Traditional Values and Patriotism on the Upswing in France

The results of local elections held in France on March 22 have shown that the electorate is turning away from leftwing values.

The biggest winners were those who refused to vote (48.7 percent of the electorate), although none of the current politicians will openly admit this. Democracy is clearly ailing in France and in Western Europe as a whole, which is a common truth.

According to surveys conducted by Pierre Bréchon and Jean-François Tchernia, the French give the current government a score of 3.9 out of 10. This doesn’t mean they reject democracy, but shows that they are aware of an oligarchic reality behind the democratic façade. The divide between the pro-Atlanticist, anti-Christian and anti-patriotic elite and the public is growing rapidly. Respect for political parties as an institution is plummeting. Only 18 percent have a positive view of them, compared to the 80 percent who have spoken in support of the army and the healthcare system.

The Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) and its allies led by Nicolas Sarkozy has won 36 percent at the local elections, of which the UMP received 29 percent. The Socialist Party won only 28.5 percent and the National Front 26 percent of the vote.

Moreover, infighting is ongoing in French political parties. The trend for patriotism and traditional values, which is advocated by Sarkozy, is taking the upper hand at the UMP, pushing back the Atlanticists and centrists led by Alain Juppé.

Social-Atlanticists and Social Democrats still dominate the leftwing parties, but they are being pushed back by the far-left radicals, one of whose groups is urging the French authorities to pursue an independent foreign policy.

As for the National Front, it is being rocked by a quiet but very real conflict between the defenders of traditional and Christian values, such as Marion Le Pen or Aymeric Chauprade, and the advocates of a more accommodating attitude toward morals and economic dirigisme, such as Marine Le Pen and Florian Philippot. The situation has changed dramatically since May 1968.

The leaders of political parties are split, while the general electorate is increasingly leaning towards conservative values, patriotism and Christianity. This trend is especially strong in Russia, which has surged ahead of the West in this respect.

The election results have yet to be analyzed by age groups, but it is obvious that the revolutionary values of the recent past are giving way to traditional values. One day this will have a positive effect on the creation of a Greater Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok.

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.