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manifesto v manifesto

This is a translated version of this earlier post and adapted from the BBC comparison, without the sarcastic interlude on the "droit opposable". Check out these radio interviews of all the candidates.

Salaries, benefits and pensions

Segolene incentivises employees by increasing the minimum wage, rewards us by increasing the state pension and protects us by ensuring transition between work for unemployed through liveable redundancy. Nicolas encourages workers to work more during the day and over their lifespan. This "right to work" means employers won't be taxed on overtime work, therefore transferring the burden of paying for public services to...the employee. It also means workers will be able to retire when they want, which again transfers the decision of when to retire to the employer without incentivising them to employ older people, or fining them for discrimination.

International affairs

Segolene realises that while a renegotiated treaty is essential to reform the European Union, it can only be done with and through the citizens. While those in the PS who were for or against the Constitution may disagree on the content of the treaty, all agree that if we don't involve citizens in shaping it, then why would they vote for it? This was the key lesson learnt by the PS both in their defeat in 2002 and the no vote in 2005 - could the Desirs d'Avenir concept be adapted to involving citizens across Europe in scaling up their needs and ideas to shape a new treaty? Sarkozy prefers the traditional method of pushing a mini treaty of no substance through the back-door - which sums up how he has pushed many of his reactionary laws through!


To ensure everyone across France benefits from the same right to social housing, the PS will build many more social homes but will also empower councils to claim properties empty for two years. To tackle what is one of the greatest insecurities across Europe - housing - they also propose to cap private renting and grant lifelong guarantee of housing. Sarkozy - ever the Thatcherite - proposes housing policies which will exacerbate social exclusion - the "happy few" that are in social housing will be able to buy their homes...if they can afford it...This isn't surprising given how leaders of right-wing councils across France prefer to pay fines than provide social housing, but it will bulldoze the availability of social homes.

Probably the most risible policy is that instead of providing homeless units, Sarkozy replaces this with giving homeless people the right to take their council to court if they don't provide temporary housing - meaning that if they can afford a lawyer and wait the five years it takes for the legal procedure, they might just be able to sleep under a roof. He also wants to apply this to public childcare and retirement home - by the time the decision has been made the toddler would be at school and the old person...well I'll let you imagine.

Energy, environment and agriculture

Segolene proposes to reduce dependence on nuclear power and ensure 20% of energy is from renewables by 2020, while Sarkozy wants to increase nuclear dependance (already at 70% of France's energy supply). She wants to reform EU farming subsidies to favour environment and smaller farmers, while Sarkozy wants to simply them and link funding to market prices, benefitting the rich farmers that already plunder the majority of CAP.

Economy and taxes

Contrary to popular though, the PS will not increase general taxation and in fact will lower the tax burden on companies that create jobs. Sarkozy proposes to reduce taxes by 4%, although the his main economic adviser and French Chancellor has advised this would be completed within the next 17 years! He will exempt up to 95% of population from inheritance tax, which given that it only targets the rich at the moment and the poor don't pay it anyway, this would result in only the top 5% paying and not the rest of the rich.

Immigration, law and order

Segolene plans to give residency papers for those who meet certain criteria such as job contract, time in France, ensuring legal stability and economic benefit for and from migrants. Sarkozy plans to pursue selective immigration that favours arrival of qualified workers, increasing the brain drain in developing countries, while using extreme positive discrimination to tick the boxes. While Segolene wants to use under-used army officers to guide and train young offenders in civic activities, Sarkozy wants to toughen sentences for juveniles and increase prison sentencing for repeat offenders, exacerbating the over-populated prison crisis.

How do pay for it

Segolene will finance her proposals through economic growth, while Sarkozy will finance it through cutting public services.

check this graph to see how its the right the increases the debt not the left



  1. Anonymous said...

    This is an extreme left article, not a comparison. France is the highest taxed country in the world, and puuting the socialists in power will make the tax burden even higher. The social security charges on an employer are 45% of the employees salery. This is to pay for the state work force. I've been trying to build a small business in France, and I'm failing because the government take more or less everything. So many taxes, so many social charges. France need reform, not old socialist policies. I know that if the socialists get in, I'll close down my company and go elsewhere. Ireland for example 12.5% corporation tax compared to 35% in France.

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