The results of the 2nd round of the French Presidential election are in, Emmanuel Macron beat Marine Le Pen. France now faces more elections. The parliamentary elections will show if President Macron can gain a majority in parliament or he could be a lame duck President. There were voters who voted for Macron because the alternative was the leader of the National Front. The National Front is seen by many people as a neo fascist party.
Emmanuel Macron is the youngest leader of France since the time of Napoleon. He is only 39 years of age. This is the first election he contested. But Emmanuel Macron has been involved in politics before. He was a Cabinet Minister in Francois Hollande’s government. He has also been a banker as well. Macron was a member of the Socialist Party. Then he became an independent. To run in the Presidential election he set up his own movement. It is stated that he is a neo liberal. His past history could suggest that he might be a moderate social democrat. His choice of Prime Minister and his choice of Cabinet will show what economic philosophy guides him. Emmanuel Macron is some kind of liberal. What type of liberal is he? His programme seems to be all things to all people. But we do know he is pro European. A Macron France will be a strong supporter of the EU.
People have raised his past enjoyment as a banker as a sign of his economic outlook. But we have an example of Warren Buffett in the United States who believes that the rich should pay more tax. Warren Buffett is one of the richest people in the world. I am confused by Emmanuel Macron’s economic philosophy because he was a Socialist Party member. He also served in a Socialist government. He introduced controversial labour reform laws.
Political debates can obscure the important role that economics play in politics. The past post war consensus was replaced by neo liberalism. Neo liberalism with its policy of deregulation has suffered due to the banking collapse. And yet in the political field it hasn’t been challenged successfully. Alternatives to neo liberalism has grown in recent years. The rise of nationalist parties and politicians like Donald Trump proves this point.
Can France and the world move towards a better future? The policies of Emmanuel Macron will reveal if he is a leader of a new economic model. There was hope that President Hollande was going to change things. But after Hollande’s term was up most French voters regard his term in office as a disappointment. After his term is up Macron might suffer the same fate as Hollande.
John O Brien.