Skip to content

UPDATE: French presidential election vote this Sunday

[[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:”2038″,”attributes”:{“class”:”media-image size-medium wp-image-14711″,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”style”:””,”width”:”240″,”height”:”180″,”title”:”marseille-20120318-00335″,”alt”:”Sarkozy election posters in Marseille.”}}]]

Sarkozy election posters in Marseille.

Today is the last day of campaigning for the French presidential election that takes place on Sunday April 22 (with a run-off date of May 6 should that be necessary).

In early-February, the Globe and Mail reported, “The European debt crisis wrecking ball is not just destroying economies. It is smashing the careers of government leaders everywhere. Since Greece began its plunge into economic Hades almost two-and-a-half years ago, the prime ministers of Britain, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland have all gone ungently into the night. France’s Nicolas Sarkozy could be next. …He’s on the defensive, trailing in the polls, and faces being trounced by an unlikely candidate, the bland (in comparison) François Hollande of the Socialist Party, while Marine Le Pen, of the xenophobic, anti-euro, extreme right Front National party, is coming on strong.”

Just last Friday, Reuters reported that, “Four polls published in less than 24 hours showed Hollande extending his lead, with the conservative incumbent’s modest gains of the past month starting to evaporate ahead of a two-round contest taking place on April 22 and May 6. A CSA poll showed Hollande winning the May 6 run-off with 57 percent of the vote. Three other polls also indicated that his chances of becoming France’s first left-wing president since Francois Mitterrand were improving.”

It is not clear at this point what impact Hollande’s election would have on the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which is expected to be signed late this summer. Our allies in France have stated that Hollande is pro-free trade, but should the Socialist Party form the next government, there would be some members of that new government who could be approached on this issue.

French civil society groups opposed to CETA include:
Amis de la Terre
Collectif citoyen Ile-de-France
Comité pour l’Annulation de la Dette du Tiers Monde
Confédération paysanne
Convergence des Collectifs de Défense et de Développement des Services Publics
Fédération Syndicale Unitaire
Fondation France Libertés
France Amérique Latine
Résistance sociale
Union Syndicale Solidaires

In January 2011, we speculated on the reasons behind news reports that the Sarkozy government had been “dragging its heels” on CETA, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=5256.

Council of Canadians energy campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue adds, “A change in government could also spell a change in France’s position on the European Fuel Quality Directive. In a meeting with Mr. Hollande’s Environment and Climate Advisor, Canadians participating in a tar sands lobby-busting tour (http://canadians.org/eu-fqd) heard positive support for the climate policy which recognizes tar sands as a high carbon fuel.”