When General de Gaulle empowered the President of the 5th Republic with far-reaching executive attributes, he sought to alleviate the head of state from what he called the “grenouillages” of politics. This has worked efficiently. Yet, his intention was certainly not to avoid debate over policy-proposals and between candidates. Unfortunately, this is what is happening in the 2012 French presidential election: it has moulded into a referendum on one individual, the President. For this very reason, it seems the socialists have a very good shot at taking the Elysée. Not because they have a better project – they don’t; not because their candidate is better – he isn’t; but because Sarkozy is unpopular and because there has been little debate between the main candidates – if at all. Nicolas Sarkozy may …
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