Europe, France, Opinion, Politics

Emmanuel Macron: The Least Worst Option for France?

Emmanuel Macron has been through an eventful year of campaigning as an independent candidate with his newly formed party En Marche. And, rest assured, it will probably be a successful one. It seems no one in and around France really doubts that Emmanuel Macron will defeat Marine Le Pen in the second electoral vote on Sunday, but we’ve been wrong before and we might be wrong again.

Who is Emmanuel Macron?

Despite his development within the past year to eventually become the presidential candidate with a slight edge in the first electoral round, Emmanuel Macron has not been able to show off why he might be a better leader for a country that is sick and tired of the elite playing economic pinball with the nation. He’s part of said elite after all and, even though he managed to open up quite a bit in the last televised debate, he is quite hard to grab for some of the voters. There’s no doubt that he has the required skills and might be the better choice for France objectively within the construct of the European Union, but chances are that he is too much of the same for the French population that thirsts for a harder change in leadership.

How Did Macron Become a Candidate?

Emmanuel Macron’s track record is quite impressive, no matter how you put it. He’s been an investment banker, assistant general secretary and minister of finance for current president Hollande within the last decade and member of the socialist party, up until he formed his own party, En Marche, a year ago, quit his responsibilities as minister of finance and subsequently stepped forward as an independent candidate for the French presidency. Even though he was a known and respected figure in politics, no one expected him to actually gain momentum the way he did. But the odds turned in his favor quickly when his direct opponents either failed to candidate within their respective parties and François Fillon was facing major corruption allegations.

Votes will open in about 12 hours and it’s either Emmanuel Macron or Le Pen, that’s all it comes down to and, if looked at it from afar, the choices are either to again leave your vote for a person that looks and feels like only a minor shift to the left when compared to the previous administration (which he was a part of anyway) or to vote for an almost violent shift to the right side of the political spectrum.

The whole ordeal comes down to a vote that will leave a lot of people unsatisfied and could result in low turnouts, which would hurt Emmanuel Macron which has to depend on those voters that previously voted for other candidates. He has been endorsed by a number of previous opponents to oppose Le Pen but all those gained voters will be voting out of spite if at all and he, therefore, cannot necessarily count on the loyalty of the people actually voting for him tomorrow.

What Does that Mean for Emmanuel Macron and the French Election?

With that said, Emmanuel Macron’s win might not come as easy as predicted and he might not be the change the majority of the country desires, but he at least has experience and a plan that is transparent and concrete in how to tackle a number of issues in France.

He may be a young liberal at heart, but there are undeniable influences of his former party Parti Socialiste. Emmanuel Macron aims to secure pensions at 62, or after 42 contributing years (until the year 2022) and working regulations on basis of a 35h week, which will be flexible and negotiable within the industry. He supports unemployment support even for the self-employed, aims to cut and reinvest several funds and wants more policemen in deprived areas.

He is pro-EU and supports the democratization of the Union while clinging to the Schengen treaty and increasing border patrols for outer EU borders. His asylum policy is to speed up the process to make sure legitimate refugees can be integrated faster while the deportation process for the rest gets sped up.

The Least Worst Option?

There are many more things Emmanuel Macron has said and supports, but this small selection makes clear that Macron can potentially appeal to a wide range of people and political ideologies, but at the end of the day he is a liberal at heart which makes him rather unappealing to voters of the left wing, robbing them of an appealing choice. For them, and many other French citizens, Emmanuel Macron is definitely the best choice out of the two offered, but it remains a sobering one nonetheless.

About Andreas Salmen

Born and raised in Germany, learned a job in IT and Business and ultimately decided that this wasn't exactly where my life was going to end. Left everything behind to become a writing backpacker instead. The world's crumbling away anyway so why not write about it and get a few good Instagram pics on the way, am I right?

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