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Old 09-04-2007, 23:08   #101
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Originally Posted by freddie View Post
European public services? Yeiks. That reminds me of Soviet style People's Steel factories. I think mail delivery and railroad companies in particular are much too developed in a private sector to enforce a continental reign over it (huge US corporate players in the package delivery service who'd surely file a complaint with the WTO.) I still firmly believe there's nothing wrong with competition since it's been know to lower prices and raise quality of service.
I think many former communist countries have "thrown the baby with the bath water" as we say in French, many are now engaged on an ultra-capitalistic road where everything must be private and competition absolute. Good for them, but i don't agree with that socio-economic model based on the American one.

For me "public service" is not an insult or an archaism, offering an equal and affordable service to everybody whether they live in a large city or a small town is something Europe should strive for. I don't believe that competition and profits always make things better (Paris subway is not profitable and never will be, and yet it's a great public service that nobody would want to see closed because it's not profitable), and i certainly don't believe that competition is the best answer to everything.

Mail delivery. You can't have several post offices owned by different companies in every city, town and village. You can't have several mailmen competing every morning to deliver mail in your mailbox. Mail delivery is for me an area where a public service is logical and more efficent.

Electricity. Look at California, electricity production is completely private there and competition has led to a total lack of investment and long term planning, resulting in a worn-out network and frequent blackouts (to the point that many businesses have built their own in-house power generators, which is an environmental nightmare).
In France, the state-owned EDF has been able to plan over decades and has built an efficient modern network, and electricity is cheaper than in most neighboring countries. Also, i support nuclear energy because i think it's a good way to limit global warming, but i wouldn't want private nuclear plants.

Railroad. Look at Britain and its completely private railroad, it's a total disaster, private companies have been solely focused on maximizing profits, the result is a decaying network with no long-term investment and planning. The only high speed lane has been built because of the Channel tunnel and it has taken *15 years* to build only *120km* of tracks between the tunnel and London.
In France, the state-owned SNCF has built close to 2000km of high speed lanes in 25 years and we have now high speed trains linking all major cities. If the French railroad had been privatized like in Britain, we wouldn't have a high speed network today.

I do support full competition in most areas (i'm against public funding of French cinema for example, if it's not good enough to compete, then it should disappear), but there are a few areas that require long-term planning and don't generate immediate profits even though it's useful to millions of people (like a high speed rail network or an electricity grid) and private companies are simply not interested in doing things that would benefit millions of people if it doesn't generate immediately huge profits for their shareholders.
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Old 10-04-2007, 00:07   #102
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Sorry for double post, but my previous post would become too heavy.

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Originally Posted by freddie View Post
Otherwise I agree in principle with the European federation idea, eventhough it'll be extremely hard to maintain in practice. For one thing I can never imagine countries like France or Britain going along with it.
Maybe Britain, but don't be so sure about France (and a European federation could start with half a dozen states, so the usual brooding of Britain is not a problem).

Segolene Royal's program includes the "creation of a European government for the eurozone states"

Nicholas Sarkozy's program includes the "creation of a European president and foreign affairs minister" and the "development of a European defense"

Furthermore, right or left, the main French parties have already mentioned that eventually:
The EU should have a permanent seat at the UN instead of France
The French nuclear arsenal should be transfered to a European defense
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Old 10-04-2007, 23:23   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haku
I think many former communist countries have "thrown the baby with the bath water" as we say in French, many are now engaged on an ultra-capitalistic road where everything must be private and competition absolute. Good for them, but i don't agree with that socio-economic model based on the American one.

For me "public service" is not an insult or an archaism, offering an equal and affordable service to everybody whether they live in a large city or a small town is something Europe should strive for. I don't believe that competition and profits always make things better (Paris subway is not profitable and never will be, and yet it's a great public service that nobody would want to see closed because it's not profitable), and i certainly don't believe that competition is the best answer to everything.

Mail delivery. You can't have several post offices owned by different companies in every city, town and village. You can't have several mailmen competing every morning to deliver mail in your mailbox. Mail delivery is for me an area where a public service is logical and more efficent.

Electricity. Look at California, electricity production is completely private there and competition has led to a total lack of investment and long term planning, resulting in a worn-out network and frequent blackouts (to the point that many businesses have built their own in-house power generators, which is an environmental nightmare).
In France, the state-owned EDF has been able to plan over decades and has built an efficient modern network, and electricity is cheaper than in most neighboring countries. Also, i support nuclear energy because i think it's a good way to limit global warming, but i wouldn't want private nuclear plants.

