run-off if necessary. President Nicolas Sarkozy will be eligible to run for a second successive and final term during this election.
This election is very critical for chance of the revival of the French Grandeur or the continuing decline over the past 3 decades. Having grown up in France for 7 years in France, France is my deuxieme patrie or my second country and I hope the French would choose the right direction. France takes pride in its public service and its so-called exceptional French social system. As I have been living in the USA for more than 20 years, I have come to appreciate better the American Exceptionalism, which advocates and promotes easier social mobility for any hardworking people than in the French model. France’ social welfare state will bankrupt France and continues to keep France stagnant. France’s unemployment rate has consistently been about 10% for the past 3 decades. As the governing system is very centralized and bureaucratic, bold and cultural reforms are the only chance that France may achieve its grandeur again. I love France because France intervened with the Vietnamese communist to allow us to seek political asylum. I will never forget the French humanism. It is sad for me France has become a small country compared to its glorious history. Indochina was actually a colony of such a weak country, la mere patrie. Quelle honte! France is to weak to even cover in the media about the South China Sea issue as France may still hold the legal sovereignty over Spratly islands or had transferred to Vietnam in 1954. Sarkozy is a man of action and has made a few mistakes in his quinquennat. Lots of French and French of foreign origins are disappointed in his leadership. As I was visiting France a year ago, I could not believe myself to hear some educated Franc0-Asians to consider to vote for a racist party, Le Front National or will vote “blanc.” This shows how bad the social environment is. They know that socialists will turn back the clock and will ruin France. Observing from America, Sarkozy has made some good reforms, but not bold enough. I do believe if France wants to become more competitive, a Tea Party or Wine Party phenomenon should be created to push for a society of smaller government and lower tax so that entrepreneurial spirit can take roots again. Relying on more taxation is a wrong way. France should choose the less evil candidate. which is president Sarkozy. I hope he will be bolder to structurally reform France. All I can say that French socialists are on the wrong side of history. Wealth distribution and entitlement or assistance society will make France become Greece very soon. It was my 2 cents- because I care for my second country and I am still eligible to take part in the voting if I decided to register. -
Putting an end to French politics’ worst-kept secret, President Nicolas Sarkozy burst into France’s presidential campaign this week with a new slogan, a brand new website and Twitter account , and a busy schedule of rallies across France. The incumbent was due to hold his first campaign meeting in the Alpine city of Annecy on Thursday, a day after he officially announced on French television that he was a candidate in the country’s April 22 poll . After lunch with local officials, and an afternoon stop at a cheese factory that makes the pungent Reblochon cheese, Sarkozy was scheduled to address supporters and members of his ruling UMP party. He was expected to unveil his new election manifesto at a major party rally in the city of Marseille on Sunday. While there was no surprise about his intention to run for a second term, Sarkozy’s announcement was a key moment in an election contest already well underway. Jean-Pierre Bel, the president of the Socialist-led French Senate, joked it would only have been a shock if the incumbent had announced he was not a candidate. France’s opposition Socialist Party, whose candidate François Hollande is leading opinion polls, had complained that Sarkozy was exploiting official visits to campaign. “I think it is good that we have entered a period where things will be clearer, where the rules of the game will be clearer,” Bell told the AFP news agency, “Until now, [Sarkozy] has allowed himself many privileges.” Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate who has closely trailed Sarkozy in voter intention surveys , responded to the French president’s announcement with the aggressive criticism that has been characteristic of her campaign. “Nicolas Sarkozy is trying to make us forget his scandalous track record on unemployment, sinking purchasing power, rising insecurity and the explosion of immigration,” Le Pen told reporters after the televised announcement, “I thought he was very insincere.” Carrying the brunt of the blame for France’s economic troubles and facing low approval ratings, the French president hopes to quickly gain ground over challengers. His battle to remain at the Elysée Palace received an early boost from former ministers Hervé Morin and Christine Boutin – both presidential hopefuls who quit the race this week to endorse the incumbent. ‘Strong France’ Despite previous questions concerning Sarkozy’s intentions and rumours of a lack of enthusiasm for his potential bid , a well-planned and carefully coordinated re-election strategy was on display on Thursday. His team simultaneously revealed the candidate’s campaign slogan and website a few hours after he made his candidacy official. The websites “ lafranceforte.fr” and “NS2012.fr ” went online on Wednesday night, emphasizing the catchphrase “La France forte”, or “Strong France”. Curiously, the same campaign slogan was used in 1975 by former centrist president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. Earlier in the day a new Twitter account invited users to watch Sarkozy’s primetime interview on TF1 television, in which the president confirmed he was a candidate. Sarkozy’s arrival on the popular micro-blogging website was hailed on the other side of the Atlantic by the White House, which posted the message “Welcome to Twitter @NicolasSarkozy” with a picture of US President Barack Obama in a meeting with the French president in Washington. ‘Loss from world stage’ Few French editorialists offered a positive review of Sarkozy’s television appearance, with many focusing on what they described as the daunting task ahead of the incumbent. “This entrance into the presidential race is probably [Sarkozy’s] last chance to win back public opinion. All other attempts in recent weeks have been absolutely unsuccessful,” wrote the left-leaning Liberation daily. Le Figaro, a right-wing newspaper widely viewed as close to Sarkozy’s government, was more forgiving: “It will be necessary to review [France’s] competitiveness, its social services system, its public spending – everything that François Hollande does not speak about and that Nicolas Sarkozy will lay on the table before the first round [of the election].” British papers were also quick to weigh in on the election after Sarkozy’s announcement. “Britain has had many disputes with President Sarkozy, not least his obsession with the introduction of a financial transactions tax,” The Times wrote, before praising the French leader’s strong response to the unrest in Libya last year. “For all his flaws, Mr Sarkozy would be a loss from the world stage,” the daily concluded. The left-of-centre Independent newspaper echoed sentiments in the French press, highlighting that despite being “a powerful campaigner”, Sarkozy faced “the greatest uphill battle of any incumbent French leader of recent times.” Source France 24