Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Thanks for the very thought-provoking polls.

To the best of my knowledge neither royal nor sarkozy have insisted that pensions would remain the same, or be augmented. Since basic interest doesn't explain the vote, I would resort to some more symbolic explainations... but i'd be on shaky grounds.

My guess is that Sarkozy appeals to older people's desire for "law and order" -- for strength, for sécurité.

My sense is that many older people are afraid and have lost faith in the public authorities to keep them safe.  And I bet Sarkozy is much more reassuring for them than Royal.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 01:06:36 AM EST
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Royal should promise to buy seniors a Kärcher.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 04:23:36 AM EST
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Now, that's funny.
by andrethegiant on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 10:45:57 AM EST
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It will be less funny when she loses.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 10:48:27 AM EST
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Je veux tourner la page de mai 1968", a lancé Nicolas Sarkozy, en meeting au Palais omnisports de Paris-Bercy, dimanche 29 avril. En attaquant sur différents angles, le candidat de l'UMP a fustigé la gauche qui "entre Jules Ferry et mai 1968, a choisi 1968", l'accusant d'avoir prôné "l'assistanat, l'égalitarisme, le nivellement, les 35 heures".

Is this luck? I don't believe so. He directly appeals to the values of order that have characterized the France in which today's +65 have grown up. Order, security, work, the very things that have made de Gaulle. I think he reads France well when he speaks like this. 1968 was traumatic for a lot of people, and linking his fight to that specific event is a very good move. I don't know what Royal can do about this, unfortunately. She has shown a realism that was somewhat unexepected of her, but her 'just order' has been so ridiculed over the past months that she can't really use it anymore. Sarkozy successfully occupies all the scene with a 'let's put France back on tracks' theme that leaves few open spaces.

The problem with the situation she seems to be facing is that she has nothing to gain from continuing to open to the center. If she wants to win she will be forced to talk about security related issues in the coming days. Maybe the best way for her at this point is to start a mea culpa about the PS's responsability in the current state of the Banlieues, and advocate a complete change: giving up the right to difference that hasn't worked and promise to give them jobs, to never build projects like these, etc...

Ok, my bet: she will talk about immigration related issues tomorrow.

Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine

by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer (holopherne ahem gmail) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 02:43:08 PM EST
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"I want to turn the page of May 68"?


And I though it was only the lyrical left youth that was living 40 years in the past...

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 03:44:48 PM EST
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The right wing everywhere likes to claim the country was perfect 40 years ago. That's the definition of conservative, and also why some conservative parties south of the Pyreneans still like Franco...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 03:55:16 PM EST
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What's so horrible about l'égalitarisme?! Are these mean old people ready to abandon liberté and fraternité too? And re the banlieues, how many years does the Right have to be in power before they take responsibility for them?
by Matt in NYC on Sun Apr 29th, 2007 at 08:19:36 PM EST
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The old people have (relatively) least reasons to vote out of pure self-interest. Their life quality will not be affected much by either election outcome, at least perceivably. (Are American olders better off with Bush's pharmaceuptical policies?)

What are best reasons for old people to make their choises? I see two options:

A. Taking care of own offsprings. But in the modern best times, there is relatively little hardship of living. Future perspectives can be easily perceived as bright, even too bright. What an eldery person can do to "help" their offsprings? They may rather wish to make life harder.

B. Making a choice for France's future. Seniors may think more of what kind of country is more  functional (or just). And here Sarkozy's recognizable order may strike a chord with seniors. Royal's proposals are instrumental rather than narrative, maybe too inovative to be trusted by "saw-it-all" minds.

If these considerations are important, Royal's tactics towards seniors can be adopted as follows:

  1. "Buying off" promises to seniors deserve less effort.
  2. Make a case that extensive welfare increases functionality of the society: individuals become more free to pursue creativity.
  3. Remind historical dangers of supporting promotion for "law and order" and less regulated economics.

Of course, these measures do not have to targeted or spelled out too obviously to seniors. But these might be the aspects that seniors are picking up.
by das monde on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 at 12:44:29 AM EST
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