The "Gilets Jaunes" in France: a revolution unfolding in front of our eyes ?

Oct 2010
4,764
DC
#54
I suspect that outside of the city you'll be ok. I was planning on walking around the city centre (never visited Paris before) so will need to keep an eye on events closer to the time...might end up back in Reims!
I thought about that possibility as well. Paris City center has a lot of stuff (and Museums, of course :)) , maybe I should just go Euro Disney instead, I am sure my boy would love it.
 
Jul 2015
4,328
Netherlands
#55
I think our own populist already confirms a lot of the things I'm saying. It should be noted that Wilders is generally a good boy about accepting results that don't suit him unlike Trump who was and is still shouting the election was rigged. But he does deny the legitimacy of anyone than himself, most infamously when he called the second chamber a fake parliament. His populist peer also routinely uses the word ''cartel'' to describe the politicians not aligned with him. And doesn't Wilders slander the judges he doesn't like as ''D66 judges''? He even already voiced the belief they should be dealt with by expressing a desire to ''clean house'. That doesn't seem all that democratic to me.
Firstly Trump is damn right about fraudulent elections. Just witness the mess with counting votes in Florida (the only constant in a US election). What you have there is that any voting rule is dependent on the state and county rules. Meaning that you have constant discussions (or worse) about voter-id's, gerrymandering, absence ballots etc.
Secondly how impartial is our judiciary and DA? How many judges have been forcibly recused by Knoops (Wilders' lawyer) so far? And documents turning up about meetings between DA and government which contradict previous statements?
Thirdly Baudet is right about a cartel. You got a mayor of Amsterdam, whose only qualifications are that she is an ex-parliamentarian. You get all kinds of commissions full of ex-politicians that apparently decide on climate taxes. Ex-politicians in semi-public boards or as CEO etc.
Its also not typical of politicians to act that way. There are bigger parties than the PVV, bigger parties than Front National and bigger parties that AFD but they don't go around shouting that not a single other group has the legitimacy they do and that no one else is as connected to the people as they are, even if they have a larger share of the votes than the populist who love making those claims.
Yes they do. "Wir schaffen das" is the best example. A more recent one is yesterday's debate on the Marrakesh treaty.
That is the natural result of Trump being Trump. What exactly are they to do? Are the to observe an incompetent president who lies at the drop of a hat and who runs an extremely chaotic white house and just say its all going smoothly?
No it isn't. In the last decade or so the media has become part of politics in a very unhealthy way. Just check in our own country how many "impartial" journalists have become press officer for a political party (or even mayor).
In the US the best recent example is the Kavanaugh circus. Almost any accusation was reported as fact and if you hadn't known better you'd think that the US was installing Marc Dutroux as judge. The minute he was confirmed, all press coverage died down as if nothing had happened. You would need to be a big mental gymnast to find any other explanation for this behavior of the press then "Orange man bad".
 
Sep 2013
387
France
#56
I'm french, here's my two cents.
Yes, it's true, riots, protests, strikes, are quite usual things here.
Still, this time, it's a bit different.
First, it's totally spontanous, without any syndicate/union behind it, it's very, very popular, and across political borders and corporations.
The deep thing behind it is that a political system cannot last very long with 20% of aproval/support.
People here are waiting for a providential man, a new De Gaulle or Bonaparte. Some even ask for a general to make a putch.
The main thing that the crowd want is simple as that: get rid of Macron.
The president, since decades, is only elected to be used as a punchin-ball. It may have to do with the scapegoat of René Girard's philosophy. It surely has to do with the concept of legitimacy. People who has the money and the network can be elected, but when you look deeper at their electors, they are often very few to be convinced by them. People today don't vote, or vote for far-left or far-right, and most often only the old people (50% of the electoral body) vote "en masse" for the center party. People have tried right, then left, then right, then left again... but are still disappointed. They feel betrayed and despised. It's like the upper class has made a kind of secession. People are just trying to pushing them out.
It's not 1789, or 1830, or 1848, or 1870, or 1968, or anything else. It's the smoke of last decades boiling cauldron. Today, it has no leader or precise direction, so it's difficult to see any political outcome. Still it's the first time for me that I think that, maybe, it's not totally irrational to think that the president will not last for the four next years. I still think he will, but I cannot say thinking that he will have to leave is totally irrelevent.
 
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Likes: Baldtastic
Aug 2010
14,646
Wessex
#57
In my view (superficial view of an outsider) the presidential system designed for de Gaulle has proved to be very unsatisfactory under the average sort of politician has tended to be elected to that office, and more constructive political developments might follow if the power was ventred more in parliament as in most European countries. Getting rid of Macron would solve nothing, in view of the instability of the party system and strong presence of a right wing populist party.
 
