French President - a modern day monarch

Valens

Ad Honorem
Feb 2014
8,261
Colonia Valensiana
#1
There has often been talk about the great powers of the French President, and the kind of 'caesarism' established by the De Gaulle who paved the road for his predecessors to behave like Republican monarchs (but did not match him in any other regard, I think).

There was even an article of it on France 24

With the presidential election just around the corner, everyone is focused on the campaign. Today, FRANCE 24's Florence Villeminot take a closer look at the top prize: the presidency. There’s a reason everyone wants to be France's president: the role has a lot of power compared to the leaders of most other modern democracies, such as the US, Germany and the UK. In fact, critics say the French president is a kind of temporary modern-day monarch in the style of the ancient regimes.
French president: A modern-day monarch? - France 24

It seems that the latest inhabitant of the Elysee Palace wants to re-establish that aura of Presidential authority, after the not so fortunate times of his predecessor.

This is perhaps best depicted on images:





“This is not the picture of a President, this is a picture of a guy in a garden,” was one comment sent to a local newspaper.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...ons-official-portrait/?utm_term=.a121ec5a075d

What are your thoughts on the monarchic symbolism (and powers) of the French President?
 
Aug 2009
5,425
Londinium
#2
What new powers or extensions (subversion?) of existing powers has the current French Presidency used, created or abused? As far as I can tell, the post act’s in accordance with Republican law. This smells like a political article. If this is true, then the system (republic) has once again let the French people down in not having due checks and balances to avoid this concentration of power leaning towards an absolute dictator, as suggested by the article within the OP.
 
Jun 2015
5,723
UK
#3
Well he is elected. So if he does act like a monarch, so what? it's within the constitution that de Gaulle himself designed, or at least commissioned.

de Gaulle himself realised that the Fourth Republic didn't work, so this is why the Fifth Republic is in existence.
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,840
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#4
There has often been talk about the great powers of the French President, and the kind of 'caesarism' established by the De Gaulle who paved the road for his predecessors to behave like Republican monarchs (but did not match him in any other regard, I think).

There was even an article of it on France 24



French president: A modern-day monarch? - France 24

It seems that the latest inhabitant of the Elysee Palace wants to re-establish that aura of Presidential authority, after the not so fortunate times of his predecessor.

This is perhaps best depicted on images:







https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...ons-official-portrait/?utm_term=.a121ec5a075d

What are your thoughts on the monarchic symbolism (and powers) of the French President?
I won't comment on the powers of the French president, but the first photo showing the president posed between two flags, reminds me of westerns, specifically cavalry and Indians movies and TV shows.

Most depictions of the interior of a post commander's office show two flags standing in front of the wall behind his desk.

The set decorators may have envisioned them as the colors of an infantry regiment or the standards of a cavalry regiment, or maybe the colors of the post itself.

But according to the movies at least, the commander of a western fort, no matter how low his rank, had flags in his office that he could strike up just as regal a pose with as the president of France.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,316
Las Vegas, NV USA
#5
France has an empowered president as well as a prime minister and cabinet system with the bicameral Parliament having legislative power. I'm not sure how this all works. If the President and the PM are of the same party, I imagine the President has more power to infuence legislation. When the PM and President are of different parties, it seems there may be conflicts. In the past with these splits, the President de facto managed foreign policy while the PM managed domestic policy, but the Constitution seems to be vague on this.
 
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Naima

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
2,323
Venice
#6
Well Comparing just the two pictures ... Lol one communicates strenght and Decision , the other looks like a random guy passing by that was taken into the picture ... or am I wrong?
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,586
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#7
France is like the United States. There is a Constitution stating how institutions work and which are the powers of the President.

In US this "royal" power is even more evident: the United States haven't got a Prime Minister leading the government. The administration is leaded directly by the President.
 

Valens

Ad Honorem
Feb 2014
8,261
Colonia Valensiana
#9
What new powers or extensions (subversion?) of existing powers has the current French Presidency used, created or abused?
I don't think something like that is necessary. I was talking about De Gaulle establishing a system which empowers the President and uses almost monarchical powers.

As far as I can tell, the post act’s in accordance with Republican law. This smells like a political article. If this is true, then the system (republic) has once again let the French people down in not having due checks and balances to avoid this concentration of power leaning towards an absolute dictator, as suggested by the article within the OP.
Not entirely related to this (but still relevant), it's good to point out that the Ancien Regime was not absolute dictatorship. In fact, most states in Europe from the Middle Ages onward didn't have absolute dictatorships.

Absolute rule was introduced later on (arguably the XVIII century), but could not function in early modern and Medieval Europe.
Old French kings, like most other contemporary monarchs, had to rely on the aristocracy and clergy, in the socio-political context of the time.

With the changes from French Revolution and then through the XIX century and especially the XX, it became possible to institute absolutist regimes.
Absolute regimes must rely on broader support, and we never had any extreme examples with European monarchies.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,316
Las Vegas, NV USA
#10
Absolute rule was introduced later on (arguably the XVIII century), but could not function in early modern and Medieval Europe.
I''m afraid I have to argue. Absolute rule is generally considered to have been introduced by Louis XIV in the 17th Centrury although some previous French kings like Francis I were pretty powerful. Absolute rule did continue into the 18th century until 1789.
 

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