Saturday, May 6, 2017

Prominent French Leftists to Abstain in Sunday's Presidential Vote

They won't vote.

Looks like the so-called establishment candidate, Emmanuel Macron, doesn't appeal to the leftist establishment.


PARIS — The French comedian Sophia Aram took to the airwaves of one of France’s most popular morning radio shows this week. In the squealy voice of a teenage girl, she cried, “I can be against toothbrushes, and against cavities!” She then added: “Hashtag: NeitherCheeseNorDessert.”

Ms. Aram was making light of what she saw as a worrisome trend ahead of the French presidential election on Sunday, a race that has divided the country’s intellectuals and cultural figures: voters, especially on the left, who might abstain or cast a blank ballot because they intensely dislike both the centrist front-runner Emmanuel Macron and his far-right rival, Marine Le Pen.

The “Neither-Nor” impulse, as it’s called here, was a factor in past French elections, but greater discontent — with conventional political parties and the European Union — has been particularly strong this time.

“A lot of people don’t recognize themselves in either of these candidates,” said Sudhir Hazareesingh, a politics professor at Oxford University and the author of “How the French Think.” The backdrop is a French left that’s divided, especially over the big Cs: capitalism and communism — and the collapse of the governing Socialist party in this election.
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