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François Hollande

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"Hmmm, how can I get you to hate me..."
A guide to
French Politics
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Si vous voulez cet article en français, il peut être trouvé à François Hollande (français).

François Hollande was the president of France from 2012-2017. He is a member of the centre-left Socialist Party, though he could be accurately described as a follower of the Third Way.[1] However he lacks the general charisma of many major Third Way advocates (earning him the rather unflattering nickname of "Flamby", after a French custard dessert) and according to his abysmal approval ratings everyone ranging from the left (both radical and mainstream) to the right (again, both radical and mainstream), have agreed to dislike him.[2] Whether this is because he's being scapegoated for the economy or because of his unfocused agenda (or both) is up for debate.

Science related policy[edit]

On the bright side, he officially has a pro-science agenda. He has addressed climate change as a serious concern and, along with Barack Obama, wants a global agreement to reduce carbon emissions. He has also expressed a desire to support renewable energy.[3] However, much like the Obama administration, despite the rhetoric his administration has actually done fairly little in terms of actual policy to reduce CO2 emissions, perhaps because of preoccupation with the economy.[4] He also wants to wean France off nuclear power by twenty-five percent and replace it with renewable energy, though your mileage may vary on whether this is good or not.

Social policy[edit]

Despite rioting from right-wing radicals Hollande legalized same-sex marriage in November of 2012.[5]

During the election he shifted to the right on immigration, saying he wanted it limited and he would uphold bans on women wearing Islamic veils in public.[6] Despite this the vast majority of Muslims voted for him anyways, possibly because the other option was even worse.[7] While he overwhelmingly won the mainstream Muslim vote some Islamic extremists have called for his execution due to France combating Islamic militants that were in northern Mali.[8]

Economic policy[edit]

Hollande has been accused of having an unfocused economic policy, largely due to being a believer in Third Way-esque fiscal conservatism while also trying to balance the wishes of the electorate who are resisting austerity measures. This has led to some bizarre and seemingly contradictory policies. For instance on the more neoliberal side he passed a labor reform package that made it easier for companies to fire workers and allowed companies to temporarily cut workers salaries when they're struggling. He's also wanted to lower the corporate tax rate and largely claimed to embrace austerity measures in his belief in cutting the budget while lowering taxes and also stated that “supply actually creates demand.”[9] On the flip side he lowered the retirement age back from 62 to 60, tried to raise the tax rate to 75% for those making over 1,000,000 euros, and has expressed a desire to build 500,000 public homes per year.[10] As a result of all this, along with France's slow recovery, everybody has found a reason to hate him.

References[edit]