Liberté, égalité, fraternité

As a conversation thread starter, here are some links to help understand the recent election in France. I will avoid all but one of the obvious “This isn’t the end of Macron or France’s problems” articles, of which there seem to be at least a thousand.

Firstly, it is interesting that the polls moved to Macron between the first and second round, and his final vote slightly exceeded his best final poll, which might be partly accounted for by the fact that there is no last day polling by law. As with the 2017 election, I think some who don’t like Macron and who love to complain about the way things are, admit to themselves in the last week or even the last day that they will still vote to block the one they like even less. This 2021 post on french performative miserablism and polling on vaccination partly covers what might be a national political and polling tendancy.

The below by John Lichfield from before the vote is a good read, he argues that the old French Right-Left system has mutated into a muddled pattern of three broad tribes: the scattered Left and the Greens; a pro-European, consensual Centre; and a nationalist-populist, anti-migrant and anti-European Right. No winner will ever be really popular with more than a third of the country.

Late last year Manu Saadia wrote a series of Substack posts on the French election for the benefit of the non french, explaining the basics and background really well. He stopped well before the vote, but they are still a good read.

In particular I draw your attention to the one on why the Presidential vote matters so much, “Camembert President.” He writes “France is a monarchy that undergoes a succession crisis every five years, by way of an election. It is by design. Under France’s current constitutional arrangement, the so-called Fifth Republic, the sole real seat of power is the office of the presidency. It is therefore unsurprising that all civic and political life would revolve around it.”

Another good read, “Eric Zemmour and the long shadow of France’s defeat in Algeria”

The amazing mechanics of an election that spans the entire globe

Finally, I recommend to you the recently launched Le Monde english language edition. Why read US and UK takes on European news when you can now get the news direct? Most of the best European newspapers are only in the local language, so this is a good development for us. Some articles are subscriber only (although you can usually still read good chunks of those), but many are free to read. Worth bookmarking the site for french news.

Two articles to start…

Jean-Luc Mélenchon devises plan to become Emmanuel Macron’s main opponent

The leader of the radical left hopes to win the legislative elections in June. Labor Day protests on May 1st will be the the left’s first show of strength against President Macron.

Quarrelling French far right struggles to unite for legislative elections

Marine Le Pen has already set her sights on the June 12 and 19 elections, hoping to induct a significant far-right group to the Assemblée Nationale. Eric Zemmour called for an alliance while criticizing her defeat, fueling their rivalry.

