20/06/2022 by socialistfight
By Viriato Lusitania
In order to understand the results of the elections to the French Parliament, we need to go back to the French political traditions.
The President of the Republic is a kind of constitutional monarch with many powers. He conducts foreign policy and commands the armies as well as the police, and he can dispense with a discussion in Parliament if he has a majority in Parliament or if he uses some articles that shorten the discussion to none. He can also dissolve it at will.
Traditionally, a newly elected president almost automatically obtains an absolute majority in the parliamentary elections that closely follow the presidential election and thus, barring a split in his own majority, can rule like a king. The opposition can shout all it wants, it is powerless.
Without an absolute majority, the president is obliged to make agreements with another party which will impose its conditions.
The particularity of France since Mitterrand is that a far-right party is used as a scarecrow by the right and the left to get elected conveniently. This is the National Front.
Macron also used this resource to get himself elected president once again. For this he took advantage of the divisions he created, both on the right and the left. The presidential campaign was a series of traps, ambushes, traps to arrive at a “duel” Marine Le Pen – Macron. Both the PCF and the extreme left have contributed to this.
The problem is that the fine electoral manoeuvres cannot erase the main thing: the people hate Macron, his contempt, his deceit, his policies totally at the service of “the rich”.
The legislative elections took place within this framework: on the one hand the republican tradition of offering the president a majority to govern as he pleases, on the other hand that three quarters of the people who are fed up with Macron.
Mélenchon in a fine tactical stroke, therefore offered himself for the post of Prime Minister, because if his party obtained a majority in Parliament, he can constitutionally be one. By the way, very quickly, in a tactical turn to the right, he recovered the votes of the PCF, PS and Greens (8% in total) in the NUPES electoral alliance.
On the other side, in the direction of the polarization of society and taking advantage of its score in the presidential elections, which is the product in good part of the rejection of Macron, Lepénisme wanted to present itself as “the only real opposition to Macron”.
But the momentum was on Mélenchon’s side, especially through the remarkable militant work of the new militants of the Popular Union (which includes France Insoumise, the POI, other tiny groups and individuals). The Greens, Communists and Socialists were very irregularly involved in the campaign and there were “dissident” candidacies especially from the Socialist Party with the support of the right wing of the PS, Hollande the ex-president (as hated as Macron or more) among others.
Yesterday, Macronism came out on top, but far from an absolute majority and a number of ministers were soundly defeated and other personalities too. Among others, the hated Castaner, ex-minister of the former during the struggle of the Yellow Vests, called the “éborgneur” (the one who takes eyes out). Likewise, the former president of the National Assembly as well as other important figures of the Macronie.
It is the NUPES list that comes in second place by multiplying by 10 the number of deputies.
As an example of the real trend, in the proletarian and immigrant region of Seine Saint-Denis, they made 12 deputies out of 12. This is a good result but Mélenchon cannot be Prime Minister without making agreements with … the right or the extreme right.
LePenism also obtained a significant number of deputies, even ahead of the right, which, by known historical examples, transferred part of its voters to Macronism and another part to LePenism. RN (LePenism) with a very demagogic discourse on the left (increase in salaries, opposition to Macron’s retirement at 65), they will be in difficulty in front of their electorate to support their real class politics. They will thus find themselves objectively in agreement with the NUPES on these issues.
The journalists who are most in favour of Macron, a good number if not all of them, are already talking about a dissolution of the National Assembly (the Parliament) in a year’s time… But wanting is not being able, and the economic and military situation will dictate a completely different reality.
A reality that will be marked by the electoral triumph of a traditional left, which leans to the left. Yesterday, Mélenchon made a very left-wing speech and congratulated the Popular Union (the crowd chanted “Popular Union! Popular Union!”) without saying a word about the NUPES!
This election will also be an important encouragement for the workers’ struggles that are developing and will continue to develop. This is already a victory, and it is not a small one, despite all the anathemas, condemnations and other fits of hysteria from the extreme left, which has also been dragged along by the force of the popular momentum.
Abstention is still a problem, but it is being dealt with by triumphs against the right and by a shift to the left.