||[Mar. 24th, 2004|08:23 pm]
I was looking at the results of the French elections last weekend (which show a shift to the left, but don't seem to be the landslide they were reported as - that is to say where they were reported at all), and I had a thought.|
A lot of the names, well, frankly almost all the names, seem very familiar, I think they are people who have been around forever. The Fascist Le Pen has led his party for 32 years, François Hollande may be a sprightly half-centenarian, but fought an election against Jacques Chirac in 1981. Chirac himself is seven years beyond UK retirement age, and while President now, became Prime Minister of France before I was born. The current French Prime Minister took office at the age of 54, whereas Tony Blair was 43.
I'm interested in whether I'm right, and if I'm right I'm interested in explanations. Are the French more deferential towards older people? Is politics a longer-term career in France in a way it no longer is in Britain? Are younger French politicians directing their ambition at the EU institutions in a way young British ones aren't?