Policy Memo on Recent French Public Opinion Polls Essay

Policy Memo on Recent French Public Opinion Polls Essay

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PS 361 Policy Brief
TO: President Barack Obama
FROM: Undersecretary of State for European Affairs, Chad Johnson
RE: Requested policy memo on recent French public opinion polls.

Mr. President,

The National Front (aka. Front National, FN) is Frances largest far-right party. In France's 2002 presidential elections, they surprised that nation by coming in second to Jaque Chirac (RPR party.) This was a surprise because polling at the time indicated that the first round would result in the second round being between Chirac and Jospin (Socialist Party.) This election in 2002 was monumental for France, and perhaps indicative of a larger trend for the country. It was the first time the second ballot run-off would be between two conservative candidates, and also the first time a far-right candidate had achieved a share of votes to win his or her way to the second round. Subsequent elections have fared worse for the FN, due to electoral reforms enacted for future elections. However, despite this setback, there have been gains made by the far-right parties. It now seems that the FN may be poised for another surprise upset in the 2012 national elections. It's undeniable that a trend is developing within European opinion polls that indicate the expansion and increased acceptance of far-right parties. The question is, has this trend reached a tipping point in France, and what are the possible causes for this trend?
Eariler this year, national media outlets in France announced that multiple polls condiucted by Harris Interactive indicated that the current head of the FN, Marine Le Pen (youngest daughter of former party leader Jean-Marie Le Pen) is showing strong against most leftist candidates that are possible contenders in the 2012 ...


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...s at this point would be relatively simple; Continue to monitor the situation as it develops, and make efforts to set an example for multicultural acceptance in our own nation. The rise of far-right parties in Europe mostly stems from issues of immigration and naturalization, along with some latent issues of nationalism. The way each country deals with these issues is unique, and so the solutions are unique. In the case of France, the reaction has been mostly to ignore the problem. The only way I could suggest directly intervening is by pressuring world leaders to address the issue, and offer our support in whatever form that would come.
Should Le Pen, or any other candidate form the far-right, come into power, or should the issue of intolerance reach larger proportions in France, we must be clear that no violation of human rights will be tolerated by our nation.

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