Party Line on the ‘ossified political landscape’ of France. The regular reader of this newspaper can recite this shibboleth almost by rote!
After a fraught presidential contest that resulted in Mr Macron’s defeating far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in a runoff, the legislative elections have accelerated the overhaul of France’s ossified political landscape.
And Ms. Chassany does give just a passing mention of those ‘abstentions’ via M. Levy’s trivialization of the glaring fact of over 50% as not being indicative of ‘hostility’. But the reader might interpret it as indicative of disgust,despair,or even political exhaustion!
“High abstention doesn’t mean hostility. There is a benevolent wait-and-see attitude towards Emmanuel Macron in the wake of his election,” Jean-Daniel Levy, head of political surveys at Harris Interactive, said.
The ‘abstention rate’ in the first round was 51.29 %, as reported by Jeremy Harding in The London Review of Books:
REM’s round one victory at home was resounding, and may earn it at least 400 seats. But abstention also hit record levels, at 51.29 per cent. I’m rummaging back in vain for anything comparable under the Fifth Republic. The only figures I can find are for elections to the European parliament: more than 59 per cent abstained in 2009. Four years earlier the French electorate had voted down the European Constitution and been snubbed; they were – and are – guarded about the EU.
Does this look like some kind of resounding victory for Macron’s Neo-Liberalism Lite? Its not that Jean-Daniel Levy can’t read the numbers, these numerical facts interfere with the business of pronouncing Macron King! As Mr. Harding frames it.
The low turnout and the abstentions do, in sum, make the coronation of Macron a political inevitability.
A low turn-out — projected to be only 43 per cent — is likely to help the new party achieve a crushing victory in parliament.
This question remains unanswered : how will King Macron rule with such a high rate of abstention, in this election, and his ‘win’ over Le Pen. An holistic look at the prospects for the Macron Regime look tenuous at best, given a candid assessment of the data available to both M. Levy and Ms. Chassany, no matter how carefully massaged or better yet interpreted, in light of pressing ideological imperatives. The large percentage of those abstentions is the very foundation of that ‘ossified political landscape’ that Ms. Chassany finds anathema, but will initiate an opposition to Neo-Liberalism à la française.