French Socialists Debate Elections

by Gerry Foley / March 2006 issue of Socialist Action newspaper

PARIS—The congress of the Ligue Communiste Revolutionnaire (LCR), the French section of the Fourth International, with which Socialist Action maintains ties of solidarity, met here at the end of January to discuss its policy for this summer’s French presidential elections.

Public opinion polls are showing that almost 10 percent of voters favor the previous LCR presidential candidate, Olivier Besancenot.

The more left of the major bourgeois dailies, Liberation, tried to put pressure on the LCR to
support a united-front candidate to represent the majority that voted against the proposed constitution of the European Union. It suggested that the candidate be Jose Bove, a farmer active in opposing genetically altered crops.

But Bove is more of a Green than a socialist. Those in the LCR who support a united-front campaign are unwilling to support a candidate who does not represent a real alternative to capitalist politicians.

On the other hand, a large majority of the LCR does not want to call for a vote for the Socialist Party (SP), whose policies do not differ fundamentally from those of the right-wing parties.

A question mark is the Communist Party (a fraction of its former self, but still a mass party) and whether it would a new coalition with the SP or support an anti-capitalist united-front candidate.

The LCR was divided into five different platforms on the elections. It was decided to postpone a final decision until the summer.

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