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31.3.10

More on the Breton elections : The two faced French Socialists.

A member of the UDB has very kindly provided me with the following points of view on the recent regional elections.


The Breton branch of the French Socialist Party (FSP) had planned, a long time before the 2nd round of the elections, to not cooperate with Europe Ecologie Breizh (EEB). It is suggested that their reason for this is because they couldn't tolerate some elements of the EEB's programme (autonomy for Brittany, fight against the polluting agro business, conversion of economy … etc.).

The Breton FSP didn't want, in its government group, some of the EEB councillors (for example : René Louail a former agricultural trade union leader of the Confédération paysanne, a great and clever opponent of FNSEA (agro-business union) and its polluting productivist system (nitrate run off and seaweed proliferation), or Herri Gourmelen one of the UDB's historic leaders, or Guy Hascoet a former (Green) French government minister from the Lionel Jospin government, who would have provided too much competition for the FSP council president, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

However theses three councillors were elected anyway, so the future debates in the council hall will be very interesting.

As for We Will Make You Brittany (WWMYB) platform and Christian Troadec. Firstly (Sunday evening) he called on his supporters to vote for the FSP, because of its help to constitute the WWMYB list, but he changed this advice after it became clear that EEB would have to run alone for the 2nd round of elections. (nobody could imagine at this time a no-fuse for the 2nd round)

Some words more about WWMYB : it is suggested that the Breton FSP had helped M. Troadec to build up his list to try to push the score of Europe Ecologie Bretagne under 10% by challenging the UDB autonomist support in the EEB block. If in the first round of the election a group receives under 10% of the vote, the electoral law doesn't allow them to compete for the second round. With the same goal in mind the FSP took some “Greens” on to its list inorder to push down the score of the “reel” Greens in EEB list.

Happily these strategies didn't work and the EEB list was able to present for the second round with of course the support from Brezhistance.

After the first round, the expected issue was the two lists merger between the FSP and EEB according to the D'Hondt law as in all other regions of the French state. This method would have given 14 councillors to EEB but the FSP proposed only 10 positions to EEB. A deliberate provocation of EEB. (M. Le Drian said : I have already 4 ecologists on my list, with 10 from your side you could get 14).

Thus, all Monday, after the election, the FSP pretended to negotiate with EEB, but at 8pm the leaflet printers for EEB (the same one as the FSP) called EEB to warn that the FSP had given orders to print its own ballot papers (in Brittany as in the rest of France each party uses its own ballot papers for elections) for the second round, without informing EEB. In other words the FSP in Brittany had already decided to run alone and not fuse with EEB.

You can see a short video (French television F3) which shows theses facts : the journalists were present when the printer called EEB here.

During the week between the two rounds the FSP in Brittany tried to split the alliance UDB-Greens by secretly proposing  a vice-presidency to UDB members, but the UDB refused categorically and warned its Greens allies and press about these tactics..

4 comments:

Alex said...

Thank you for this interesting piece of information.
However, despite what your UDB friend says, there has been no such agreement between We will make you Brittany and the FSP. I am a member of the Breton Party, as such I was in favour of the common list with Christian Troadec, and other parties would have been welcome too (including the UDB). I participated actively in the campaign, which was widely driven by the Breton Party. It was remarkable that Christian Troadec began to think the way we do, talking about Scottish devolution and so on. The FSP was one of our main opponents, there was just no way we could work for them. If I wanted to do them such a big favour, I wouldn't be a member of the BP.
Anyway, we never tried to steal voters from EEB, as the UDB keeps thinking. We clearly have different voters, especially between the BP and the UDB. The BP is in favour of a regulated capitalism, the UDB is just against capitalism. There are more differences. It's important to see that because of them we had no doubt that EEB would reach 10%. We would have been glad to reach at least 5%, but we were just close. If only the UDB stopped focusing constantly on us, maybe Brittany would go forward a bit faster.

cornubian said...

Alex,

If you or someone else would like to write a larger response to the UDB article I'd be only too happy to publish it on this blog.

Let me know.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this ... though, I find the French election process very complicated.

So, what's the state of play now? Who runs Brittany? Did Christian Guivarc'h get his old Cutlture post back - he's been good.

Why won't the UDP and PB create one Breton list like the Bloc Galego in Galicia?


Cymro

cornubian said...

Cymro,

The regional government of the french administrative zone of Brittany (ie not including Loire-atlantic) is now run by the French Socialists with a handful of communists and dissident greens. All 4 UDB councillors will be in 'opposition' not government.

It is often suggested that all the Breton parties come together to form a 'bloc', but it hasn't happened yet and I think the political positions of the different parties are too divergent for it to happen.