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.

By Will Friedman in Foreign Affairs | Permalink  | 


The comments to this entry are closed.