A Dash of La Cicciolina in the Election

Expect much breast beating if the far left candidate for a constituency in the Arriege département is elected June 10. For Céline Bara is a busty ex-porno star who says she intends to use her “big mouth” to demand better services for her fellow citizens.

A busty approach to politics (Capture from her website)

Trouble is she and her husband appear to have rather singular ideas about how to set up a political campaign and are driving hers through MAL, an Anti-Religion Pro Libertine Movement. She denies indignant claims by her opponents that she’s just in it to get free publicity for videos from her past life  —  which can still be found without much effort on the Internet.

La Bara insists her rose videos are available free of charge so whatever additional traffic she just might attract will not impact on her earnings and that in any case her concerns now are political not professional.

A report in Sud Ouest, says she is campaigning on a far left ticket, resolutely opposed to religion in all forms, entirely anti-capitalist (in her words) and focused on restoring a “human” face in politics.

Céline Bara will be fighting outgoing MP Frédérique Massat (PS), Michel Larive (Left Front), Pascale Aoura (EELV), Nicole Gerona (UMP) and Jacques Warnke (NF-Siel).

Céline Bara is just one among an eclectic menu of quirky and curious campaigners in the difficult-to-predict parliamentary elections being held June 10 with a second round a week later.

Others running under a system which gives all candidates a useful pot of money with which to campaign, include a single issue party — MAR – Le Mouvement Anti Radar — demanding the abolition of all speed cameras  (so as to highlight erosion of personal freedoms) and the Pirate Party which has had recent successes in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria and elsewhere.

An Atlantico report on MAR –which was  formed in November 2011 notes: “The Anti-Radar Movement (MAR) is not a party for reckless drivers and supporters of drinking and driving.  There are an assortment of 80 candidates standing under the MAR banner. Who are these self-proclaimed defenders of ‘basic freedoms’, these citizens challenging the ‘repressive power of the nanny state obsessed with controlling and reshaping its  subjects.’  The Party manifesto is based on a  pamphlet by party president and lawyer Jean-Louis Soulié entitled: ‘Death to the radar … and long live the cigarette at the bar! ‘ (Editions de l’Aspirant). The idea behind this deliberately provocative and offbeat title, is to highlight a need to defend  ‘basic freedoms’ and to challenge the oppressive power of a state seeking to control its citizens … MAR says it fears for the future freedom of movement of French citizens who are increasingly restricted by decrees, laws and orders of all kinds.”

The French Pirate Party hopes to make inroads in the parliamentary election and fight for Internet freedoms among other issues

In Paris the Pirate Party which originated in Sweden hopes for a real chance of  electing deputies in Sunday’s election according to FranceTV.  The Pirate Party (*) was first created to defend the Internet against creeping government efforts at control and to campaign for legalisation of online file and content sharing. In France, many members joined the party after its launch in 2009 to protest against Sarkozy’s intemperate Internet laws such as  Loppsi and Hadopi.

“Today, says Maxim Rouquet, 26, co-chair of French Pirate Party: ‘We are not a party that is only interested in Internet’. The Pirate Party would fundamentally alter the functioning of French institutions, to bring them closer to  Athenian direct democracy and give citizens more voice. The election manifesto contains five major planks including ‘proper’ judicial independence, full transparency in political life and  opening up of all public data for everyone to use.”

In all, around 6,500 candidates, 40% of whom are women, are contesting the 577 seats in the Assemblée Nationale. With 305 seats, the centre-right Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) currently holds the majority in parliament and has led the house for a decade. Candidates must win at least 12.5 % of the vote to qualify for the second ballot. Turnout however is expected to be an historic low of around 40% which is giving pollsters a prediction nightmare amid signs that the Socialist Party will fail to win the  outright majority it seeks.

Analysts suggest that should this be the outcome it could  confirm widespread views on the right that the result of the May presidential election, where  Socialist François Hollande narrowly beat the incumbent centre right president, was a protest vote against Sarkozy rather than a confirmation that the country supports the Left’s proposed spending splurge.

Indeed Le Monde underlined the point by demanding the president be truthful with voters at a time of global economic certainty, eurozone meltdown and the prospect of an EU banking collapse.

As Art Goldhammer, a US academic and left of centre commentator on French Politics notes: “Le Monde thinks François Hollande isn’t coming clean with the voters: “Despite predictions of low GDP growth and a blizzard of concerns on runaway expenditure, expressed by the Audit Court, the General Inspectorate of Finance or the European Commission , the government hides (its responses) behind an audit of public finances expected late June, in other words after the elections. Meanwhile, it unveils new vote catching measures : an increase in the minimum wage (Smic), higher return to school allowances , pensioned retirement  at 60 for those who started work at a young age …  Meanwhile the eurozone is on fire. Not only is such (electioneering) vagueness  unhelpful in putting-out the flames, but French voters are entitled to know, when they go to the polls, the government’s true intentions. The duty to tell the truth lies with both the Left and the Right”.

( (*) Pirate Party is a label adopted by political parties in different countries according to Wikipedia. Pirate Parties support civil rights, direct democracy and participation, reform of copyright and patent law, Open Content or free sharing of knowledge, data privacy, transparency, freedom of information, free education, universal healthcare and a clear separation between church and state. In the European Parliament election of 2009 the Swedish Pirate Party received 7.1% of the votes, winning two seats and achieving the first major success of a Pirate Party in an election. The German Pirate Party managed to win 8.9%  of the votes in the Berlin state election, 2011.  In France the Pirate Party was set up  on June 21, 2006, as a reaction to the French Law on Copyright and Related Rights in an Information Society —  DADVSI).

Meanwhile both for France and in the wider European context, a recent academic study reveals a voting trend that many in the centre and on the right of European politics rank alongside the banker-driven economic tsunami, as one of the most serious challenges to the survival of European democracy (See our separate report) :

Muslim Voters ChangeEurope

by Soeren Kern

Story: Ken Pottinger


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