Nicholas Sarkozy is the most unpopular president in the history of the fifth french republic, and also his new-found pose as "warrior" president is unlikely to help him. His conservative party scored an embarassing defeat in the countrywide local elections ( 17 %) and some polls for the coming presidential votes see him in a third position, after the Socialist Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and the far right candidate Marine Le Pen. More than sixty percent of voters would back Strauss-Kahn, currently head of the IMF, and if elected, the first jewish president of France (on a sidenote), but the question is if the french Left, with a wide variety of candidates from Socialists to Trotzkyists, Greens and Communists isn´t too disunited and busy with infighting for him to win.........
I don't think France is doing worse than other European countries, they are not doing great but neither are they doing terrible. Spain, for instance, is a country where people has more reason to be pissed off by the government. Or Greece, a country which faces a huge crisis. Sarkozy will probably be defeated, but he may watch the next president screw up things much more than he could have done...
Seems like all French Presidents end up massively unpopular. Chirac polled at something like 20%. Schroeder looked pretty bad in Germany too. Can't imagine Merkel's doing too well either.
Well, it is not just the hand of fate that makes Sarkozy unpopular. It is the obvious gap between promises and declarations and reality, his own( and his partys and governements) corruption, nepotism and other affairs, his messianic style of politics, his attempts to silence critical press and finally the struggling french economy ( especially the labour market situation for the young generation is an embarassement). Sarkozy has instead of offering solutions drifted firmly to the right to no avail ( the Front National has scored embarassingly high in the local elections) while at the same time loosing the political center to the Socialists (who have in IMF head Strauss-Kahn a candidate who might also appeal to centrists and moderate conservatives).
Merkel is still in a better situation because she has over the years managed to erase all possible inner-party challengers, and the opposition has none either, at least right now. In spite of more and more Germans wishing to see her kicked out of the chancellery teared and feathered, she might still have a last chance to turn the wheel around, for lack of somebody to replace her.
Sarkozy has a challenger who scores about three times higher in polls than himself. Few people are betting on him to remain in the Elysee palace after the elections next year.
hum, not really what I wrote. France did a bit better, or a less worse, but was (and is still) impacted by the crisis.
Christine Lagarde (Sarkosy's minister of finance) management of the crisis was widely recognized on the international stage.
I am not sure that that is correct.
He is a practicing catholic (whose pro christian activism has rubbed many a frenchman the wrong way, as France beleives in a true seperation of church and state)
and as far as the jew through the womb argument, I don't think that is true either (if my cursory internet search is reliable) as it was his grandfather who was jewish, not his grandmother. (once again I will stand to be corrected, but the only websites that I found that made that argument were very elliptical and would say things like his mother of 'jewish ancestry' or that his grandmother had married into a 'powerful jewish family'). I did not find any definitive or reliable site stating that his mother was jewish.
Either way, though, in France this is hardly a big deal, as personal religion is really not an electoral issue in the way it is in the US. After all we've had a two term atheist president (mitterand)