Railroad. Look at Britain and its completely private railroad, it's a total disaster, private companies have been solely focused on maximizing profits, the result is a decaying network with no long-term investment and planning. The only high speed lane has been built because of the Channel tunnel and it has taken *15 years* to build only *120km* of tracks between the tunnel and London.
In France, the state-owned SNCF has built close to 2000km of high speed lanes in 25 years and we have now high speed trains linking all major cities. If the French railroad had been privatized like in Britain, we wouldn't have a high speed network today.

I do support full competition in most areas (i'm against public funding of French cinema for example, if it's not good enough to compete, then it should disappear), but there are a few areas that require long-term planning and don't generate immediate profits even though it's useful to millions of people (like a high speed rail network or an electricity grid) and private companies are simply not interested in doing things that would benefit millions of people if it doesn't generate immediately huge profits for their shareholders.

But see I'm not saying private companies should automatically exclude government interventionism in general. Not when it comes to fiddling with the prices but rather ensuring quality of service (massively important in transport safety). But I still think most fears of private companies only being interested in profits is redundant - as long as there's competition people can CHOOSE. And if they don't like the quality of service they can easily go elsewhere. California example is exactly the opposite: it's a case of a dominant provider with no competition - and partly also a consequence of Enron faul business tactics. And the British railroads in general have loads of other - bigger - problems than them being privatized.


Quote:
Originally Posted by haku
Maybe Britain, but don't be so sure about France (and a European federation could start with half a dozen states, so the usual brooding of Britain is not a problem).

Segolene Royal's program includes the "creation of a European government for the eurozone states"

Nicholas Sarkozy's program includes the "creation of a European president and foreign affairs minister" and the "development of a European defense"

Furthermore, right or left, the main French parties have already mentioned that eventually:
The EU should have a permanent seat at the UN instead of France
The French nuclear arsenal should be transfered to a European defense
Those are all noble ideas and I'll be the first one to stand up in applause if they come true. There's just so many diplomatic obstacles to tackle before it can come to fruition. We're talking about a country who said no to the European Constitution on a referendum. A country where many politicians still score points on blatant nationalism. And it's not like France is an isolated case.
If anything I think the political unification might be slightly easier to achieve at first. Compromising over military matters is always the most sensitive issue.
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Old 12-04-2007, 00:01   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddie View Post
Those are all noble ideas and I'll be the first one to stand up in applause if they come true. There's just so many diplomatic obstacles to tackle before it can come to fruition. We're talking about a country who said no to the European Constitution on a referendum. A country where many politicians still score points on blatant nationalism. And it's not like France is an isolated case.
If anything I think the political unification might be slightly easier to achieve at first. Compromising over military matters is always the most sensitive issue.
A 'no' to the EU constitution doesn't mean a 'no' to European integration, there were many different reasons why people voted no.

True, the extreme right voted 'no' because it is really anti-European, but the extreme left voted 'no' because it considered that the treaty didn't go far enough in terms of integration (neo-trotskists basically want a new Soviet Union), and the large majority of 'no' voters actually came from the socialist side from people who thought the treaty was no constitution at all and was only a treaty that reinforced capitalism against socialism without giving any powers to a real (democratically elected) central European government.
So no, a majority of the people who voted 'no' did not reject European integration, they actually did so because they wanted a deeper and more radical integration.

The root of the problem is that many French people (and also Belgian, Dutch, German) think that the European project has lost its political goal and is slowly evolving into a loose free trade area based on the Anglo-Saxon model. People were supportive of the European project as long as it meant the abolition of internal borders balanced by the strengthening of external borders to protect the European social model and secularism from the rest of the world, but globalization has ruined that principle.

Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman (founders of the European communities) had expected that economic integration would lead automatically to political integration, but obviously that plan did not really work (well, maybe it would work after 100 or 200 years but can we really wait that long when we have to face the US and new rising powers like China, India or Brazil, i don't think so).
So now in France there are a number of intellectuals who say that now may be the time to go back to the drawing board and start something new from scratch, starting with political union this time, by creating a true federation with the countries that would be willing to take that radical step. And not just in France, the Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt said the same thing in his last book, the United States of Europe.
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:04   #105
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Like I said I'm all for deeper integration on every level - political, social and economic. But I still feel the short term plan for political integration is too ambitious, cause it fails to incorporate teh nationalistic aspects of member states into play. Even if France is all eager to join such a tight-knit community (of which I also have my doubts of), I'm really sure there're a whole bunch of other members who'll consider any talk of a proper continental federation an assault on their national soverignty (and when I say other members I mean pretty much all old members and probably Poland).

