Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The first French presidential debate

Two nights ago, we bravely invested three hours of our precious time to watch the first French presidential debate of 2017.

The French must have an amazing attention-span because we were beat up at the end of this intellectual marathon.

What follows are just my reactions:

I thought both Mélanchon and LePen, were both the best story-tellers and communicators of the quintet. They seem to know what being populist is all about.

For me the most forgettable candidate is Hanon, the socialist, who like Mélanchon is a utopist and is probably too far ahead of his times. His program is as weak as his persuasion skills.

Macron is the quintessential French Technocrat. He piles up words that are meaningless. Since he has no program per se, he is smart enough to agree almost 100% with whatever Fillon says and since the later is the only one who has a sensible platform, Macron shows his intellectual clarity.

Clearly, Fillon's passive demeanor showed he's wounded and lacked the assertiveness he displayed during the primaries.

So, what should the French do? 

Just like we did it for Hillary, they should hold their noses and vote for Fillon, praying he makes it to the run-off and can block LePen.

This said, what's the likely outcome? 

At this juncture, I would predict that LePen and Macron will survive the vote. During the run-off debates, Macron will be crushed by LePen, many French will abstain, the right will support LePen and she'll emerge as the victor.

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