Saturday, June 18, 2011

On the National Front. Again

Following the previous posts, I also want to underline the parallel between the Front National policies and what has been happening on the right wing of the Republican party in the US recently. For instance, Tim Pawlenty has been criticizing "fiat money". A lot of the primary contenders are participating in a bus tour co-organized by Gold Standard 2012
Several presidential candidates have agreed to ride along: Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, Former Senator Rick Santorum, Herman Cain and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

This is also the case in terms of foreign policy. One striking line in the program is:
Non-ingérence dans les affaires intérieures des autres États 
Without making any judgment on whether that is a good thing or not, there is a movement too in the US where the Republicans have become less pro-war, mostly because the debate in the US currently is about economics and the reduction of the deficit/debt combo. This has led to interesting discussions, for instance in the last republican debate, most notably on the withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan, but also on Libya

In a string of foreign policy exchanges Monday night, Republican presidential candidates seemed notably gun-shy when it came to the war in Afghanistan, the intervention in Libya and other engagements around the world.
Mitt Romney led the way on Afghanistan, saying it's "time for us to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can."
"Only the Afghanis can win Afghanistan's independence from the Taliban," he said.
Several other candidates broke in a similar direction on the subject of Libya. Asked if the conflict there was a vital American interest, Michele Bachmann responded: "No, I don't believe it is." And asked if cost should be a factor in determining how the U.S. uses force overseas, Newt Gingrich responded: "Sure, the price tag's always a factor."
The traditional fight against the mosques is also present on both sides of the Atlantic. From the FN program:
Fermeture des mosquées sous la coupe d’obédiences intégristes prônant ouvertement le terrorisme et l’islamisme (mouvement salafiste et Tabligh).

This reminded me of the recent controversy that rose when Rand Paul, a self proclaimed libertarian, argued that
if someone is attending speeches from someone who is promoting the violent overthrow of our government, that’s really an offense that we should be going after — they should be deported or put in prison.
And you also saw a  similar thing on the debate on the so-called WTC mosque(e.g. here), when the Imam at the head of the project was criticized for not condemning Hamas in an interview. Is not condemning Hamas similar to "overtly encouraging terrorism and islamism"?

On socio-medical issues, two elements are striking:
The position on stem-cell research:
Une loi interdisant la recherche médicale et la thérapie génique sur l’embryon.
And the position on abortion
l’inscription dans les textes, qui fondent son existence et son développement, du caractère sacré de la vie et l’affirmation du droit de la personne à être protégée par la loi de sa conception à sa mort naturelle. 

The former is not a huge topic in today's American debate, but the latter has been trending quite a lot since the Republicans swept a lot of governorship in November 2010
Ever since Republicans took control of half the country’s statehouses this year, the anti-abortion movement has won one victory after another. At least 64 new anti-abortion laws have passed, with more than 30 of them in April alone.   
It seems that  in Montana, Oklahoma, Alabama, North Dakota and Virginia, state lawmakers are trying to redefine personhood in the state constitutions, which would prevent not only abortions, but probably contraception methods.

All these are all the more interesting that there are some areas where the National Front and the Republican pary are worlds apart. For instance, one leading proposition of Marine Le Pen is to nationalize a lot of public services and sees a strong and central government as an important platform of its economic policy:

Le FN promeut par ailleurs des services publics dignes de ce nom, portés par un Etat fort, stratège, protecteur et solidaire
Energy policy is also completely different. In particular, Marine Le Pen seems to be willing to fight the "lobby petrolier"

  • Imposer la liberté de recherche et de commercialisation sur les carburants de substitution face au lobby pétrolier.
  • Mettre en place un plan de réduction de la consommation d’hydrocarbures avec, à terme, pour objectif la substitution, à hauteur de 10 %, des importations de pétrole par les carburants verts.
  • Créer des aides à la recherche dans les énergies alternatives au pétrole : motorisation hybride, pile à combustible, utilisation du gaz et des biocarburants.

What is the bottom line? I feel that the National Front has a more consistent position than the Republican party. Basically, the National Front wants a strong state that takes a lot of decisions for its constituents, on social and economic issues. The Republican party advocates for a small government, and regulations reduced to their minimum, while advocating for some huge state interventions in social matters.

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