by Will Sommers
The election of Socialist candidate François Hollande to the presidency of France allows several comparisons to the Australian political stage. Sarkozy in his final months as President was facing historically low approval ratings, very similar to Julia Gillard in recent times, and not so recent times…pretty much since her coup d’état got rid of K Rudd. However Gillard will be happy that her only opponent is equally loathed by the Australian community, with both Abott and Gillard rocking 30% approval ratings. In contrast, hatred for the major political candidates in France has been a one-sided affair, with Sarkozy being the target.
Hollande did not win the election due to gaining support from a majority of the French population with his policies, a vast number of voters put him in simply because they were sick of Sarkozy with his conservative leadership that saw the unemployment rate reach double figures, a weak recovery from the GFC, and poor handling of the Eurozone debt crisis. Hollande has vowed not to provide Greece with bailout money to solve their debt problems and supposedly kick start their economy, instead Hollande is focusing on the domestic situation, not the Eurozone as a whole. His key policy promise was a massive increase in state spending to stimulate France’s economy, boost employment, fund gulags to intern conservative voters and to pay for these programs by taxing the rich to ensure that the poor would vote him in for another term. Continue Reading