I'd take it slow first. Lets complete the economic integration first - free labour movement for one thing. Then lets wait for the new member states to economically recover properly. I doubt a federation would ever maintain proper functionality when a person in Romania or Bulgaria earns 200 instead of 2000 Euros as in developed countries.
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Old 13-04-2007, 00:41   #106
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For French people, a nice interactive chart with the programs of the various candidates.
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Old 18-04-2007, 14:56   #107
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That's a nice chart.

Personally I despise Sarkozy and his crypto-fascist ways. On the other hand I don't like Royal, I don't trust her, and I don't believe she realises that it's the socialist party she's running for. She's about ten years late with her "third way" ideals.

So what's a sozi like me gotta do then? Well, if I was still in France, I would vote for Arlette.

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Old 18-04-2007, 15:22   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunrider View Post
Personally I despise Sarkozy and his crypto-fascist ways
On which bases do you discribe Sarkozy as a "crypto-fascist "?
Except the fact that it's an habit in France to call all people who belong to Right as Fascists...

In which country are you living if I'm not too curious?...
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Old 18-04-2007, 16:14   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunrider View Post
Personally I despise Sarkozy and his crypto-fascist ways.
funny cuz I had a conversation about that with a friend 4 hours ago
and I personally don't think that Sarko is a fascist, even if I don't know how to explain it

anyway, this friend of mine recommends me to listen to some podcats from RMC
so here's the link if you're interesting too
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Old 18-04-2007, 17:25   #110
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Originally Posted by nath View Post
On which bases do you discribe Sarkozy as a "crypto-fascist "?
Except the fact that it's an habit in France to call all people who belong to Right as Fascists...

In which country are you living if I'm not too curious?...

Oh that's nonsense, I'd never call Chirac a fascist, and he's a right-winger.

Sarkozy's platform feeds on anti-immigration sentiment, without even trying to look at the reasons for the problems in the banlieues. He feeds off this negative sentiment, and the fear for islam of the general populace.

During the 2005 civil unrest, he, as interior minister of the entire french population, SHOULD have tried to calm down the situation; instead, to Sarko, it served as a launching pad for hiis political campaign for president, by describing the protestors as a "rabble" and calling for the troubled suburbs to be "Karcherised".

It's a reality though, that in France, like in much of Europe, children who are born in a suburb simply get no chances to build a better life for themselves. They get no chances for a good education, or a job. Even when they get an education, do you think a lot of people with an arabic or african appearance get a fair shot at a job? That's just naive. Sarkozy, however, does not care about improving the lives of these millions of frustrated people; he just wants to clean his country. While playing on these sentiments however, he tries to make his platform look like a classic rightist one. FN, with a human face, if you will.

The success of this method has apparently even influenced le pen to give his own platform a more human face. It's still junk, though.

Another thing that greatly worries me about Sarkozy is the fact that he is not a great believer in laïcité, which I think is one of the greatest things about French political culture.

I would like to point out though, that I, at no point, said "Sarkozy is a fascist". What I said was "I despise Sarkozy and his crypto-fascist ways"; it may look, and sound similar, but there is a subtle difference here.

To answer your other question, I live in the Netherlands. My father is mixed French/Russian, my mother is French. I was born in France and moved to the Netherlands when I was a child, but I still visit relatives in France several times a year, read French newspapers, watch French tv etc.
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Old 18-04-2007, 18:21   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunrider View Post
children who are born in a suburb simply get no chances to build a better life for themselves
it could sound hard but some of them just don't want to try to do something with their lives, they're just acting like a bunch of w*nkers and play the victims of the society card when it's needed
really no offence, I'm aware of discrimination, I know some guys who used to be the men in their neighboorhood and now they really want to make something else, to find a job etc etc
and it's really good ... but I also see the opposite and it sucks

