Cod liver oil

The best that can be said about the result of Sunday’s French legislative elections is that it was good because the alternative was worse. And that Macron’s risky choice stopped Le Pen’s winning momentum. Which is not a small thing, but it is not a great virtue.

We know who lost, Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement national (RN), but we don’t know who won because the “Republican Front†was a kind of national salvation junta, with no purpose other than or defeat the extreme right. A worthy purpose. But, in a liberal democracy and a functioning economy, the need to bring all these people together to defeat the extreme right is hardly a reason for satisfaction beyond this success.

Now, there’s confusion. It is not clear who is with whom and for what, nor what will happen. Especially because in France the legislative elections are second-rate elections, and everyone is already thinking about the 2027 presidential elections.

After the victory in the European elections and the result in the first round of the legislative elections, the political country came together, from the extreme left to the conservative right, to prevent a victory for the RN. Successfully. However, the allies only have this in common. From now on, for some, almost everything separates them, for others, little unites them. And the electoral results were the result of tactical voting, not convinced support. A detail that the winners are disregarding.

After a campaign with Jean-Luc Mélenchon hidden behind his less radical and more moderate allies, so that the New Popular Front would not be frightened, the leader of Unsubmissive France (FI) appeared to declare himself the winner of the night and demanding that President Macron bow (in front of him, it is assumed), recognize defeat and offer Mélenchon and company the place of prime minister. Who would occupy it, or will occupy it, is another conversation. And this is where the national disunity of the “Republican Front†and, eventually, the New Popular Front (NFP) begins.

Mélenchon is the leader of the largest NFP party, which also includes the most moderate ecologists, socialists and even communists. And, outside of his party, Unsubmissive France, the prime minister that nobody wants. Since he himself probably wants to be (candidate for) President of the Republic, and the position of prime minister would be a means, not an end.

As the NFP does not have enough deputies to form a majority, it needs to count on the support, or non-objection, of part of the deputies to its right. Where things are no longer simple. The Republicans, the traditional right, were divided. On the one hand, there were the few who accepted coexistence with Le Pen and company. On the other, there were those on the conservative right who reject the extreme right, but also the extreme left. In between, Macron’s supporters also have wings. One, turned right and would easily join the Republicans. The other, more left-wing, could be with the Socialists and Ecologists, but not with the Insubmissives.

Faced with this scenario, moderates, from right to center, expect betrayals on the left. The radicals, on the left, trust in the commitments made.

After these elections, the center can remain, while the extremes grow, or divide, recovering the traditional confrontation between left and right, and leaving the extremes out. Or something else happens.

Meanwhile, in most European capitals there is a moderate sigh of relief. Viktor Órban went to Moscow and Beijing to talk about peace in Ukraine as an ally of Putin, at the same time as he created a political group in the European Parliament. His leader, Jordan Bardella, will not be Prime Minister of France, which is good. But the program of the New Popular Front and the positions of Unsubmissive France do not reassure anyone about Russia, Ukraine, defense, NATO, enlargement, the relationship with Germany or the fundamentals of the European economic model and the stability of the Euro. For the European Union, the best thing that the New Popular Front, led by Unsubmissive France, has is that it is not the extreme right. And be able to undo it.

The result of these legislation is like cod liver oil: unpleasant, imposed and eventually good, but not right. And, in any case, it would be preferable not to have to take it.


Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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