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I agree that France is not a social democracy in the sense that it has typically been run by a social democratic party:  rather that social democratic policies have been implemented as the outcome of a collaboration between left and right, often not including the ostensibly social democratic PS.

In some ways this is similar to Ireland, where the ostensibly social democratic Labour party has rarely been anything other than a marginal player in national politics, and most of the actually social democratic policies have been implemented by Fianna Fail - the Irish Gaulist Party.  It was Fianna Fail which initiated the building up of a large range of publicly owned semi-state enterprises in all sectors of the economy; the development of close union/government working arrangements through National Partnership agreements and the implementation of a good deal of social and employment law protections for workers as a result.

No one would call Fianna Fail a social democratic party, any more than the Gaulists, but we can see the degree to which their policies ended up with a distinctly social democratic tinge by the degree that their neo-liberal successors are now trying to dismantle their achievements of state led development and cooperation with leftist forces in society.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jun 20th, 2016 at 05:53:59 AM EST
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