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Conservative Sarkozy Wins Presidency of France 962

Posted by kdawson
from the legacy-of-Chirac dept.
Reader reporter tips us to a story just up at the NYTimes reporting that the tough-talking conservative candidate Nicolas Sarkozy has won election as the president of France. His opponent, Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal, the first woman to get as far as the runoff in a presidential contest in France, has conceded defeat. The vote went 53% to Sarkozy and the turnout was a remarkable (by American standards) 85% of registered voters. Sarkozy is seen as a divisive figure for his demand that immigrants learn Western values (and the French language).
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Conservative Sarkozy Wins Presidency of France

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  • Obl. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 06, 2007 @05:04PM (#19013041)
    Not everyone lives in the USA, you insensitive-- Oh! Nevermind...
    • Re:Obl. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AchiIIe (974900) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @05:11PM (#19013119)
      Actually, speaking of the USA, how does "conservative french" relate to "conservative american". Is 'their right' our left? It appears conservatives there are pro-american, whereas conservatives here are anti-french (freedom fries?)
      • Re:Obl. (Score:5, Informative)

        by WarwickRyan (780794) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @05:20PM (#19013221)
        European conservatives generally cut taxes and also government spending compared to the left-sided parties. They also tend to look after business over their own citizens (though I fear that's a cross party issue).
        • Re:Obl. (Score:5, Informative)

          by boule75 (649166) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @08:19PM (#19014921) Homepage
          In France, we have conservative politicians who somewhat favor business and increase the public debt.

          The aim of Sarkozy is different :
          - increasing debt a lot (both public and private)!
          - by favoring the rich people and the big corp.

          I had hoped that Slashdot would have definitely forgotten France. Instead of that, this -probably real bad- news is on the first page, one of so few first-page news about France in a year. (sigh).

          What is he talking about:
          - suppressing inheritance taxes
          - easing private borowing of money (i.e. increasing bank profits for short time benefits and lifetime interests for poor people)
          - "an ownership society"
          - he is glorifying the "France of the Crusades". (discourse in besançon, March 13th 2007)
          - "le travail rend libre" (one of the offical videos, first sentence)
          - he thought some months ago that "France had been arrogant in 2003" while attempting to stop the Iraq war.
          - if he survives two more weeks, he will realise his public lifelong dream: becoming president in place of The President.
          - he is a lawyer with a speciality: fiscality. I have not written tax evasion even if you read that.

          I love him! I am sure you won't.
          • Re:Obl. (Score:5, Informative)

            by ChameleonDave (1041178) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @09:06PM (#19015295) Homepage

            - "le travail rend libre" (one of the offical videos, first sentence)
            For those who don't know French, le travail rend libre means the same as Arbeit macht frei, the motto of the Auschwitz concentration camp — i.e. "Work makes one free". It seems that Sarkozy is practising dog-whistle politics [wikipedia.org].
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by gfilion (80497)

              For those who don't know French, le travail rend libre means the same as Arbeit macht frei, the motto of the Auschwitz concentration camp — i.e. "Work makes one free". It seems that Sarkozy is practising dog-whistle politics [wikipedia.org].

              From what I heard on french-canadian TV (Radio-Canada), Sarkozy used this "dog-whistle politic" to get the vote of the far-right [wikipedia.org].

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by kdemetter (965669)
              you mean it has been abused as a motto . That doesn't make a statement about joy for working a nazi statement . True , his opponents will probably use it against him . but that's just the ill nature of politics .
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward
            You forgot to mention that he is also pro-software-patents. That should tell you something about his personality traits.

            This guy is dangerous not because of his ideas in but that he can actually make those ideas real. He is efficient. He is smart. I'm scared for France future after last night.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Guppy06 (410832)
          "European conservatives generally cut taxes and also government spending"

          While here in the United States, they only cut taxes.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by shaitand (626655)
            You can't win, the right cuts taxes (for the wealthy) and increases government spending. The left increases taxes (for comfortable individuals) and increases government spending.

            Both cut taxes for corporations and increase government handouts to corporations. Both reduce the rights of citizens and grant new ones to corporations. Both support copyright regimes.

