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Old 05-07-2007, 08:03 PM   #61
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while i don't consider myself a socialist, there are many, many things about France that are better than in the US, such as health care, life expectancy, the lack of obesity, an 85% turnout (!!!), no political nonsense about evolution and sex and morality (war is considered a far more moral issue than what politician is sleeping with who), and the foresight not to get involved in Iraq.

i envy the French many things. perhaps it is socialism that has given them all these positive attributes?
They have Paris.
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:12 PM   #62
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They have Paris.


an extraordinary place, indeed.

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Old 05-07-2007, 08:14 PM   #63
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They have Paris.
And edible cheese.
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Old 05-08-2007, 02:19 AM   #64
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And edible cheese.
That's right, yanks have "cheese-flavoured" cheese......
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Old 05-08-2007, 03:28 AM   #65
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Re: the social democracy vs. socialism vs. laissez-faire capitalism thing--I haven't seen anything to make me think that Sarkozy isn't firmly in the first camp; rather he seems to be advocating the sort of qualified liberalization of the economy that Sweden, Ireland and Germany all undertook over the last decade or so, not a radical smashing of the welfare state. Moderately lower taxes, scaling back the number of civil service positions (very, very high even by European standards), the 35 hour workweek as a minimum only, etc.--these are definitely significant changes, but they are not particularly extreme. Given France's persistent high unemployment (especially among the young, and most of all among second-generation immigrants) and dwindling GDP per capita, some liberalization to address the realities of globalization was inevitable. Based on what I've read over the course of the campaign, I would not have voted for him, but that's because of his expressed contemptuous views of immigrants and (related) willingness to pander to Le Pen's share of the electorate, not his economic program. I found it interesting though that Le Pen himself condemned Sarkozy and urged his followers to boycott the elections rather than vote for him, partly because he was tweaked that Sarkozy had branded him an extremist but apparently partly also because Sarkozy, with his Hungarian and Jewish heritage, wasn't 'French enough' for him. I would like to think that this, combined with Sarkozy's own expressed support for affirmative action and the creation of a national agency to serve as a mouthpiece of sorts for the North African/Middle Eastern/Muslim community, may signal that Sarkozy is in fact not at heart the sort of crude nationalist populist that some of his campaign overtures to the right might lead one to believe. But, time will tell.

I don't see though where low obesity rates, high voter turnout, more liberal attitudes towards sexual morality and evolution, and disinclination to get involved in Iraq are likely to have much to do with the type of economy France has.

And Nice is my favorite French city, although I'd never suggest a tourist with only a few days to spend in France bypass Paris for it.
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Old 05-08-2007, 08:22 AM   #66
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I welcome the result.
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Old 05-08-2007, 08:58 AM   #67
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Trite, asinine comments about socialism aside, the French economy has stagnated for a long time, and while my boyfriend who was a teacher in France for a year is a bit miffed by the results of the election, I reminded him of all those stories he told me about most all of his students intending to leave the country, because there's no work.

I hate how conservatism has become synonymous with bigotry (Sarkozy certainly has said some things that fit this mold, and it doesn't help that even most conservatives here aren't exactly bastions of social enlightenment), because the economic liberalization that conservatism espouses is certainly needed in France. The question now, of course, is whether Sarkozy will be effective; and considering my cynicism with politicians, as a whole, who only seem to get excited about stupid hot button issues, I certainly have my doubts.
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Old 05-08-2007, 09:53 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
I don't see though where low obesity rates, high voter turnout, more liberal attitudes towards sexual morality and evolution, and disinclination to get involved in Iraq are likely to have much to do with the type of economy France has.


they haven't been quite as pummled into consumerist blobs by the free market as we have.
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Old 05-08-2007, 12:20 PM   #69
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There is hope for France after all! Socialism needs to finally die.
Looks like AEON needs to learn more about the French politics...
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Old 05-08-2007, 04:36 PM   #70
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But try, if you can, to leave Iraq aside: Chirac's more important diplomatic legacy lies elsewhere.

Ponder closely, for example, what Chirac has had to say about Africa, where his country has enormous influence, in many places far outweighing ours. During a visit to the Ivory Coast, Chirac once called "multi-partyism" a "kind of luxury," which his host, president-for-life Félix Houphouet-Boigny, could clearly not afford. During a visit to Tunisia, he proclaimed that, since "the most important human rights are the rights to be fed, to have health, to be educated, and to be housed," Tunisia's human rights record is "very advanced"—never mind the police who beat up dissidents. "Africa is not ready for democracy," he told a group of African leaders in the early 1990s. . . .

On Saddam Hussein: "You are my personal friend. Let me assure you of my esteem, consideration, and bond."

On Eastern Europe supporting the United States in the United Nations: "It is not really responsible behavior. It is not well-brought-up behavior. They missed a good opportunity to shut up."

On Iran's nuclear program: "Having one or perhaps a second bomb a little later, well, that's not very dangerous." Theoretically, Chirac was supposed to be negotiating with Iran to give up its nuclear program at the time.

On hearing a French businessman address a European summit in English, "deeply shocked," he stormed out of the room.

As I say, it's a very important legacy: One of consistent scorn for the Anglo-American world in general and the English language in particular, of suspicion of Central Europe and profound disinterest in the wave of democratic transformation that swept the world in the 1980s and 1990s, of preference for the Arab and African dictators who had been, and remained, clients of France. In his later years, Chirac constantly searched, in almost all international conflicts, for novel ways of opposing the United States. All along, he did his best to protect France from the rapidly changing global economy.
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Old 05-08-2007, 04:45 PM   #71
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^

Given the effects of Anglo-American terrorism, a healthy degree of 'scorn for the Anglo-American world' is appropriate, IMO.

Chirac has been completely and utterly vindicated on his Iraq war stance.

1000% vindicated.

Unfortunately, he was not a very good leader for France as he refused to stand up to the unions and other dirigiste-inclined vested interests.
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Old 05-08-2007, 05:20 PM   #72
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On hearing a French businessman address a European summit in English, "deeply shocked," he stormed out of the room.

Well, storming out a bit shocked might be an overrreaction. I don't know if the businessman just addressed the summit, so it was a national audience, or if he addressed the summit having an international audience listening.

But I highly doubt it was an international audience. The French are very proud of their country and language, as far as I know, but they also understand that English is the international language.

But if the audience was made up of French I really don't understand why someone starts talking in English.
When I read some of the correspondence my professor had with colleagues, who were also Germans, and they wrote each other in English, I just though "Why the hell are the talking in English to each other?", as well. I really don't understand why you're talking in another language to each other, except you are learning the language.

I don't think Chirac had any anti-Anglo-American agenda. The Iraq war wasn't in any way popular here in Europe, and some leaders got the public opinion.
Others not.
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Old 05-08-2007, 06:22 PM   #73
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Originally posted by yolland

And Nice is my favorite French city,
Avignon!
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Old 05-08-2007, 06:39 PM   #74
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Avignon!


Eze-Sur-Mer.

and, no, not just because Bono lives there. i visited before i knew he had a house and thought it was amazing.
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Old 05-08-2007, 10:53 PM   #75
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Poor 47% of French people who didn't vote for Sarkozy

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