The legislative elections in France


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.

One thought on “The legislative elections in France

  1. viriato says:

    What follows has been sent to a number of UP’s comrades

    “Analysis of the results.

    As we predicted, the turn to the right, the constitution of the NUPES, which has saved the parties of the “caviar left” from complete bankruptcy, rightly despised by a large part of the abstentionists and the popular vote, has served no purpose.

    If, with our militant work, we created from scratch, PS, EELV and possibly communist parliamentary groups, they immediately “chose to go their own way”, in short they stabbed us in the back allowing the RN to take the Financial Committee of the Parliament.

    Not only was their participation in the campaign very weak, with dissident candidacies and murderous declarations against Mélenchon, but today, taking advantage of the lower than expected score of the UP, they pretend to be an alternative to the UP.

    All the reaction, the right, Macronism, the far right and the caviar left are shooting at the Popular Union perceived as the political continuation of the Yellow Vests of the revolt of the French and immigrant people. In fact, part of the Gilet’s Jaunes vote went to abstentionism or even to the RN (LePenism) that has a more direct albeit demagogic stance against “the system”.

    Well organized, which is not the case of the UP despite the arrival of many activists, keen on political politics, these parties only work for themselves. The PC has shown the way with the declarations of the Judas Roussel, chief of the PCF, freshly elected with the votes of the UP, the PS even allows itself to “vote case by case” the proposals of Macron offering him a plank of salvation. EELV (the Greens) contemptuously rejects what was in the nature of the NUPES, a common work, a common policy.

    But again, as mentioned before, the NUPES did not bring us anything from the abstentionists who are the most important reservoir of votes and even allowed the RN to win many duels with us because the people who are fed up with the politicians of the caviar left and Macron, faced with the choice NUPES / RN, voted RN.

    Thus, from an “electoral triumph” on the first day, we find ourselves on the second day with the declarations of the “allies” who are already betraying and blowing up the strategy of a united NUPES and thus giving the RN and Macron a run for their money.

    It is absolutely necessary to change orientation and to move to the left, openly abandoning the PS, PC and Greens to their fate and to place the UP as the political pole of the struggles to come.

    Objectively, both a part of the LePenism electorate and the abstentionists are looking for a discourse but above all for acts of real rupture. It is quite striking to hear the newly elected RN members, some real working class people, mixing left-wing demands with those of the racist extreme right without realizing it. This contradiction will deepen as soon as the first votes are taken in Parliament, which will involve a choice between policies favorable to employers or to workers.

    Our discourse cannot be credible if we are seen to be allied or close to those who have betrayed the workers since long. The promises made by the Greens, the Socialists and the Communists have been so falso that nobody believes them anymore.

    And the break with capitalism, at the center of Mélenchon’s discourse and approach, is the antithesis of the socialist-liberal line of the left and the right, is not at all the Green program and contradicts the ridiculous slogan of the “communists” about the “happy days”, a pitiful marketing find.

    As we have written before, these elections are only a moment and the times ahead will be times of struggle.

    It is up to the UP to organize itself for good as a party with militants and democratically elected regional and national leaderships (the habit of appointing candidates or leaders by the national leadership without consultation and vote of the local militants must be banished forever) and discipline, because the struggles that are coming, be they street or electoral, so demand it.

    All the rest is impotent dilettantism and material to be cuckolded by the rotten of both “left” and “right”.

    The UP parliamentary group can easily constitute a pole turned towards the struggles that are developing and will develop because of inflation, recession, the possible financial crisis and the possible war. This is the solid basis for the construction of a solid, powerful organization that has real weight in national political life.

    The parliamentary illusions or “parliamentary cretinism” we have seen are promises, betrayals, and schemes that are miles away from a people who are blindly looking for a way out and who no longer trust the parliament.

    It is not a question of renouncing the parliamentary struggle, but it must be the only solid, reliable basis that the people of the left have in the service of the workers’ struggles. The “electoral agreements”, the “alliances with the rotten”, give nothing but disappointment, demoralization and failure. The workers deserve better and it is in their ranks, through a discourse and action decidedly to the left, that we can win it.

    Forward on the line of support for the workers’ struggles for ecological socialism!”


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