After years of allegiance to the right, French voters begin turning left, but…

Posted on February 17, 2012

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The Left: "We must revive the economy!" The Right: "We must revive the economy!"

The Right has taken a hold of France for too long and it’s time to change. That is the growing sentiment among the French, according to Pascal Perrineau, director of the Center of Political Research at Sciences Po University in Paris.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Perrineau this week and we talked about how France’s economic crisis  and Sarkozy’s inability to do something about it is one of the main reasons why the French people have had enough of him. The political scientist explained that this change of heart will likely lead many French voters to express their discontent with the current ruling party by voting for the opposition  (meaning François Hollande) on election day.

However, even if the French people seem ready to vote, perhaps more than ever, for the Left, we must also take into account the fact that these presidential elections in France are very different from any others in the history of France, Perrineau said. What sets these elections apart from any other is precisely the mix of the economic crisis, combined with international pressure.

WATCH an excerpt from my interview with Pascal Perrineau below :

Note: Trying to understand political parties in France can often be bewildering to outsiders, especially because, as opposed to Great Britain and the United States, there are way too many political parties to keep track of. I found this excellent explanation that describes in detail what the differences are between French political parties, along with their history.In France, it is always crucial to know the history of everything. That’s essentially the element that gives movements, organizations, and even people a sort of “street cred,” as we say back in the U.S.

EXTRA: A video on the French Right and Left:

http://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x963yf_la-droite-et-la-gauche-ca-existe-to_news

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