Both walked up the multicultural rue d’Avron and shook hands with locals, in front of cameras and photographers. I asked Strauss-Kahn what was at stake in this election for the left.
What is at stake today, is to know whether there will be an important opposition today to allow democracy to work, or whether we are going to have a huge right wing majority, opinion polls say that the latter scenario is more likely, in that case it would be very difficult for the opposition to do its job.
The socialist party chose me ! There is another candidate who refuses the decision made by the party bureau. There is only one candidate running for the party, not two, there is me and one who refuses to let go.
Langevin has a strong chance of winning nonetheless, but as a socialist MP, she will probably belong to the opposition…What do opposition MPs do in France? Not much, says Gérard Grunbert, political analyst at France’s Institute for Political Science in Paris.
They can talk in the assembly, talk, talk and talk. They can say:” we don’t agree”, they can try to censor the government, but they have no chance because they won’t have a majority. And they can propose draft bills, but there is no point, because they won’t go through.
Socialist candidate, Georges Pau-Langevin, says for starters the least Members of Parliament should do, is actually attend sessions in parliament.
We need to be vigilant, we need to be present! Because it has not always been the case. On the law on France’s colonial past for instance, we have not resisted the draft because many of us didn’t attend the late session on the bill. The opposition is not credible if it doesn’t study bills enough, if it doesn’t spend time with people to understand their problems, and voice their grievances.
In a scenario where the left would be too weak to do its opposition job, too weak to represent a second pole, I think that other forms of protests would surface. I am not praising street power, I am not sure it’s something that is good for France, I think we need to come up with new checks and balances.
That would be in the Autumn though, French people tend to head to the beach instead of taking to the streets during the summer holidays……Listen to the report:
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Just how useful are G8 summits? What do they achieve? Are they worth the huge amounts of money paid out for security and infrastructure? Two Network Europe correspondents have different views on the worthiness of the G8.
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