Sunday, 26 February 2012

Bayrou’s electoral reforms don’t add up

  François Bayrou is offering a package of electoral reforms that he proposes to submit to the French electorate for approval in the form of a referendum.  The package contains a number of worthy goals designed to modernise and democratise French politics.  The problem is that the goals are not all compatible with each other.  In sum, he forgot to join the dots.

Disproportionate support for proportional representation?

  All four major candidates in the French presidential elections have declared their support for some form of proportional representation in future parliamentary elections.  This is nothing short of remarkable.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Which candidate is best for gender equality?

  The “Equality Laboratory” (Laboratoire de l’Egalité) commissioned a poll of a representative sample of 1186 members of the French public.   The aim was to gauge their opinions concerning the strength of the different French presidential candidates on issues of gender equality.  The results are fascinating, as they indicate a slight disconnect between public perceptions and what the candidates are actually promising.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Women, maids, prostitutes – they all look the same to DSK

  Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) is back in the headlines (and, until his release earlier today, back in police custody) for his inability to keep it in his trousers.  The latest scandal involves his attendance at orgies where he had sex with a number of prostitutes.  The sex parties were paid for on the business accounts of friends of his, as part of the “Carlton affair” that involves businessmen, police officers and a few high profile personalities in a prostitution ring.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

From four-horse race back to two-horse?

In January, four candidates were serious contenders in the first round of the French presidential election.  The long-term front-runner, François Hollande (PS – Socialist party), looked sure to qualify to the second round.  His likely opponent was Nicolas Sarkozy (UMP – centre-right party), the incumbent president.  Chasing at Sarkozy’s heels for second-round qualification were Marine le Pen (FN, far-right National Front party) and François Bayrou (MoDem, the centrist Democratic Movement party).  How did these extra candidates rise so far in the polls, and do they remain a credible threat to Sarkozy?