about the 2005 riots, I know someone who was a victim of it, he lives in La Duchère, disctrict well-known in Lyon to be pretty violent and so on, his car got fired and his insurance didn't cover this kind of accident
he simply looked for the ones who made that, they were actually a bunch of 16-17 years old, he threatened them and made them pay for what they did ... this guy is black and he's built like a bulldozer, I really think that these teens wouldn't give a damn if it hadn't been the case

ok, maybe, you don't see my point but I'm trying to say that some teens don't realise the consequences of their acts because nobody chase after them to make them pay or feel guilty
and it's unacceptable to go on like that! I know it sounds rude, but people have to assume their acts
I'm sure it's easier to find a job when your police record is clean
it's really pissing me off when people say that they don't wanna try because they're from suburbs and they don't have any chance no matter what happen
there's always exceptions, and we have to stand together to change that state of mind

btw, I'm not sure that the pseudo US capitalist project that Sarko proposes is the best way to solve this kind of problems but who knows? Ségolène's boot camps don't sound better ...
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Old 18-04-2007, 18:24   #112
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So who won? Le Pen or somebody else
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Old 18-04-2007, 18:35   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the unforgiven View Post
ok, maybe, you don't see my point but I'm trying to say that some teens don't realise the consequences of their acts because nobody chase after them to make them pay or feel guilty
and it's unacceptable to go on like that!
I'll admit ignorance in French affairs but going by this, wouldn't it be the failure of the state to prosecute these individuals. I mean if there is no law and order, or any constant police presence in these suburbs (God, that has a totally different meaning here, it's kinda funny actually) then how do you expect criminals to behave like?

Perhaps immigrants are frustrated that they are painted in the same brush as criminals who are also immigrants.


Re: Le Pen
Good God don't me that guy is actually getting support.

PS: Royale sounds like an idiot, harsh I know, but she does.
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Old 18-04-2007, 18:44   #114
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Thanks for your clear answer Sunrider.

I absolutely catch your state of mind.
But I don't have the same and I think it's a little bit easy to see people who will vote for him just as simple blind people who hate the immigrants.

Anaïs,you've absolutely expressed what I think.
Thanks for that
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Old 18-04-2007, 18:50   #115
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PowerPuff Grrl, I'm not for an individual prosecution, I want the police to do a great job
but I mean some young people don't fear anything! they don't respect authority
for example, in my neighboorhood (which is kind of quiet lol) there's a police patrol everyday and everyday it's the same, kids throw stones on the car etc etc
I remember once I've called the firemen cuz I've found a dude badly injured and inconscient in my street, and the guys who did that were yelling at me in a very not polite way
it's not a big deal, at least for me ... but I think it shows that we need a serious different way to see the problems

oh and btw, when I'm talking about youth it's not immigrants ... actually I didn't think about that at all lol
the trouble makers are from every origins and I don't care about the color of the skin, when you break the law, you break the law ... no matter who you are

and yeaaah! I think immigrants have a good reason to be frustrated! it sucks how people always put everyone in the same bag (I don't know if it's the same expression lol)
haha! I totally had this discussion earlier and I said that the difference of cultures is a plus for the society
we need to learn from everyone, and to respect etc etc

edit : Nath you're welcome
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Old 18-04-2007, 19:10   #116
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to the 3 people who posted above:

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Old 19-04-2007, 16:50   #117
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hey none of you is gonna make good politicians, when you're simply ignoring the public's questions. No care for the public i.e moi - no votes. Fundamental rule in politics
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Old 19-04-2007, 17:23   #118
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Offtop:
You, on the other hand, are tailor made for American Politics; not only do you think you are the public but you also think God is on your side as well.
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Old 22-04-2007, 16:33   #119
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A voté!
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Old 22-04-2007, 19:01   #120
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Presidential election, first round, provisional results:

1. Nicolas Sarkozy (UMP) - 29,4 %
2. Ségolène Royal (PS) - 26,2 %

3. François Bayrou (UDF) - 18,6 %
4. Jean-Marie Le Pen (FN) - 10,8 %

5. Olivier Besancenot (LCR) - 4,7 %
6. Philippe de Villiers (MPF) - 2,5 %
7. Marie-George Buffet (PC) - 2,1 %
8. Dominique Voynet (Verts) - 1,6 %
9. Arlette Laguiller (LO) - 1,5%
10. Frédéric Nihous (CPNT) - 1,2 %
11. José Bové (Alter) - 1 %
12. Gérard Schivardi (PT) - 0,4 %

Turnout: 86 %
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