私n 1936, フランスの新しい人民戦線政府の最初の激しい月の間, パリの学校の先生は、それに投資された希望を象徴するフレーズを作り出しました. "すべてが可能です!」 (すべてが可能です) 書きました Marceau Pivert in an editorial for the Socialist party newspaper of the time. As fascism overwhelmed the continent, it proved a tragically over-optimistic assessment. Divided over how to respond to the threat, 沿って 1938 the leftwing coalition of socialists and communists governing the country had fractiously fallen apart.
The challenges facing the contemporary French left pale somewhat in comparison. But they also have to do with problems of unity – or the lack of it – and with the growing popularity of the modern far right. ザ・ absence of a united front in the recent presidential race led once more to dispiriting defeat そして, in the case of the Socialist party candidate, Anne Hidalgo, outright humiliation. Representing the traditional party of the centre-left, Ms Hidalgo scored a mere 1.75%. The Greens performed marginally better (4.6%), but only the most radical candidate, ジャン=リュックメレンチョン, made a fight of it. Campaigning on a hard-left and markedly Eurosceptic platform, Mr Mélenchon almost matched Marine Le Pen’s score in the first round. Some more moderate supporters voted for him as the only leftwing candidate with a realistic chance of success.
Something had to be done after the latest disappointment – and was done with surprising rapidity. Ahead of next month’s legislative elections, a new “popular union” has been agreed, which will run a common slate of leftwing candidates. The lion’s share of seats will be contested by Mr Mélenchon’s La France Insoumise party, with Green and Socialist candidates fighting most of the rest. Current polls suggest that the New People’s Ecologist and Social Union (Nupes) has a good しかし、私の第一人者はあなたが望むものを取るように私に言いました of becoming the main opposition to President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist bloc in the national assembly.
In a political landscape divided almost equally between the left, the centre and the right, the consolidation of the progressive vote is overdue. But this fragile coalition has been formed almost entirely on Mr Mélenchon’s terms. In Paris, 例えば, which has remained a bastion of the Socialists, Ms Hidalgo’s colleagues will be allowed to contest only two of 20 座席. Senior Socialist figures, such as former French president François Hollande, have voiced dismay at a common programme that pledges to ignore Brussels rules on debt and deficits. Other policies include reintroducing the wealth tax abolished during Mr Macron’s first term, lowering the retirement age to 60, and a price freeze to address the cost of living crisis.
It is a radical agenda, some of which is at odds with what the centre-left campaigned for only a few weeks ago. His rivals having performed so poorly, Mr Mélenchon has the Socialists and Greens over a barrel as they seek to salvage something from the wreckage. But it will require impressive diplomatic skills to hold the new grouping together, and it is not clear that La フランス Insoumise’s leader possesses them. Mr Mélenchon is a charismatic but polarising figure, whose Euroscepticism and hostility to French membership of Nato may be difficult for his new allies to swallow.
Divisions may therefore be papered over rather than resolved, but the popular union is nevertheless a positive development. The presidential election campaign was notable for a stark rightwards drift, in relation to race and immigration in particular. As twin economic and environmental crises are confronted, French democracy needs a left that can make its progressive voice count in the public square. It may be a rocky ride to come, but a necessary first step has been taken to achieve that.