Preview Of The French Assembly Elections

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Emmanuel Macron was elected President of the Fifth Republic on the 7th of May and moved forward with appointing cabinet ministers who come from both the so-called, left and right. Yet as Macron’s En Marche political party and its allies hover at 30% in the polls, a majority of the French people are not keen on supporting his movement. Yes, Macron defeated Marine Le Pen with 66% of the vote in the second round of the presidential election, yet one must take into account that the vast majority of Le Pen voters were voting for her as a motion of support, whereas the majority of Macron voters were voting to prevent Le Pen from taking up residence in the presidential palace.
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Democracy supposedly entails ensuring that all votes count, yet while the vast majority of countries in continental Europe have adopted proportional representation for the elections to their national assemblies or parliaments, France has not. Much of this comes down to the fear the political elite in France have of letting the masses votes count. In 1986, the French government allowed proportional representation for the election to the National Assembly, and they regretted it immediately. 35 members of the Front National were elected, and the French political elite changed back to first past the post for the next election.
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Doubtful is an understatement for those who contemplate whether or not Macron, who has few policies worth speaking of, will push for a truly democratic voting system. He who claims to be a liberal democrat who wants reform, surely would want to reform the system, would he not? No, for changing the system would not benefit him. Hence why dozens of his candidates for the Assembly were elected in 2012 under the Socialist Party banner, and others for the Republicans, who were at the time named the UMP. Macron is nothing more than the continuation of the status quo. A reshuffling of the chairs on the decks on the Titanic as Europe is engulfed with radical Islamic terrorism. Frenchmen and women do not have to vote for candidates from the status quo, given that 7,882 candidates are standing for the National Assembly. With an average of 14 candidates per constituency, the French people have an array of candidates to choose from, with a diverse and enticing contrast of political views, which is refreshing, to say the least.
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Below are the parties of significance which are contesting the election, and how many candidates they are standing. France has 577 constituencies, which includes the overseas territories.

 

Popular Republican Union (Right-wing. Anti-EU. Anti-NATO): 574 candidates. Fell short of a full slate of 577.

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Front National (Anti-NATO. Multiple factions on whether to leave the EU & the Euro): 571 candidates.

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Unbowed France (Far-left. Anti-NATO): 556 candidates.

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Workers’ Struggle (Communist. Anti-NATO): 553 candidates.

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En Marche (President Macron’s party) & the Democratic Movement: Contesting 537 seats. En Marche is contesting 461 seats, and the Democratic Movement is fielding 76 candidates.

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Socialist Party: 481 candidates. Currently the largest party in the Assembly.

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Radical Left: 62 candidates. The Socialist Party & the Radical Left Party run in separate constituencies.

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The Republicans: 480 candidates. Currently the second largest party in the National Assembly.

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Union of Democrats and Independents: 148 seats. In the vast majority of constituencies, the UDI and the Republicans are not fielding candidates against each other.

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Communist Party (Anti-NATO): 461 candidates.

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Green Party (Anti-NATO): 459 candidates. Endorsed 52 Socialists & 19 Communists.

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Debout La France (Right-wing. Anti-Euro): 397 candidates.

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Independent Ecological Movement (Progressive): 350 candidates.

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The following four parties and Jacques Bompard have formed an electoral pact and are not fielding candidates against each other. Contesting 238 of the 577 constituencies. 67+80+70+20+1.

Comités Jeanne (Far-right. Led by Jean-Marie Le Pen. Broke off from the Front National in 2017): 67 candidates.

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Sovereignty, Identity, & Liberty (Far-right): 80 candidates.

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Party of France: (Far-right. Broke off from the FN in 2009. Led by Carl Lang, former Front National Member of the European Parliament from 1994-2009): 70 candidates.

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Civitas (Far-right. Catholic nationalists): 20 candidates.

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Jacques Bompard (Mayor of Orange since 1995, and Far-right National Assembly member since 2012. Was elected under the banner of the League of the South): Running for re-election.

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Action française, a royalist party founded in 1899, is backing the Far-right electoral pact.

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New Deal (Left-wing): 90 candidates.

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Equality and Justice (Islamist/Turkish fundamentalist party): 68 candidates.

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Alliance Royale (Restore the monarchy): 20 candidates.

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The remaining 2,400 candidates include independents and those who are standing for other political parties.

It is doubtful that En Marche will fall short of obtaining a parliamentary majority in the second round, but at least the voters have plenty of candidates to choose from.

First round: June 11th, 2017.

Second round: June 18th, 2017.

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