Can Monsieur Flanby Now Pull It Off ?

Socialist leader François Holland– unkindly dubbed Monsieur Flanby in reference to a caramel pudding reminiscent of his flaccid politics — appeared to be facing a tough battle in the second round of the presidential elections after a neck in neck race in which protest votes were the most striking outcome.

François Hollande

François Hollande (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This Youtube video which appeared after Hollande’s nickname became a popular meme, shows a contestant trying to break the record in a non-stop caramel flan gobbling contest. Its message to voters was clear — too much flan makes you vomit.

However with Europe’s sovereign debt crisis a long way from resolution and France faced with a worsening debt problem, the outcome of the first round raises serious issues, highlighted below by the leftwing U.S. academic commentator on French affairs Arthur Goldhammer in a recent blog:

  • It’s a democratic spectacle and as such an accurate reflection of the incoherent nation in which some of you live and which I observe–and no more or less incoherent than my own. It’s a spectacle that is no doubt destined to disappoint me, since politics lacks the neatness of a theorem and I have a mathematical cast of mind, but this year the disappointment is particularly acute, because I think the stakes are enormously high. The euro crisis is far from resolved, the fate of the EU depends on its resolution, and social pressures are building. Yesterday the Dutch government fell apart, and there will be early elections at the behest of the extreme-right party there. Spain cannot continue in the status quo, with 45% youth unemployment. So something is soon going to give. It probably won’t be France that cracks first, but inevitably France will be caught up in the ensuing maelstrom, so it would be reassuring to think that the person in charge knew what he or she was doing. But even a person of the utmost competence would be hard-pressed to know what to do, because the difficulty of the issues far exceeds the powers of the French president, as vast as they are. What is needed is not only the breadth of mind to grasp the situation but the tact, determination, and persuasiveness to get others to see it the same way. I wish I believed that the eventual winner would have those qualities, but I see little evidence that this will be the case. If I were French, I would vote for Hollande, but without much of a sense of what I was getting. It would be a familial duty: my family is the moderate left, and he is definitely a member of the family. But is he the boring uncle who turns up year after year at family gatherings, or the familiar relative whose true genius has been hidden from the view of his kin for all these years? Point n’est besoin d’espérer pour entreprendre …


Indeed with exit polls minutes after polls closed suggesting the total vote of the Right — Nicolas Sarkozy plus Marine le Pen — equal to 53 % and the total vote of the left –François Hollande plus Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s votes (Jean-Luc Mélenchon said he would urge all his supporters to back Hollande and stop the far right) — at 47 % the second round will likely be a testing and rocky race.

Sarkozy’s camp is already suggesting he will shift  his campaign even farther to the right in a bid to win over the very clear protest vote that has emerged in the unprecedented 20% which exit polls suggested Marine le Pen won in the first round.  Radio France described this as the best result ever for the Front National. Others said if confirmed, it represented an earthquake moment in French politics.

As one French left wing commenter noted on a Twitter site: “le second tour reste ouvert, Flamby est mort, vive Rambo !”  With the second round indeed now wide open it remains to be seen whether the flan can gain the requisite muscle to beat  the unpopular but tough and pugilistic incumbent head of state.
Here is an earlier clip of Nicolas Doze offering a breakdown of flamby economic policies on BFMTV:
Nicolas Doze – Décryptage économique du flamby (Hollande) :

  • giving non citizen immigrants the right to vote
  • permitting municipal facilities like swimming pools and sports amenities to conform to sharia law by separating females from males, having separate hours of use, and so on.
  • promising the Greens to eliminate all nuclear power in France, over the next decade, starting immediately. France generates  more than 80% of its energy from nuclear and is now an exporter of this energy which rather makes this proposal foolhardy if not plain ridiculous. 
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