With the French Socialist Party tearing itself apart, and the low-income electorate practically up for grabs, Marine Le Pen can confidently believe the polls that comfortably put her in the second round of the presidential vote this June. However, it’s not all good news as her conservative rival François Fillon can count on the middle class vote, especially social conservatives who want less regulation, a thinner public sector, restricted immigration and tougher drug laws. Fillon will also likely have support from the traditional left, who will undoubtedly support him over the National Front candidate.
The 2017 race will likely be uneventful, giving Marine Le Pen an audience for her cause but not an electorate to win. The road to the 2022 election will thus be a long, five years in which party infighting could dethrone her and make way for a younger alternative, her niece Marion Maréchal-Le Pen.
Marion Maréchal-Le Pen first entered politics in 1992 at age two, when she featured in a campaign poster alongside her grandfather, far-right icon and founder of the National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen. Despite her early introduction to politics, Marion Le Pen’s childhood experiences made it seem unlikely that she would join the National Front.
Continue reading at Reaction.
Today’s Young Voices Podcast features Young Voices Executive Director Casey Given and YV Advocate Dan King on the state of free speech in France since the attack on Charlie Hebdo in 2015 and the future of free speech in America under Donald Trump’s presidency.
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Saturday, January 7, marked two years since armed Islamic terrorists stormed the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and killed 11 people following the magazine’s feature of a drawing of the prophet Mohammed. Yet while the French people briefly rallied around the magazine with the slogan “Je Suis Charlie,” free speech remains under assault due to French hate speech laws.
In the aftermath of the attack, the PEN American Center, one of the world’s foremost free speech advocates, decided to award the French magazine its annual Freedom of Expression Courage Award. However, dozens of writers who were supposed to attend the gala withdrew, stating that they felt Charlie Hebdo promoted “cultural intolerance.”
That line of thinking is ever-growing and dangerous, and it is strengthened by systemic failings in France that allow such attacks to take place. France’s laws regarding hate speech, namely Section 24 of the Press Law of 1881 on preventing speech that “incites discrimination hatred, or violence on the basis of one’s origin or membership (or non-membership) in an ethnic, national, racial, or religious group,” are incredibly restrictive and essentially embolden and justify the attackers.
Continue reading at Townhall.
YV Advocate Ferghane Azihari was published in Contrepoints. His article, entitled “Le prélèvement à la source, une manouvre antidémocratique” discusses the new income tax withholding law in France, due to take effect in 2018. While it is expected in the USA that an employer withholds a part of your paycheck every month to give to the government, this responsibility has always been left to the individual taxpayer in France. Ferghane argues that this move could be a serious threat to democracy and fiscal transparency in France.
Find the article here.
On Tuesday, the California band Eagles of Death Metal returned to Paris to finish a set that was interrupted by a terror attack last November. Playing to a crowd of survivors, frontman Jesse Hughes heroically announced while taking the stage, “Bonsoir Paris, we’re ready for this!”
Just hours earlier, Hughes had given an emotional interview to a French news channel about the November attack. When the reporter mentioned gun control, Hughes did not mince words in pointing out how ineffective France’s strict laws had been in stopping the attack.
Read the rest on Rare, here.