France: Legislative Elections Will Be Decisive for Macron’s Second Term
Following the very short lead of Emmanuel Macron in the first round of the presidential elections, who received 30 % of the votes against the sizeable score of 23% for Marine Le Pen and 22% for Jean Luc Mélenchon, Solidarité & Progres President Jacques Cheminade immediately recognized the emergence of a new majority. This « popular bloc », he said, was not between the candidates of the radical right and the radical left (Le Pen and Melenchon) as such, but between their voters, as both had made the need for higher living standards for the people the top priority of their campaigns.
This could have set the stage for some sort of alliance, even indirect, against Emmanuel Macron as representing the party of the supranational oligarchy. That, however, did not happen, as ideology won out over reality. Mélenchon declared war on Marine Le Pen in the second round, leading to Macron’s reelection with 58% of the votes against 41% for his opponent. Sociological studies immediately reported that nearly half of he 58% were votes against Le Pen, not in favor of Macron’s policies.
The legislative elections, which will take place on June 12 and June 19, will be decisive in determining the policy of Macron’s second term. And while the level of the presidential campaigns was low, that of the legislative campaigns has been even worse. Commentator Sylvain Fort, writing in L’Express, calls it “the strange victory” of Emmanuel Macron. For the first time ever, he says, there was no victory “momentum” for the winner and he took three weeks to nominate Elisabeth Borne as his new Prime Minister, for the interim period up to the elections. As for Le Pen, instead of building on her 41% results, she went off on holidays for two weeks! Only Mélenchon is already claiming victory in the coming legislative elections and is campaigning to be nominated Prime Minister thereafter.
The reality, declared Cheminade, is that nobody is talking about the life or death issues the next government will have to deal with: the likely continuation of the war, the collapse of the economy under the sanctions policies, galloping inflation, or the expected revolts over the huge drop in purchasing power.
In this desolate environment, the 13 candidates run by Solidarité & Progrès, as part of an umbrella slate of forces called “The reason of the people”, are bringing in a refreshing, future-oriented agenda. The 75 candidates on the slate will be defending a chart which calls for: giving financial power back to the State and a national public bank ; Glass Steagall banking separation ; the expansion of public services and infrastructure to develop a productive economy and qualified jobs – in addition to calling for an exit from NATO’s integrated command. As Jonathan Florit, a 19 year old S&P candidate likes to say, this is not just about “purchasing power” which must be improved, but rather “living power”.