Friday, November 17, 2006


Chalk one up for the ladies in France, as Ségolène Royal steps up to the plate as the new leader of the Parti Socialiste. Ms Royal, who won over 60% of the vote, will now be a contender for the presidency at next year's general elections, where she will more than likely be fighting against the terrier-like Nicolas Sarkozy.

I personally like Ségolène - her name is fun to say, and she seems less stuffy and, well, up herself, than most of the ruling Paris intelligentsia. But as David Cameron's critics here in Britain will only too happily attest, apparent likeability is no substitute for a strong policy platform, and on this it seems that Ségolène is also lacking. What does she stand for, besides the old catchwords of "solidarity" and "participative democracy" (and liberty, equality and fraternity, of course)? Does her promise of party modernisation make her the Tony Blair to the Parti Socialiste's Labour Party? To quote Paul Anderson, I ask because I want to know.


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