May 07, 2007
The French Republic Has Been Saved
The French republic has been saved. No, literally, it's been saved: both of Sarkozy's opponents (Royal on the left and Bayrou in the center) were in favor of tearing up the constitution of the fifth republic and starting over.
It was strange moment to claim that the system was completely broken, what with nearly 85% turnout in both rounds of the French election. All the same, a little change can do you good: 12 years is too long for one person to be president, as Chirac was; and if age and rock bottom polls hadn't stopped him, he might have run again. Sarkozy has proposed two American-style reforms: term limits (2); and confirmation of ministerial posts by an appropriate tribunal of the legislature, similar to Senate confirmation hearings. (The terms were already reduced from 7 years to 5 years when the constitution was last amended in 2000). That kind of tweaking sounds much more reasonable.
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