            The right claims to cater to rural nuts and wins the heart of the 'common man' by claiming that those who educate themselves and have brains 'intellec
        • by reporter (666905) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @08:50PM (#19015177) Homepage
          The election in France will almost prove to be the single most important event in this decade, for this election signals a tidal shift back to asserting that Western values are superior. This tidal shift will be resolutely proved if the French citizens give control of the French National Assembly to pro-Sarkozy politicians in June.

          Note that Sarkozy is not a neoconservative in the American sense. In European culture, he may seem very conservative, but in American culture, he is mostly a moderate populist. He wants to maximize the wealth for the middle class, not the upper class.

          Allow me to elaborate. First, he opposes an open-border policy. Most American neoconservatives favor an open-border policy because they like to use illegal and legal immigration to suppress wages. American agribusiness, not just Hispanic groups like La Raza, are the strongest advocates for allowing the importation of desperate foreign labor.

          Sarkozy supports strong restrictions on immigration but favors treating immigrants kindly. The concept of immigrants working 14+ hours per day is considered to be cruel. He does not favor such brutal working conditions. Note that both parents of Seung Hui Cho, the mass murderer at Virginia Tech, worked 14+ hours per day. Neoconservatives applaud this situation: with glee, they self-servingly "praise" the hardworking nature of the Korean parents are. The consequence is that his parents were just too busy at work to give Seung Hui Cho the proper care that he needed. They never even noticed his rapid mental degeneration.

          Second, Sarkozy supports globalization with only other free markets. So, he supports the European Union. However, he opposes fake free trade with non-free markets like India. He realizes that this kind of trade drives down the quality of life in France. He realizes that combining a free market and a non-free market damages the operation of the free market.

          By contrast, American neoconservatives favor fake free trade with non-free markets like India.

          Nonetheless, Sarkozy will (if the legislative election in June is favorable) will vastly transform France. It will not be the brutal kind (i.e., 14+ hours of work by illegal aliens) of capitalism in America. Rather, France will be a kinder, gentler economic superpower. If he succeeds (and I think that he will), I would likely prefer to live in France instead of America.

          • by pi_rules (123171) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @10:37PM (#19016001)
            Note that both parents of Seung Hui Cho, the mass murderer at Virginia Tech, worked 14+ hours per day. Neoconservatives applaud this situation: with glee, they self-servingly "praise" the hardworking nature of the Korean parents are. The consequence is that his parents were just too busy at work to give Seung Hui Cho the proper care that he needed. They never even noticed his rapid mental degeneration.

            I'm pretty solidly in the conservative camp and voted for Bush in 2004 but I have issues with working long hours dumping somebody into the neocon camp. I detest the neocon thinking as it is not conservative. I regret my vote for Dubya.

            In my junior year of high school I pulled 60+ hour work weeks while still attending high school. My senior year I pulled 40+ hour work weeks while still attending school and competing in Track. I left the family busines but I'm the only one that has.

            My father has clocked up to 106 hours a week at the family business. My brother considers it a day off when he only works 7.5 hours there this time of year. Still works 7 days a week though.

            We're not immigrants. My great grandfather floated over here from the Old Country on a boat when he was 4, and at 18 set out as a share cropper. He tilled his first field with a borrowed shovel as he didn't have enough money to buy a damned shovel. He died in 2002 at the age of 86 and I went back to work after his funeral that day because that was how I was raised: You do your job.
      • Re:Obl. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 06, 2007 @05:24PM (#19013271)
        In terms of current political leaders, Sarkozy is most often compared to Tony Blair. Blair in turn modelled himself on Bill Clinton, so I think it's fair to say that the French right is roughly equivalent to the American left. This ignores the complication of Blair's cosying up to Bush, but that is really restricted to foreign policy.

        Sarkozy is also undoubtedly the most pro-American French president ever. One of the opposition's favourite nicknames for him is "Sarkozy the American" (a deadly insult, of course!)
        • Re:Obl. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by mehgul (654410) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @07:00PM (#19014153)
          Actually, he's really more like Bush, but tries to cater to workers at the same time. And "Sarkozy l'Americain" wasn't such a deadly insult, it appears, since more than 53% of the French voted for him.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by WED Fan (911325)

        conservatives here are anti-french (freedom fries?)