492 thoughts on “Liberté, égalité, fraternité

  1. Table below

  2. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    The SMH editorial tells it readers why the Morrison government does not deserve another term and it says that win or lose on Saturday, the Liberal Party is on the verge of civil war.
    The Age’s editorial says that, for integrity’s sake, Australia needs a change of government.
    And The Canberra Times’ editorial says that “on balance of performance, promises and talent, Labor deserves to return to government. And, should the chambers be occupied by as many independents as the polls predict, presents as the better party to broker compromise in these conditions. Consensus builders, not bulldozers, will be needed in the next Australian Parliament.”
    Unsurprisingly, The Australian’s editorial says “the answer is clear. Mr Morrison has endured the worst a world can throw at a national leader and Australia has emerged stronger. Mr Albanese has not proven himself ready to assume the high office he seeks.”
    And the AFR in its editorial declares that Labor has failed to make a case against Morrison, or for itself. It says, “The Morrison government has failed to construct a credible program to ensure Australia’s post-pandemic prosperity. But a re-elected Coalition with the authority to govern would still be Australia’s best bet.”
    The AIMN says, “Nine Years Is Enough! It’s Time For A New Australia”.
    Election analyst John Black has got Labor forming government, winning 10 seats from the Coalition: Bennelong, Lindsay and Reid in NSW; Leichhardt and Dickson in Queensland; Boothby in South Australia; Braddon in Tasmania; Chisholm in Victoria; and Swan and Pearce in Western Australia. He also sees the teal group gaining six seats, all from the Coalition: Wentworth and North Sydney in NSW; Kooyong, Goldstein and Flinders in Victoria; and Curtin in Western Australia.
    The Morrison and Albanese campaigns haven’t dared to dig deep – and that’s why it’s so hard to pick a winner, opines David Crowe in a rather shallow analysis.
    “The finish line is in sight and the contenders are rounding the home turn locked together and ready for the final sprint. Anthony Albanese appears to be finishing just that little bit stronger. The bookies don’t get it wrong too often and Albo is still the favourite with no late plunge on the Coalition. Albo only has to stay on his feet to claim the winner’s prize”, writes Graham Richardson.
    James Robertson tells us what a gruelling, six-week campaign has revealed about Anthony Albanese.
    Julia Banks says we can’t take another three years of same old, same old.
    No, Josh, the Covid downturn was not Australia’s greatest challenge since federation, argues Alan Austin who says it was not thirty times worse than the GFC.
    There is no bigger target for the climate independents (or teals) than Josh Frydenberg. The federal Treasurer and Liberal deputy leader is locked in a pitched battle to hold his inner Melbourne seat of Kooyong against medical specialist Monique Ryan. Andrew Gardiner reports from ground level of the campaign.
    Australia’s credit card is maxed out, says economist Cherelle Murphy who tells us why the nation needs to spend carefully – and creatively.
    The Coalition is promising $223.5 billion in deficits while Labor is offering $231.9 billion. The lack of commitment to real budget repair – and the absolute commitment to winning an election – is evident in what both sides are dangling before voters at taxpayers’ expense, says Shane Wright.
    Doug Dingwall has scored the Coalition and Labor on their commitments to the top 10 issues according to The Canberra Times’ readers. Overall he puts Labor slightly in front.
    Rachel Dexter tells us why no one is talking about migration during the election campaign.
    Ian Cunliffe has a good look at Morrison’s moral compass and belief. He concludes the contribution with, “Will Morrison enjoy a second miraculous Federal Election? If he does, should we attribute his success to God or to US citizen Rupert Murdoch? Murdoch’s stranglehold over Australian newspapers is not biblical, but Morrison has an enormous political advantage in having News Corp in his corner – an advantage which makes a mockery of Australia’s foreign interference laws.”
    Michael Yabsley wants us to stop this Americanising of our election campaigns. He is concerned that democracy seems to be for sale.
    Peter Beattie says the election result will not hang on what happens in Queensland.
    Madonna King reckons we deserve more from our leaders than a tussle between two brands of timid.
    For the poorest 20% of Australian households, social security payments provide more than 70% of their income, explains Peter Whiteford.
    Australians face their starkest choice at the ballot box in 50 years. Mark Kenny tells us why this is so.
    What should have been an easy victory for Kristina Keneally has turned into one of the election’s most competitive, personal and dirty battles, writes Matthew Knott.
    Lawyers for Kooyong independent Monique Ryan are preparing to file a Federal Court challenge against the Commonwealth over the rules disallowing some COVID-infected Australians from voting by telephone.
    The state government has revealed that more than 200 Victorians with a disability were stuck in hospital for an average of 160 days after they were well enough to be discharged and blamed the hold-up on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, reports Jewl Topsfield.
    Politicians say they love local manufacturing, writes Jesse Adams Stein who explains how they can act on it. It is an excellent contribution.
    Builders are bracing for a major slump as they struggle with surging costs for raw materials, worker shortages and supply delays, explains NineFax.
    Waleed Aly wonders if we really do want to solve the housing affordability problem.
    Influenza, particularly in the young, is really taking off. Vaccination rates are low.
    Twenty years after it was first debated in parliament, NSW on Thursday became the final state in Australia to introduce assisted dying laws, writes Alexandra Smith. Now, with Labor having a chance to win, let’s hope the territories will be given the legislated opportunity to make the VAD decisions for themselves. And I want Kevin Andrews to live to see it happen!
    Scott Morrison has misinformed the public on Australia’s levels of net migration and our struggling visa system, writes Dr Abul Rizvi.,16379
    Labor will establish an independent environment protection agency to enforce national conservation laws and collect data on the plight of the country’s wildlife if it wins the election, reports Lisa Cox.
    Mike Foley outlines what the major parties’ climate policies mean for global warming.
    This election, are the teals ready to take on the fossil fuel lobby that’s captured the major parties, wonders Jeff Sparrow.
    Carbon capture and storage isn’t working close to a scale that would significantly lower emissions – despite billions in taxpayers’ cash thrown at it, explains Graham Readfearn.
    The aged care sector needs almost 60,000 workers to plug the national staffing gap, with providers calling for prioritised childcare for workers and migration incentives, such as help with school and housing placements, to draw people back into the haemorrhaging workforce, writes Angus Thompson.
    A friend of Ben Roberts-Smith has defended the war veteran against accusations he bullied a comrade, telling the Federal Court he believed the soldier in question performed poorly during deployment in Afghanistan, writes Michaela Whitbourn about yesterday at the never-ending defamation trial.
    The US sharemarket has tanked again on fears of stagflation and recession. The latest carnage came after America’s biggest retailers revealed plunging profits, writes Stephen Bartholomeusz.
    American money management giants BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street look over $31 trillion in assets, giving them colossal sway over a large part of the global economy. And their power is expected to grow, explains The New York Times’ Farhad Manjoo who thinks there is cause to worry about this concentration of money.
    Ben Marlow thinks Britain is heading for economic oblivion.
    The House select committee investigating the Capitol attack revealed on Thursday that it had evidence to suggest certain “reconnaissance tours” took place in the days before 6 January, potentially providing some rioters with a layout of the complex.
    Oklahoma’s Republican-led legislature passed the nation’s strictest abortion ban on Thursday. The bill, if signed into law, would allows citizens to sue anyone, anywhere who “aids or abets” a patient in terminating a pregnancy. The bill bans abortion from conception, even before an egg implants in the uterus, and would go into effect immediately if signed by Republican governor Kevin Stitt. Abortion providers expect he will do so before the coming week. What a f****d up joint!

