Monday, April 23, 2007
So now it is clear that it will be Nicolas Sarkozy versus Segolene Royal. Sarkozy has his shortcomings. He has spoken out in favor of affirmative action. He has furthermore embraced a protectionist and populist (in the worst sense of the word) rhetoric. However he has also talked of some badly needed free market reforms of France's statist economy. Many people dislike the fact that he referred to the rioting immigrants as "scum" and advocates tough measures against them, but I think "scum" is a rather appropriate description of thugs who burn cars and riot for no good reason (and no, the fact that 2 thugs fleeing police were so stupid that they electrocuted themselves to death is not a valid reason). And most importantly of all, his opponent stands for a disastrous policy of not only protectionism but also sharply increased minimum wage, higher government spending and more government regulation. That is more of the policies that have made France Europe's second slowest growing economy after Portugal. So, while he is imperfect, Sarkozy is clearly preferable to Segolene Royal.