        Well, someone had to use a broad brush stroke. Aren't you glad it was you?

        For your info, not all conservatives did that. In fact, I'd say it was only the most publicity seeking ones that tried that little bit of triteness.

      • Re:Obl. (Score:5, Informative)

        by vidarh (309115) <vidar@hokstad.com> on Sunday May 06, 2007 @06:20PM (#19013775) Homepage Journal
        In large parts of Europe, the Democrats are considered right wing, and the Republicans are considered far right wing comic relief, though the political parties on the left wing in Europe generally support the Democrats as the lesser of two evils, and the conservative parties tend to support the more moderate parts of the Republican party.
        • Re:Obl. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Shihar (153932) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @07:47PM (#19014627)
          It should be pointed out that Europe's far right and America's 'normal' right really only vaguely relate. European far right parties would generally be considered extremely xenophobic by the American right. European far right parties almost always revolve around anti-immigration positions. The American right does hold sometimes hold some limited anti-immigration views, but they are rarely front and center, and they are absolutely nowhere near the extreme of their European counterparts. Comparing the American right to any European political parties is generally a mistake. While the American left has some fairly close European counterparts, the American right is fairly unique in the world.
      • Re:Obl. (Score:5, Funny)

        by FlopEJoe (784551) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @06:49PM (#19014065)
        Naw... it's metric in'it? Something like 30 centi-taxcuts is an American foot stem cell or something.
  • Are you sure ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @05:05PM (#19013053)
    ... that Royal didn't just surrender the election?

    In all seriousness, Royal deserved to lose after she tried her "if you vote for Sarkozy there will be violence in the streets" rhetoric. That kind of crap just won't ever work ... will it?
    • Re:Are you sure ... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by RightSaidFred99 (874576) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @05:06PM (#19013065)
      Yeah, that would be as silly as "if you vote for the Democrats, the terrorists win!" rhetoric. It would never convince the savvy masses.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        And it didn't. All the Democrat's other failings in 2000/04 did that just fine.
      • by rachit (163465) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @05:28PM (#19013313)
        "savvy masses"?

    • by The Hobo (783784)
      She did surrender. From the CBC story [www.cbc.ca]

      Sarkozy defeated his rival, Socialist Party Leader Ségolène Royal, who conceded minutes after polls closed at 8 p.m. local time

      • Re:Are you sure ... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Eivind (15695) <eivindorama@gmail.com> on Sunday May 06, 2007 @05:43PM (#19013463) Homepage
        Because, in France it's not allowed to publish voter-polls on election day before all polling-places are closed. Which happens at 8 pm.

        In reality, everyone knew since these polls where in, early in the morning, that she'd lose, it's just, they all sorta pretend not to know until it's "official". You see, french law has little influence abroad, so anyone with an internet-connection has been able to read these polls all day. Only in French media are they disallowed.

        So, each and every journalist covering the election, and every politician aswell, knew the result (aproximately, but good enough since it wasn't a close race anyway) hours earlier.

        In this setting it makes perfect sense to admit defeat at 20:01. It'd have been disrespectful of the law and the voters to do so any earlier, and pointless to wait much longer when the numbers where as obvious as they where.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by FrenchNeal (857700)
      Some violence began just after election: (Yahoo's Article [yahoo.com]). (All the links will target French content, use translators, or learn french)
      Here are the links to see major points of his program :
      First, his ideas on genetics : Suicide, pedophilia and homosexuality are genetic, if one of your parent is pedophile, you are a criminal too.
      Sources :
      http://www.liberation.fr/actualite/politiques/2467 52.FR.php/ [liberation.fr] ,
      http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-823448,3 6-892092,0.html?xtor=RSS-3208/ [lemonde.fr],
      http://fr.news.y [yahoo.com]
  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @05:07PM (#19013067)
    Thank all the gods, the Frentch elected a radical instead of a radical.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 06, 2007 @05:09PM (#19013095)
  • Too bad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by i_should_be_working (720372) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @05:09PM (#19013097)
    He was the only candidate who doesn't support, or even have a clear stance on free software. [linux.com]

    Not that that's the most important quality in a president, but it would have been nice.
    • Free Software (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nymz (905908)

      He was the only candidate who doesn't support, or even have a clear stance on free software.
      Not that that's the most important quality in a president, but it would have been nice.