    Cartoon Corner

    David Pope

    David Rowe

    Matt Golding

    Cathy Wilcox

    Fiona Katauskas

    Andrew Dyson

    Glen Le Lievre

    Simon Letch

    Mark Knight


    From the US

  3. More proof of Scovid’s plan to roll out the Indue card to everyone on social security? Why haven’t the media asked any questions about where exactly public servants will be culled?

  4. And served up to Cave Dwellers on the front page of The Worst Australian newspaper………..

    • Why has Scovid travelled all the way to Perth for his last day of campaigning? Is he so much on the nose in other states that he sees this as his only option?

  5. Last time SfM was here a delegation of Croods welcomed him. Will they return ? 🙂

  6. How Fugly is Clive ? Judge by who they are chasing .Perusing the Deadwood The Worst Australian newspaper here are some samples of his full and ½ page ads

    If you don’t like Australian public servants locking you down, you won’t like the Chinese locking you down after the Liberals and Labor transfer our health department’s management to the WHO ( World Health Organisation)

    STOP Liberals & Labor transferring
    All our helth assets and hospitals to
    The Chinese controlled WHO
    At the World Health
    Assembly in Geneva
    This May
    Australian Health run by Australians

    The freedom to prectise religion
    Thre right to believe in God…
    To be faithful to your beliefs….
    A basic human right

    Labor has fought back though. A full page ad with a colour scheme that looks like a Clive ad.

    (head shot of Clive and SfM ,Scotty wearing a lei)
    (In HUGE letters)
    Now they have done
    a preference deal

  7. Phone voting for those who are Covid positive has been confirmed.

    It is amazing what the threat of court action (thank you Monique Ryan) will do to get this government moving on something that should have been dealt with as soon as the election was called. How long has this pandemic been going? And this government waits until an indie candidate threatens court action to finally realise there is a problem. Was this an attempt to disenfranchise voters? Many social media users seem to think so.

    The AEC commissioner Tom Rogers has released a statement:

    Telephone voting for people who have tested positive to COVID-19 commenced on Wednesday evening. Only people testing positive after 6pm on Tuesday are able to access the service, in line with the timeframe set out in regulations the AEC must follow.

    “There has been a lot of discussion about the telephone voting service provision and we not only understand people’s passion for democratic participation but live and breathe it every day,” Mr Rogers said.

    “The telephone voting service was legislated by Parliament as an emergency measure for individuals who had no other voting option once postal vote applications closed at 6pm on Wednesday.”

    “The AEC cannot change the eligibility criteria but have certainly heard the concerns expressed by members of the public who tested positive to COVID-19 prior to 6pm on Tuesday and had not cast an early vote or applied for a postal vote.

