Leading France In The New Millennium

France has always been a great country from then until now. It is home to a rich culture and the arts and many notable people in history hail from this picturesque country. The place in itself is known for famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, making it a premier destination among tourists both local and foreign.

Like any sovereign nation, politics in France is not far from different from that of the rest of the world. Leaders come and go but some leave a permanent mark that the people and the world won’t forget. France will soon elect its new leader and everyone is restless. Over the years, terrorist threats have claimed lives in the country’s capital and many other issues plaguing the nation as of late.

France will head to the polls not once, but twice, to decide their next president. And whoever wins will take over from the most unpopular president in French history – Francois Hollande.

The second European country to vote in the ‘super year of elections’, the French election doesn’t start until April 23, but has already seen plenty of drama with allegations of fraud surrounding right-wing Republican leader Francois Fillon – once the favourite to be the next President.

Also in the mix is anti-immigration and anti-Islam National Front leader Marine Le Pen, and former economic adviser to President Hollande turned independent candidate, Emmanuel Macron – who is now seen as a favourite with political analysts.

The economy, European Union and immigration are key issues this election.

(Via: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/03/09/france-votes-what-impact-will-le-pen-trump-and-brexit-have)

There is actually more at stake than just electing a new leader.

In four weeks, Marine Le Pen — with her program of raising social spending, renationalising key industries, imposing a protectionist tariff and slashing immigration by 90 per cent, while threatening to leave the EU and the euro — therefore may be the president of continental Europe’s second largest economy, potentially triggering a collapse in world financial markets.

But even if Macron wins, the country’s future is far from being plain sailing. The immediate challenge for Macron will be forming a stable government. Although Charles de Gaulle believed the constitution of the Fifth Republic, which he was instrumental in designing, gave the president a high degree of control, the reality is that the presidency and the legislature share power.

However, nothing in France’s constitution guarantees that the president and the parliamentary majority will come from the same party. As a result, since the constitution came into effect in 1958, there have been three periods in which a president from one side of politics has had to work with a legislature (and hence prime minister) from another. The experience never proved a happy one: rather, in each episode of what the French call “cohabitation”, policy differences undermined the government’s ability to function, creating political deadlock.

(Via: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/if-macron-beats-le-pen-he-will-still-face-a-divided-france/news-story/9f2dcf0e0db805e4d219aaf693b4b696)

French citizens are not only torn as who to vote but highly doubtful of the system itself when neither of the two seem like the answer to all of France’s problems and other issues affecting the world like pointless wars that claims thousands of lives.

France today warned against military strikes on the Syrian regime based on a “rush of blood” by Donald Trump after dozens were killed in a suspected chemical weapons attack.

French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault also accused Washington of sending mixed messages over how it would respond to the alleged war crime by tyrant Bashar Assad’s forces.

The priority at this stage, he added, was to pursue diplomatic talks to try to reach a United Nations Security Council resolution on Syria.

Post mortem results have revealed that chemical weapons were used in the attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Syria’s Idlib province which killed at least 70 people including 20 children, Turkish justice minister Bekir Bozdag said today.

(Via: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/france-issues-warning-against-military-action-in-syria-a3508806.html)

Like any other progressive nation, issues of corruption and political infighting plague France today. As the election nears, it is obvious how the two presidential candidates are poles apart, which makes voting even harder for the French voters, even when it comes to special issues. Regardless of their reasoning, they should learn from the mistakes of the past or that of other nations in choosing their new leader. Americans have broken convention and elected a totally inexperienced leader in the highest office of the land and it has caused a rift within the nation. Does France want to be next and become the laughingstock of the international community?

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