      As a fellow Slashdotter, I also care about technology issues. But at the same time realize they will have to take a back seat while there are active special intrest groups that believe the end (one world Muslim, or one world Communism) justifies the means (violence).
    • M$/Corporate Lapdog. (Score:5, Informative)

      by twitter (104583) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @06:01PM (#19013615) Homepage Journal

      From the link you gave, he's the worst of the lot:

      Except for Sarkozy, the candidates also agreed that consumers should have the right to buy a computer without any preloaded software, ... Sarkozy was also the only candidate who responded with obvious hostility, remarking when talking about DADVSI that "I am opposed to the orientations implied by your questions."

      He expresses his support for patent law on the grounds that it "encourages enterprises to innovate, it attracts investments, [and] encourages individuals to ... develop new inventions." In addition, Sarkozy supported the concept of intellectual property, and suggested that it was premature to talk about revising DADVSI before the end of 2007, when a review is scheduled. In answer to the question about open standards and free software, he replied that "it is not the purpose of the State, in my concept of freedom, to impose a model on anyone." Other replies were so general as to suggest that he either had not considered the matter or was avoiding stating his position. As Frédéric Couchet, a director of APRIL commented, Sarkozy's "was the worst response received."

      You can read his response yourself [candidats.fr], but the above is bad news.

      Not that that's the most important quality in a president, but it would have been nice.

      If standing up for French companies and citizens by supporting their software freedom is not important, I'm not sure what is. Your computer is your press, your store of important information and your telcom all rolled into one. No modern state can live without them and their security and ownership are tantamount to independence. Does he want CIA planted backdoors in his office?

  • And now (Score:4, Funny)

    by El Lobo (994537) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @05:11PM (#19013115)
    2 hours later, he need to deal with the first big riot.

    http://www.aftonbladet.se/vss/nyheter/story/0,2789 ,1062291,00.html(in swedish)

  • One word (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pieterh (196118) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @05:12PM (#19013121) Homepage
    Thatcher.
  • French bashing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @05:15PM (#19013155) Homepage Journal
    I'm not entirely sure why the France bashing continues. Frankly it appeared that they were right regarding Iraq. France is certainly one of the greatest allies this country has had, in fact we wouldn't be this large had Napolean not sold us the Louisiana Purchase to pay for his war with England. If anything we owe them quite a bit and their only crime is that they are just as patriotic to their country as we are to ours.

    Now with that being said, do you know why there are trees on the Champs D'Elysees? So the Germans can march in the shade!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      France is certainly one of the greatest allies this country has had, in fact we wouldn't be this large had Napolean not sold us the Louisiana Purchase to pay for his war with England.

      Perhaps you meant to say "we wouldn't be this large had Napolean not stolen Louisiana from the Spanish and sold it to us to pay for his war with the Allies."?

      • Re:French bashing? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Waffle Iron (339739) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @06:22PM (#19013795)
        ... and I suppose that the Spanish obtained control of Louisiana from its original occupants fair and square.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fm6 (162816)
        Spain giving Louisiana to France was just one of those colony swaps that occurred regularly in those days. Spain got Louisiana from France that way in the first place. Neither country was serious about colonizing the territory properly, which was the only way they could have held onto it. And of course, even that doesn't really work, as the American Revolution demonstrates. You just can't control territory that's so hard to communicate with and to supply.

        France gets accused of "stealing" Louisiana because t
    • Re:French bashing? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @05:55PM (#19013573)
      They helped finance the Revolution ... without France the United States would have been stillborn. They gave us the Statue of Liberty in recognition of the friendship and mutual respect between the two nations. Remember when Jane Fonda commented to Johnny Carson, "What did the French ever do for us?" That earned her Carson's famous wide-eyed "what the fuck?" look.