    “We have analysed the service’s take-up so far, our staffing levels and forecasts for use, and are in urgent discussions with Government about the concerns expressed by members of the public.

    “This morning I have signed a brief recommending for the eligibility for the service be expanded.”

    • My thoughts on the election were meant to be a revolutionary song for Oz rebels, real Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite! on pre-polling day! But I can’t get the ‘bloody’ (sic!) accents and the parsing right! Perhaps that’s what’s wrong! So here’s what’s left before it’s too late!

      Remember Josh’s Budget , 2019? A 7:30 ‘news’ transmission?
      Used as free election hustings for the Coalition?
      PM Morrison claimed we were ‘Back in Black’
      That was a big lie, we can now see, looking back.

      Three years on, a ‘pollie’ clearly not lyin’-
      Independent candidate Dr. Monique Ryan,
      Is challenging Josh, ‘Hon’ member for Kooyong,
      Who has rested on his laurels for far too long.

      The National Party of the Coalition,
      Can’t agree that we must transition
      From fossil fuels, that climate change is real,
      Not invented by scientists or a teal.

      So for me, it’s still Labor; all heart, blood red
      With Uluru accepted, healthy children well fed,
      A just basic working wage; sick oldies in good care,
      Making Australia free at last, honest, proud and fair.

  8. From BK

    A friend of Ben Roberts-Smith has defended the war veteran against accusations he bullied a comrade, telling the Federal Court he believed the soldier in question performed poorly during deployment in Afghanistan, writes Michaela Whitbourn about yesterday at the never-ending defamation trial.

    = = = = = = =

    Now I am no expert, but isn’t SAS selection and training extremely rigorous?
    So if a soldier is selected into SAS, trained up and deployed to Afghanistan why is it acceptable for B R-S to bully him?

  9. From Twitter

    DownWithTheLNP🐀🐀 Retweeted
    Dr. Barney Langford
    total failure of foreign policy. a complete abrogation of this government’s sovereign responsibilities for the security of the nation and its responsibilities to the region
    Quote Tweet
    Dan McGarry
    · 15m
    Half an hour ago, the Government of Vanuatu signed a financing agreement with China EXIM Bank to upgrade Pekoa airport in Luganville, Santo to allow international air traffic.

    No further details are available at this time.

  10. A version of the story of the day which we can all read –

    Cabinet committee blocked plan to double Australia’s support to Pacific, election-eve leak reveals
    ‘Extraordinary’ revelation about national security decision shows the government is ‘falling apart’, Labor says

    The cabinet national security committee has only eight members.
    Scovid is the chair.
    Barnaby is the deputy chair.
    Ordinary members are Fraudenberg, Marise Payne, Dutton, Birmingham, Karen Andrews and Michaelia Cash.

    I cannot imagine a worse crew to be tasked with “keeping Australia safe”.

    Spend the afternoon working out who the leaker is – my money is on Marise Payne, also believed by some to be the leaker of the texts from Gladys that were so damning of Scovid.

  11. No dividends from SfM’s visit to The Cave so far. First three headlines re politics in the online West Australian aren’t exactly cheerleading for SfM.
    The awkward problem with ScoMo’s Perth election blitz
    Coalition off target attacking Labor over costings admission

    Julia Gillard says Albanese will be a ‘better PM for women’

    Meanwhile McGowan has Albo’s back here in the cave.

    Mark McGowan blasts Scott Morrison’s claim Labor’s the political party of the ‘elite’
    Josh Zimmerman
    The West Australian
    Fri, 20 May 2022 11:15AM

  12. friendlyjordies – (have an ice bath close by b/c this will make your blood boil!)

    Seth Meyers –

    Stephen Colbert –

    Chris Hayes –

    Brian Tyler Cohen –

  13. Anyone else think this will be legislated at 5 minutes to 4 tomorrow afternoon?

    If I had not already voted and if I tested positive I’d be putting on an N95 mask and heading for a polling booth regardless. If anyone asked I would say I had a bad case of the “killer flu”. How very Trumpian to come up with ways to stop 200,000 Australians from voting.

    Then there are the thousands of Australians who are overseas who have found out their usual polling places have been closed by this despicable government and their postal voting papers have not arrived. What are they supposed to do? Send a pigeon?

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