French Elections 2017

french-revolution

Trying work out models on the French elections is by no means easy. The parties have changed and combined many times since 1973 alone. The National Front (FN) is a generally regarded as far-right because they are a Euroskeptic party since 1993 from its outset. Primarily, the FN is a socially conservative, nationalist political party in France whose major policies include economic protectionism, a zero tolerance approach to law and order issues, and opposition to immigration. The media portrays them as far-right since the party was founded in 1972 to unify a variety of French nationalist movements of the time. Jean-Marie Le Pen was the party’s first leader and the undisputed center of the party from its start until his resignation in 2011. Marine Le Pen, his daughter, was elected as the current leader. The party was at best a marginal force for its first ten years. However, ever since 1984 as the US dollar surged. FN has been the significant force of French nationalism.

french-presidential-elections-1974-to-2012
The 2002 presidential election was the first in France to include a National Front candidate in the run-off, after Jean-Marie Le Pen beat the Socialist candidate in the first round. In the run-off, he finished a distant second to Jacques Chirac. Due to the French electoral system, the party’s representation in public office has been limited, despite its significant share of the vote. Note that the Socialists were out of the final run in 2002. They made a two election come back, but that was just a reaction reaching 51.63% compared to their peak at 51.76% in 1981. This suggests they will possibly be out of the final run or this will be their very last time. The 2017 election may simply be Conservatives v FN in 2017.

Yet to grasp what is taking place in France, we must step back and look at the broader picture. The French Revolution (May 5th, 1789–November 9th, 1799) basically overthrew the monarchy establishing a republic and was marked by very violent periods of political turmoil. Eventually, the French Revolution culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon. It was this revolution that rapidly extended its principles to Western Europe and beyond marking the end of monarchy. In that respect, it was bookend to the American Revolution that completed the revolt against monarchy.

The French Revolution was strangely inspired by both liberal and radical ideas. Through the French Revolutionary Wars, what was unleashed set off a wave of global conflicts extending beyond Europe stretching to the Caribbean in the New World down to the Middle East. This was certainly a profound event and Napoleon brought to the doorstep of Europe, a monumental change in the form of government from monarchy to republic. It was certainly inspired philosophically by the publication of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in 1776.

Economically, there is nothing that moves the masses to revolution like taxation. Historically, governments routinely raise taxes and only see things from their perspective. Never do they consider the people they claim to benefit. This is true be it a monarchy or a republic. For all forms of government share one common bond – they act in their self-interest. The French Revolution followed the Seven Years’ War and the American Revolutionary War. These events left the French government was deeply in debt and attempted to restore its financial status through unpopular taxation schemes. The weather was an impact for this was also the low in the energy output of the sun, which resulted in years of bad harvests leading up to the Revolution. This led to the famous rumor where Queen Marie Antoinette was said to have said: “Let them eat cake” which is the traditional translation of the French phrase “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”. While it is commonly attributed to her, there is no record of this phrase ever having been said by Marie Antoinette. It appears in Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Confessions  written in 1765, when Marie Antoinette was just nine years old.

Nevertheless, the economic decline, crop failures, and raising taxes inflamed popular resentment of the privileges enjoyed by both the clergy and the aristocracy. The first year of the Revolution saw members of the Third Estate taking control, the assault on the Bastille in July, and the passage of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in August where there was the abolition of feudalism and the old rules and privileges. There was the women’s march upon Versailles which resulted in the royal court being forced to return to Paris in October that year.

beheading-louisThe economic turmoil led many elite French to flee to Geneva in Switzerland. Over the course of the first few years, there were political struggles and clashes between various liberal assemblies and right-wing supporters of the monarchy who wanted to maintain the status quo just as we saw the press conspire with Hillary in the 2016 elections. France essentially collapsed and was transformed into a democratic and secular society with freedom of religion, legalization of divorce, and civil rights for Jews and black people. The Republic was proclaimed in September 1792 after the French victory at Valmy. In a momentous event that led to international condemnation, Louis XVI was beheaded in January 1793. The king was only one of the thousands of victims of Robespierre.

The beheading of King Louis XVI came 144 years following the English Glorious Revolution and the beheading of Charles I on January 30th, 1649. No doubt, the manner in which the Puritans executed Charles I played some role in the executions carried out during the French Revolution by Robespierre, who himself would be declared an outlaw and he was arrested and was placed in the same cell where he held Marie Antoinette before her execution. Then on July 28th, 1794, Robespierre was guillotined without trial in the Place de la Révolution.

Le Pen Marine

The 224 Year Cycle of Political Change thus targets the beginning as 2013 and the end of this upheaval in France going into the peak of the next 8.6 year wave 2023-2024. Marine Le Pen first reach more than 17% of the vote in 2012. The cycle was starting to turn up, but it was just ahead of the time. Now, Le Pen is polling twice that of the President. Because of the fragmented political parties in France, it is difficult to forecast Le Pen will win. What is clear is that the socialists will lose. That much is certain. Nicolas Sarkozy has been thrown out of the elections by the conservative front runner Francois Fillon. The gap is closing between the conservatives and the right-wing. Clearly, the socialists are finished. However, we are within this 10 year window between 2013 and 2023. This clearly shifts the favor toward a new power. Le Pen can win within this window. However, expect this to be also very divisive as in the United States.

Will attempt to create a simulated election history based upon purely philosophy rather than party labels due to the constant shifting of parties and mergers. We will report when that is completed.