      Of course, people would have to have some awareness of history to know any of this. There's a reason why we teach history in schools. It has numerous benefits: among other things, it helps you to remember who your friends are.
    • Re:French bashing? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MrSteveSD (801820) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @06:49PM (#19014061)

      I'm not entirely sure why the France bashing continues.


      Well it was encouraged from the highest levels of Government. First of all you had Rumsfeld etc al, dismissing France as "old Europe". This was effectively an ad-hominem attack. Rather than dealing with the important issues it raised, France was effectively the subject of name calling. Then you had the "Freedom Fries" escapade in the House Of Representatives where all the menus were changed. France was then routinely accused of anti-Americanism in the media. All of this kept peoples attention away from Frances actual objections to military action, amongst which were that it did not believe there was an imminent danger from WMDs, that invading Iraq had nothing to do with fighting terrorism and that a war would destabilize the Middle East.

      The whole racist tirade against France in the US was/is interesting, especially at a time when there is so much discussion about anti-Americanism. Renaming French Fries to freedom fries is definitely anti-French, but is criticising US actions in Iraq or other foreign policy issues, Anti-American? I think not. It seems to me that currently the concept of anti-Americanism is being used as propaganda. Americans are being encouraged to feel that they themselves are being targeted in some racist way, when it is in fact government policy that is being criticised. The result of this is that people are more likely to rally behind their government when confronted with such criticism. The Russian government uses the same trick when it's policies are criticised. The Russian people are deliberately made to feel that everyone is against them.

      When you are angry with a country because of specific military or political issues, you should address those specific issues and argue your case. It's all to easy to be dragged into name calling by government and the media.
  • by powerpants (1030280) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @05:19PM (#19013213)

    This will be a good thing for France's economy, which has been sluggish in recent years due to the country's labor policies. It is illegal in France to work more than 35 hours a week, which makes it difficult to successfully start a small business. Royal offered a comforting promise that France could keep their old ways in place and still be economically competitive, but France has apparently opted for a tougher kind of love.

    Furthermore, just because he's "conservative" by French standards, don't think that means he'd belong to the GOP.

    • by mehgul (654410) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @06:56PM (#19014105)
      Come on, that's a fallacy. Not only is the 35h-week not implemented in small businesses, but white collars work in majority more than 50 hours, often 60 a week, due to peer and hierarchy pressure, and a stupid culture of thinking that it's the hours spent on your desk that count. And in contrast with our big neighbour Germany, or Scandinavian countries (Denmark has a 37h-week that is quite respected even for white collars), french white collars do not get paid for overtime.
  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @05:24PM (#19013259)
    His father was a hungarian immigrant, so that's where his name comes from.

    Sarkozy is seen as a divisive figure for his demand that immigrants learn Western values (and the French language).
    I don't see anything wrong with this. If you don't like it, you should have immigrated into a different country.
  • by guerby (49204) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @05:27PM (#19013305) Homepage

    Most important for slashdot readers: Nicolas Sarkozy is a lawyer and has a very strong pro-software patent stance and was behind the hardline DADVSI [wikipedia.org] copyright law (our local DMCA). He was also behind the introduction of voting machines without paper trail requirements, and of the "secret" report about their validity (no citizen could get the report.

    More in the PDF with his answers to the "candidats.fr" initiative here [candidats.fr]

    Hard time for free software in France. There are still the parliament election next month, but last time french voters put the majority behind the president.

  • by twitter (104583) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @05:31PM (#19013345) Homepage Journal

    Sarkozy is seen as a divisive figure for his demand that immigrants learn Western values (and the French language).

    Some of that is good. There has been some very bad "multiculturalism" case law in the EU recently, where women have been beaten and abused but that was OK because it was supposedly "their" culture and the host country should not interfere. This makes a mockery of the foreign culture as well as allowing injustice. It is right for France, and every other country, to demand respect and offer protection for all of their citizens. Injustice and brutality should not be tolerated anywhere. Doing so in the name of "in my country we put woman in cage" is racism in disguise.

  • How do you say... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HangingChad (677530) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @05:38PM (#19013409) Homepage

    Sarkozy is seen as a divisive figure for his demand that immigrants learn Western values (and the French language).

    How do you say 'Thank you, Diebold' in French?

