Macron Wins But So Does Le Pen

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Macron won the second round of the presidential election in France, as expected. Of course, with the upset over Brexit and the US presidential race, ‘expected’ has taken on a meaning tinged with an understanding that nothing is expected to definitely be ‘as expected’ any longer.

A lot of voters entered a null vote, indicating that they didn’t like either candidate. That is not an invalid vote as in UK elections, but a positive vote indicating a preference.

That aside, Marine Le Pen got 10,644,118 votes (33.9% of the vote) against Macron’s 20,753,797 votes (66.1% of the vote).

In the 2002 election, Jean-Marie Le Pen of the National Front took 4,804,713 votes in the first round.

In the run-off Jacques Chirac took 25,537,956 votes, representing 82.21% of the votes cast and Jean-Marie Le Pen took 5,525,032 votes, representing 17.79% of the votes.

So Marine Le Pen has doubled the votes and the percentage. Well yes, she might have gained a lower percentage if those null votes had gone to Macron.

But the raw numbers would still show that between 2002 and today, Le Pen the daughter – leader of the National Front – got twice as many votes as her father did fifteen years ago.

And that is a bad result for France and for the world.

What They Really Mean About Obama’s Wall Street Speech

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What they really mean about Obama’s Wall Street speech is that it is tainted by the suspicion of an agreement that when he resigned, certain people would pay to hear him speak in return for favours given.

You can’t bribe a president in office or before he gets into office. You can’t bribe a prime minister, or a first minister, or any leader in a relatively open society. You can’t because sooner or later they will be found out. The money can be paid to an offshore account behind a wall of secrecy – but sooner or later it will be found out.

Or if it isn’t found out, then the tension of worrying that it might be found out will drain all the joy out of the money.

There is a simpler way. Just promise that when the president or the prime minister, etc., resigns – that he or she can give speeches at $10,000 a plate or whatever. And the speech can be deadly dull and not worth the cost of attending. But those who promised to attend will attend – and the money will be paid and nothing can be proved – and that is how people get away with it.

Not that anyone thinks Obama has done this – the problem is that he is tainted by the whiff of suspicion on those who wouldn’t think twice and perhaps haven’t thought twice about doing it.