Apr 2012
953
The Netherlands
#58
Firstly Trump is damn right about fraudulent elections. Just witness the mess with counting votes in Florida (the only constant in a US election). What you have there is that any voting rule is dependent on the state and county rules. Meaning that you have constant discussions (or worse) about voter-id's, gerrymandering, absence ballots etc.
Secondly how impartial is our judiciary and DA? How many judges have been forcibly recused by Knoops (Wilders' lawyer) so far? And documents turning up about meetings between DA and government which contradict previous statements?
Thirdly Baudet is right about a cartel. You got a mayor of Amsterdam, whose only qualifications are that she is an ex-parliamentarian. You get all kinds of commissions full of ex-politicians that apparently decide on climate taxes. Ex-politicians in semi-public boards or as CEO etc.
Firstly we're talking about the 2016 election and the Florida example doesn't really work because most of the irregularities there seem to favor the right and not the evil left. The recount in the early 2000's was a big reason for Bush election and the recount that's happening now seems to be because there is cause to believe the Democrats were cheated out of votes. Whether that's true or not remains up in the air.

The many judges being removed always struck me as Wilders have some cunning lawyers. But remember that Knoops is indeed successfully which means that Wilders is provided the means to provide better circumstances for himself. That sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Halsema also happens to be one of the most successful leaders of the biggest party in Amsterdam at the moment who's abilities were pretty highly regarded. Lets not forget that. And sure, not everything Baudet says is crazy but we both know he chose the word ''cartel'' because of the vaguely criminal undertones as well as the opportunity to deprive legitimacy of everyone but himself.

Yes they do. "Wir schaffen das" is the best example. A more recent one is yesterday's debate on the Marrakesh treaty.
Wir Shaffen das translate to ''We CAN do this'', ''we CAN handle this''. It doesn't mean ''We all want this and every single person in Germany is on board with this'' Despite her many runs as chancellor and despite being bigger than her competition Merkel has never said that she alone has legitimacy. I don't recall her ever describing the whole of German politics as a fake parliament or that she's the only one who could possibly understand the common man. Sure she can say she has the authority to act on behalf of the whole county....because she does, she's the head of government. But having the authority to acts on behalf of the country is not the same as the populist claim that the alone represent the people.

No it isn't. In the last decade or so the media has become part of politics in a very unhealthy way. Just check in our own country how many "impartial" journalists have become press officer for a political party (or even mayor).
In the US the best recent example is the Kavanaugh circus. Almost any accusation was reported as fact and if you hadn't known better you'd think that the US was installing Marc Dutroux as judge. The minute he was confirmed, all press coverage died down as if nothing had happened. You would need to be a big mental gymnast to find any other explanation for this behavior of the press then "Orange man bad".
If the media is just an extension of the establishment then they would logically leave the establishment alone and yet they don't. Clinton's dirty laundry was dutifully aired in the full knowledge that her mistakes would stick to her and Trumps mistakes not having the same impact on him. And here Nieuwsuur has dutifully reported the findings that let to a massacre of ministers in Rutte II. America is indeed a bit of a freakshow but again, Clinton's mistakes were aired just as Trump's. The main reason the populists love making an enemy of the media is because it helps sell their ''underdog nature''. But there's also a more insidious reason. The media is often called the fourth estate because it monitors, checks and reviews the one in power which is bad news for those that put themselves before the state. Lets not be naive, a man like Erdogan knows that introducing the same system in Turkey that's failing all over the middle east is a bad idea, he just doesn't want his voters to know it and the same goes for all men like him.
 
Jul 2009
9,374
#60
@tuesdayschild:

When the French become annoyed with politics they riot. That has been so for a couple hundred years. The blowback over this fuel tax situation may be something in addition to annoyance however.

Paris has its name attached to a conception of climate management. The economics and cost effects of climate management will be expensive - very expensive. That has partially resulted in tax increases, at least perceived as a baby-step in the first initiatives. Climate change and all that accompanies it does not affect peoples' daily lives. They see news and hear chatter, but it is all white noise to the electorate. In addition, there seems to be a broad sense that climate change is beyond our capabilities to impact it, so we are all terminally screwed. Why pay extra?

If its a choice between a healthy Earth and a polluting job that gets them through the next year, guess what wins. For whatever reason(s) M. Macron is already unpopular, he squats in Paris - home of the Accords - so he gets the grief. It may also be somewhat a result of general disgust with "international" attitudes and a sense that other peoples' problems are theirs so too bad for them. Nationalism is in the ascendance these days. And as a British diplomat once observed, the French tend not to be very international unless French interests are involved.
 
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