Guest essay by Eric Worrall
President Macron, thought technically in the lead, is facing a nervous time attempting to build a coalition, to win a run off election against upstart right wing candidate Marine Le-Pen.
Macron uses climate change to attack Le Pen
The French president is attempting to attract left-wing voters ahead of the final round of the French election.
BY CLOTHILDE GOUJARD
April 16, 2022 7:21 pm
In a bid to woo left-wing voters for the final round of the French presidential election, Emmanuel Macron on Saturday slammed his far-right opponent Marine Le Pen as a “climate skeptic”and trumpeted his own plans to build a green economy.
Speaking in Marseille at his only large rally ahead of the April 24 vote, the liberal incumbent billed the election as a “civilizational choice” and vowed to turn France into a “great environmental nation.”
“The choice today is clear. The far-right is a climate-skeptic project, a project that wants to leave Europe’s climate ambitions, that wants to destroy windmills,” Macron told nearly 3,000 people.
Dedicating most of his speech to his environmental ambitions, Macron painted his opponent’s idea to dismantle wind farms and impose a moratorium on new wind and solar energy projects in France while building new nuclear power plants as out of touch and dangerous.
“Good luck and good use of taxpayers’ money,” he said.
…Read more: https://www.politico.eu/article/france-election-president-2022-macron-climate-change-attack-le-pen/
First I want to categorically state that French politics is as complicated as the French approach to romantic entanglements. Only the French truly understand French politics. So if I’ve gotten it wrong, apologies in advance.
The French operate a second round runoff system of Presidential Elections, where if a candidate does not win an outright victory, there is a second runoff election between the lead candidate and runner up. The two candidates in this case will be incumbent Emmanuel Macron and runner up Marine Le-Pen.
Macron entered the The Élysée Palace as a revolutionary, but turned out to be an establishment bore, whose Presidency has been marred with Yellow Vest protests in response to unacceptable fuel tax hikes, and other serious missteps.
Macron’s attempt to attack Le-Pen’s climate credentials is risky, because he himself has badly disappointed climate activists – in 2021, a French Court ruled that Macron’s government was not doing enough to fulfil their climate pledges. And his backdown on the carbon taxes which sparked the Yellow Vest protests upset activists, even if they saved his Presidency from further strife.
And there is the curse of the second term. No French president has won a second term since Jacques Chirac, who left office in 2007.
Is Marine a climate skeptic? Who knows. She has been accused of being a climate denier, but her platform in 2017 included opposition to Shale Gas, and her references to climate policy have been ambiguous to say the least. Perhaps climate skepticism is a subject she doesn’t want to discuss, rather than a key position.
Still we might be in for a pleasant surprise. Above all, Le-Pen strikes me as a pragmatist. In the face of Russian gas shortages, in my opinion she will likely put French energy security ahead of other energy considerations.
The race is on for Emmanuel to appeal to the far left, whom he bitterly disappointed during his first term, and for Marine to appeal to the centre and right wing Éric Zemmour supporters, whose support largely grew from alienation of right wing voters due to Le-Pen’s moves towards centrism.
My Zemmour supporter French friend plans to hold his nose and vote Le-Pen. I suspect the majority of Zemmour supporters will support Le-Pen in the second round election, to avoid a second Macron term. They sent a message in the first round elections that they couldn’t be taken for granted. So the real battle in the second round is the centre and the far left.
Macron faces a real balancing act, to win enough of the centre to fend off Le-Pen, but also somehow convince the far Left to give him another chance.
Maybe I’m reading too much into this election – Le-Pen’s drive to centrism could make for a Presidential term as pointless as the Macron presidency.
But despite this I hope Le-Pen wins. France needs a dose of political pragmatism, after Macron’s reckless anti free trade posturing and egocentric mockery of the USA. In addition, the delicious outlier possibility that under Le-Pen, France itself could reject the Paris Agreement, would make for a very entertaining WUWT essay if it happens, and would cause a big shakeup of the globalist green world order.
Update (EW): h/t Hans Erren – Fixed a typo.