Saturday, April 29, 2017

On Marche?

As cures for populism go, the French one is already looking a bit, well, homeopathique

Is anyone really that convinced by the whole insider-outsider ploy? Only in France perhaps, where acting all superior is actually a valid variant of the common touch. 

Frenchness and middle of la rue, centrist, fence-sitting politics are such an absurdly unlikely match-up, that Macron's novel movement En Marche! has almost inevitably achieved the sort of rebel cachet that most establishment rearguard actions could only dream of. 

The trouble is I think that most jubilant market commentators, especially in the US, have failed to brush up on the French constitutional system, which differs from the American model in at least one important respect: the executive and legislature cannot function properly unless driven by the same basic political tendency. 

So Macron, a candidate whose would-be party currently has a grand total of zero MPs, will have some work to do prior to the June parliamentary elections and most probably throughout any term as Le President

Just because people are prepared to vote for him to keep Le Pen out of the Élysée Palace does not mean that constituency voters will behave quite so tactically. 

As James Fenby observed in this week’s Spectator: ‘A movement that came from nowhere could all too easily dissolve like snowflakes in the sun’. 

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