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What France needs, and quickly, is an alternative to its current socialist - in name only- party. Even if the party gets new leadership immediately it may be too damaged from Holande to win another election any time soon.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon May 30th, 2016 at 09:30:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and this is perhaps for historical reasons, but also in my view due to errors on the part of the leader of the left alternative, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, during the 2012, the alternative to the PS is the National Front.

In terms of voter sentiment, the National Front is increasingly the party of the working class and of the unemployed.

by John Redmond (Ladybeaterz@NolesAD.com) on Tue May 31st, 2016 at 06:55:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
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also in my view due to errors on the part of the leader of the left alternative, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, during the 2012

Could you elaborate what those mistakes was?

by fjallstrom on Tue May 31st, 2016 at 09:14:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mélenchon went out of his way, in 2012, to demonise Marine Le Pen and the Front National. I think the calculation was that doing so would mobilise his voter base.

The problem is that the target audience for the Front de Gauche is largely the same as the Front National, in much the same way that Bernie Sanders appeals to many of the same votes that Donald Trump appeals to.

He was polling well, in the high to mid- teens, and then came the barrage of attacks on Marine Le Pen, which had the unfortunate effect of insulting a good number of his own potential voters.

We see similar dynamics elsewhere.

He finished at 11%.

by John Redmond (Ladybeaterz@NolesAD.com) on Tue May 31st, 2016 at 11:04:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that Sanders or Clinton shouldn't attack Trump if they want to appeal to at least part of his voting base???

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue May 31st, 2016 at 03:00:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or that Clinton shouldn't attack Sanders for the same reason.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue May 31st, 2016 at 03:02:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think this depends on the nature of the attack. And you need to know who are your potential supporters and what will offend them.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue May 31st, 2016 at 03:41:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
care just needs to be taken to do so in a way which doesn't insult certain sections of the population.

Mélenchon was actively trying to beat Marine Le Pen into fourth place, he wanted to beat her, not win enough votes to make it to the second round. And, he attacked her, for nativism and for not being credible on jobs and on the economic front. He was really going after her, personally, at the end.

And I think if a voter has already given thought and consideration to supporting a candidate, only to hear how ridiculous that candidate is from another candidate who is also aiming to get your vote, you are not necessarily doing yourself any favors.

But Trump is a completely different beast from the National Front. A bald-faced demogogue, and proud of it and his ability to connect with the most nativist portions of the electorate. This case is far harder to make for Marine Le Pen, whose growing support is not coming from the "dead-end" demographic as in the US, but rather, the youth vote, where she is doing really very well.

by John Redmond (Ladybeaterz@NolesAD.com) on Wed Jun 1st, 2016 at 04:31:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Part of Trump's shtick is to be abusive and insulting towards anyone he doesn't like at a given point in time. This is part of his appeal to his supporters, but also makes him fair game for being made fun of in return. Not being taken seriously is probably what gets under his skin the most.

However those attacking or satirising him should take care to drive a wedge between him and his supporters.  Appearing to attack his supporters as well as him is the worst thing you can do if you hope to demobilise his base. It will only consolidate them behind him.

His supporters are probably especially sensitive to being written off as dead end, low intelligence, poorly educated, losers.  Paying them exaggerated (but not patronising) respect whilst highlighting how he disrespects them is probably the most effective line of attack.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jun 1st, 2016 at 07:20:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I must admit I don't get your argument. When the Le Pens took away working-class voters from the PCF, that included quite strong attacks on the PCF and its leaders, didn't it? IMHO if Mélenchon made a mistake, it wasn't attacking FN and Marine Le Pen itself, but maybe the delivery. Maybe he should have attacked the two main parties more at the same time. Maybe it's as some have argued on ET, that he was to too willing to prepare for a coalition with the PS. But maybe he just didn't found effective enough arguments to show why FN is a fraud on the working class.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 3rd, 2016 at 01:07:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's an interesting point, we see similar dynamics in the UK

Working class people used to be a reliable vote for Labour in the 70s who became the 80s thatcherite working classes. Now in the 21st century they are moving on to ukip. Yet Labour still believe that these people should be voting for them and barrack ukip in ways that continue to alienate the very electorate they seek to woo.

The problem for Labour is that they never understood why these people deserted them in the first place and continues to fail to see why ukip can be so attractive to a group of people who, on the face of it, seem to have so little to gain from voting for the right.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue May 31st, 2016 at 05:00:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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