Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, May 07, 2012

Old habits

For seventeen years I taught about French government and politics. So, consider this reference as habitual.  

Hollande Ousts Sarkozy in French Presidential Election
François Hollande defeated President Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday, becoming the first Socialist elected president of France since François Mitterrand.
Mr. Hollande campaigned on a gentler and more inclusive France, but his victory will also be seen as a challenge to the German-dominated vision of economic austerity as a way out of the euro crisis…

The balance between reducing the debt and addressing popular anger is proving complicated for Europeans, and Mr. Hollande has said that he intends to give “a new direction to Europe,” demanding that a European Union treaty limiting debt be expanded to include measures to produce economic growth. Domestically, he has promised to raise taxes on big corporations and raise the tax rate to 75 percent for those earning more than one million euros a year…

Mr. Hollande’s victory was narrow but undisputed. With 95 percent of the vote counted, official results showed him with 51.6 percent of the vote while Mr. Sarkozy, of the center-right Union for a Popular Movement, had 48.4 percent, The Associated Press said…

Mr. Hollande’s victory will also have important implications for the right in France, with Mr. Sarkozy’s party already split between the prime minister, François Fillon, and the Sarkozy-like party leader, Jean-François Copé. The strong showing of Marine Le Pen of the National Front, who got nearly 18 percent of the vote in the first round of the presidential election, is a serious threat to Mr. Sarkozy’s party. It now must decide whether to make a deal with Ms. Le Pen for assembly seats in the second round of the legislative election; if not, the Union for a Popular Movement could lose up to 100 seats, political experts say…

Voter turnout Sunday was about 81 percent of the 46 million registered voters, down from the 84 percent who participated in the last presidential ballot five years ago — the highest turnout since 1974…

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