French Election: At this moment, it’s got to be Macron | Callum Gurr

It’s been a difficult time in France from what I hear; very similar to the poor situation our own country finds itself in. A resurgent racist and islamophobia party in Front National, coupled with a stagnating economy lead by the Socialists and Francois Hollande has created a cauldron of chaos in the run-up to their April election. But my fellow Europeans, you need not despair, it seems you have a sensible and progressive candidate capable of winning your election, a luxury we British would do much for right now.

When I came to the decision of who I would ‘back’ in the French election I was initially attracted to the ruling Socialist party’s own candidate, Benoit Hamon. Hamon’s promise of a universal basic income for all French citizens appealed to me (although whether I support such a policy is still up in the air) and his call for the legalisation of cannabis seemed like common sense to me. But the criticisms over the costing of Hamon’s basic income plan, accompanied with the Socialists dire polling has made me realise he is no option.

Macron is no perfect candidate, but his opposition to the excessive corporatism in France and his outright challenge to Trump on climate change is enough to convince me he would be a decent President. His desire to loosen regulation on certain industries may seem like an alien concept to someone on the left in Britain, but France’s regulation does border on excessive, so I’m inclined to view that as a positive thing.  Finally Macron’s position on the ‘left’ on social issues, like his desire to retain the social safety net, is a good attitude to have. Beyond that, Macron’s campaign has been admittedly policy-light, but given we can only work with what is in front of us, so far Macron has not proposed anything I believe should be vehemently opposed.

Macron may lack policy, but that isn’t to take away from his credentials as a serious candidate. Macron worked under the Hollande administration, pushing through the de-regulating loi Macron, but become disillusioned in 2016 and formed his own party, En Marche. Macron is both the anti-establishment figure that the votes for Trump, Brexit and Front National represented and a sensible pragmatic figure that all of those votes lacked. His desire to hold politicians more to account is a good thing, and taps into much of the voter apathy that triggered the votes for social conservatives, or in the case of Trump, outright racists, in the first place.

So yes, Macron is no perfect candidate. My ‘endorsement’ of him is not for any great praise for his politics; it is an act of pragmatism. All too often in politics it is said that an action could change the course of history, and that is usually an exaggeration. Yet this time something is brewing that may well be history shattering; the election of Le Pen could well destroy the most successful peace project of all time, and I don’t wish to face that reality. To prevent that France must elect a leader that is committed to the values on which that peace project was founded, and at this moment, it’s got to be Macron.   

Callum Gurr is a writer for Student Voices and student at the University of Birmingham Twitter: @callumgurr
French Election: At this moment, it’s got to be Macron | Callum Gurr French Election: At this moment, it’s got to be Macron | Callum Gurr Reviewed by Student Voices on 15:32 Rating: 5

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