    Seriously, though, if I'm going to move to France I'm at least going to try and learn French. And I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that if you want to come and work in America, you might pick up a little English first.

    Perhaps making it a demand is what makes it unreasonable? I'm not sure. It doesn't seem like it should be that divisive. To me it would be reasonable to expect that those wishing to immigrate would reflect the values and language of their adopted country.

    If I moved to Canada I'd say "a-boot" instead of about. It's just polite.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nacturation (646836)

      If I moved to Canada I'd say "a-boot" instead of about. It's just polite.

      And 99% of Canadians would look at you and break out laughing. This accent is heavily concentrated on the East coast and was influenced by Scottish immigrants. Imagine Groundskeeper Willie pronouncing the word, and you'd have it about right. Implying that you'd learn to say "a-boot" to be polite is like saying that anyone going to the USA should practice saying "Y'all come back now, ya hear?" to be polite.

    • Re:How do you say... (Score:4, Informative)

      by identity0 (77976) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @07:45PM (#19014597) Journal
      I'm a linguistics student who has studied the politics of language policy so I should put my word in...

      Most immigrants do learn the language of the country they move to, if only because of the oppurtunities it opens up for them. However, they will usually keep their home language, and use it among members of their own community. Unfortunately, the natives often get offended or upset when they see immigrants using their language amongst themselves, or see businesses using another language. It mostly has to do with issues of pride and fear of otherness. When natives say "they need to speak our language", they often really mean "stop speaking the other language". It's often just an excuse to keep immigrant communities marginalized.

      From a practical perspective, if a group of immigrants are able to make a living using their own language, I see no need to make them stop.

      France has certain issues with language that the U.S. does not, such as having French as an official language and not defining themselves as an immigrant nation. Also, although they are officially racially neutral, their culture and government are really white-controlled, more so than the U.S..
  • Why divisive? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaveAtFraud (460127) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @06:23PM (#19013819) Homepage Journal

    Sarkozy is seen as a divisive figure for his demand that immigrants learn Western values (and the French language).
    Why is learning the language and culture of the country you move to viewed as divisive? All of my grandparents came to the U.S. at around 1900 from eastern Europe. None of them expected to be able to continue speaking German or Lithuanian once they got here so they learned English. My parents, aunts and uncles all spoke English and succeeded in taking part in the "American dream" (house, education, kids went to college if they wanted to, etc.). That wouldn't have happened if they were still acting like they were still in the "old country."

    Insisting that immigrants learn the language and culture isn't divisive. It's the best way for them to fit into their new society and succeed. How far would Sarkozy have goten if he only spoke Hungarian?

    Cheers,
    Dave

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Guppy06 (410832)
      "Why is learning the language and culture of the country you move to viewed as divisive?"

      Why must it be mandatory? Is it not possible to be a law-abiding citizen without having to assimilate? Is it impossible to value democracy and republicanism unless you speak French?

      "All of my grandparents came to the U.S. at around 1900 from eastern Europe. None of them expected to be able to continue speaking German or Lithuanian once they got here so they learned English."

      Bullshit. A century ago there were any numb
  • by Anonymous Meoward (665631) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @07:13PM (#19014285)

    I've heard Mme. Royal speak, and to be honest, I'm amazed she got as far as she did.

    I'm no fan of Sarko or Bush, but come on people, was this really the best the opposition could do? The Socialists would have been better off kidnapping John Kerry.

    He may be a stuffed shirt, but at least the guy knows how to comport himself in public, ferchrissakes. (Besides, I hear he speaks French.) Sego came across as a reactive banshee who would promise anything to get elected -- think of the evil spawn of Newt Gingrich and Hillary Clinton.

    Ew. On second thought, don't. I need to take a shower after that one..

  • "divisive"? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mad.frog (525085) <(steven) (at) (crinklink.com)> on Sunday May 06, 2007 @08:59PM (#19015237)
    I know nothing of this guy's policies, but asking immigrants to learn the dominant language, and assimilate (at least partially) into the existing culture sounds extraordinarily reasonable to me.

    If you want to immigrate somewhere (and by "immigrate" I mean "live there long term"), I would think you'd *want* to learn the local language and customs. I know I sure would...

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