Could France not only have its first female president this year, but its first practicing Catholic head of state?
from Charles de Gaulle
, who left the Élysée
The ascent of the valley
a 54-year-old mother of three married to a French
richest Catholic businessmen, being a serious challenger to the very non-Catholic Emmanuel Macron shows how, in the new era of identity politics, religion is playing an unprecedented role in recent decades.
There is no doubt that Joe Biden
The calm but clearly evident Irish Catholicism helped him against the almost pagan style of Donald Trump.
The Vatican never sleeps and now prays that France will be ruled by a president who is now openly courting the Catholic vote.
General de Gaulle was a good Catholic, but when he went to a high mass as head of state, he never communicated to show that he respected the French tradition of secularism, or non-religious governance.
cresse is a practicing Catholic. As a legislator, a deputy
, she voted against both
same sex marriage
and allow the adoption of homosexuals. She was a protégé of Jacques Chirac and promoted to the ministerial cabinet
by Nicolas Sarkozy
– two men with much the same approach to women as Boris Johnson.
When she ran for president of the regional council of Île-de-France, the wealthiest district around Paris, she said she would fund LGBT organizations. Although she won the election, in power she was less confrontational.
Religion or faith is the unspoken policy of France. The biggest protests against François Mitterrand during his presidency came when he tried to end “free schools– Catholic-run schools that follow the state’s national curriculum but have Catholic teachers and – like voluntary denominational schools in England – are all state funded. These schools became popular to avoid sending children from poorer areas to normal public schools, where the majority of children had African or Arab immigrant parents.
In recent years, the number one political theme for the far right, but also for other politicians in France, is the number of Muslim immigrants. Equally important is the issue of wearing the hijab, headscarf or any other face and body covering imposed on girls and women by some Muslim men without any support in Quranic law.
, the former Gaullists, are the center-right party of Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy, Michel Barnier and now Val
. They have also, at different times and at different levels of government, called for limitations on overt public assertions of Islamic identity.
It was once said that the Anglican Church was the Conservative Party in prayer. It would be wrong to say that French conservatism or organized center-right politics is Catholic, but the Catholic Church is much more present in French life, especially outside the big cities and in the professional and social life of the middle classes. French non-socialists, than in Great Britain.
Eric Zemmour, the far-right polemicist, based his campaign on the call for this traditionalist Catholic identity vote. Although he himself is an Algerian Jew, he appears weekly on television or writes in Figaro, the The telegraph of the day from France, to denounce “the great replacement ”of white Catholic France by a nation of many colors and races. Its launch video was full of images of the medieval grandeur of the Most Christian Kings of France, of Joan of Arc, of a Catholic France ruling Europe and civilizing the world.
– a shriveled, goat-like married man, 63, has just made his 28-year-old assistant pregnant. It therefore conforms to the high French political tradition of preaching one thing and practicing another.
Right-wing opponent Marine Le Pen has at least one party with a core of support behind it. She also invokes Joan of Arc as someone who hoisted the flag of France against external threats. It was England at the time of Saint Joan; now it’s Brussels for Mme Le Pen.
In his first step after winning the nomination, Val
cresse visited Armenia just before Christmas, to express his solidarity with the Armenian Christians invaded by the Muslim armies of Azerbaijan, supported by Muslim Turkey.
The plight of persecuted Christians in the East, particularly in French-speaking countries in the Middle East, is making headlines in France. Aligning with them, P
cresse hopes to win over Catholic voters.
Ms Pécresse’s instant visit to Armenia could backfire, as the Armenian government is now acting like a Kremlin puppet by staging an intervention to quell the pro-democracy uprising in Kazakhstan.
Will it work for Valérie P
watercress? Its first task is to enter the 2
and last round of the presidential election. The two votes will take place on the second and fourth Sunday in April. The latest polls carried out in early January for the first round put Macron at 25%, P
cresse and Le Pen on 17% and Zemmour on 12%. If Zemmour gives up and the hard right consolidates around Marine Le Pen, then it will be a resumption of the 2017 presidential election between Macron and Le Pen – and Macron will be reelected.
If the far right separates, then P
cresse obtains the greatest number of votes below Macron (the desperately divided left is not in the race) and passes in the second round against him. And then she will be a very serious threat to Macron
. France could have as its first wife
a woman who goes to mass most Sundays.
Denis MacShane lived in France and wrote the first biography of François Mitterrand in English. He appears regularly on French radio and television. He was Tony Blair’s Minister for Europe