Ceci N’est Pas Une Pipe Dream

You’d be forgiven for assuming that scenes of crowds cheering in the streets across France were related to some huge soccer win in Euro 2024. But France doesn’t have its semifinal match against Spain until Tuesday. The cheers over the weekend were political exultations of relief as the surging far right fell short in national elections that saw voter turnout at its highest rate in more than 40 years. “After the shock of French President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to call snap elections last month, another surprise came for French voters as polls for the runoff vote closed Sunday evening: The far-right National Rally party did not receive the majority of the parliamentary seats pollsters had predicted. It didn’t even come close.” The results leave France’s government in a state of uncertainty and the threat of the far right is slowed but not necessarily stopped. But the vote and its reaction was a reminder of just how big the threat is and how vital it is to stop it. The threat and the ultimate result in America is an even bigger deal.

+ “Nobody expected this. High drama, for sure, but this was a shock.” BBC: What just happened in France’s shock election?

+ “‘The slap,’ ‘It’s crazy,’ ‘And now, what do we do?’ − those were some of Monday’s headlines from French newspapers after a gamble by President Emmanuel Macron ended in deadlock and a leadership crisis. Macron’s gamble had been to call a snap parliamentary election aimed at keeping ascending right-wing political forces in his country at bay.” ‘What do we do?’: A win for left. Blow for right. Macron stuck. France’s vote explained

+ WaPo (Gift Article): In France, relief and elation at a ‘victory’ that might be Pyrrhic: “The elation among center and left French voters arises mainly from pre-election polls that turned out to be massively wrong. Those polls formed expectations that the populist National Rally, with roots in a nationalist party established by Nazi collaborators and antisemites, would win a resounding victory. But beating flawed polls isn’t the same as winning. On the numbers, National Rally, until recently seen as beyond the pale, remains on a meteoric trajectory. The party, which in 2017 won just eight seats in France’s 577-seat National Assembly, captured 89 two years ago, representing 15 percent of the chamber’s total seats. On Sunday, it won 143 seats, one-quarter of the total.” Turns out the fight to keep darkness from overtaking democracy is a full-time and never-ending job.

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