Hollande Wins Extremely Close French Election
Posted on May 7 2012 at 07:03:00 AM in Politics
Despite early predictions that Hollande would defeat Sarkozy by a comfortable margin, I had said that Sarkozy would probably win. I quickly realized I might be in trouble when later that day Marine Le Pen announced to her supporters her intent to cast a blank ballot and encouraged they do follow her lead. It was a classic case of “If I cannot have it then I refuse to play and I will take my ball and go home.” Well, that just may have been the turning point costing Sarkozy the election as the Nationalist Le Pen voters would likely have split strongly against Hollande and, by default, for Sarkozy.
The difference was much closer than anybody had predicted with 16.56 million votes for Hollande, 15.56 million votes for Sarkozy and two million casting blank ballots following the Le Pen instructions and easily changing the result in the process. All that remains now is to wait for Hollande to make all his appointments and then we will have a better idea as to whether his promises of scrapping the austerity program for a stimulus and growth program was bluster or an honest threat. Should a Hollande government actually take the route of using government spending in order to stimulate the economy then the European Union may be heading back into the deep waters of insolvency and doing so very rapidly. This election may prove very costly to far more than the European Union and the stability of the Euro, it could have ramifications well beyond Europe, especially if it leads to the crash of the Euro and each country in Europe retreating back to their native currencies. Such a necessity could also force a strain on the entire European fabric from which the European Union is cut and place the entire structure to stresses beyond its tolerance. We may have to address a world with no European Union and an immediate struggle for preeminence between France, Germany, and Britain. Europe could return to its historic and turbulent ways with each country wresting as much for itself at the expense of the rest. Will international trade suffer seriously should the trade agreements and other alliances forged by the European Union fall shattered? We may have to experience the answer to that very question.
The next election to come will be the Israeli elections which are expected to be held on September 4, 2012. This election is unlikely to produce any surprises as to the ultimate winner as Prime Minister Netanyahu and his Likud Party are predicted to breeze into victory garnering at least thirty seats. The real test in the Israeli election will be the contest for second, third, and fourth. Should Nationalist Parties gain sufficient seats that Likud can make a viable coalition clearing the sixty-one seats necessary, then the Israeli government will have a unified coalition free of obligations to some of the lesser parties for the first time in memory. What will be more likely is that Netanyahu and Likud Party and the other Nationalist Parties will fall short and need to include the Religious-Nationalists and likely the Religious Parties which will leave the coalition open to a wide set of demands any one of which could be utilized as a wedge to force early elections.
Then, come early November, the biggest election of the year, the American Presidency along with one-third of the Senate and the entire House of Representatives. This will be a contentious election with many distractions and a likelihood of violent Occupy demonstrations at either or both Party Conventions. The coming summer promises to be anything but boring between the continued Arab uprisings which may aim for Jordan first after Syria and then the countries of the GCC including Saudi Arabia, and more if the Occupy demonstrations end up breaking into violent riots. So, I guess all that is left to do is buckle-up and get ready for a wild summer roller-coaster of excitement in the public realm to rival those summer teen-movies released to your neighborhood theaters. I am not sure if I am looking forward to a summer of lots of choices for blog articles or simply scared of a summer of lots of choices for blog articles.
Beyond the Cusp