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France and Macron: Progress or More of the Same?

Photo Credit: Furfur

The French Presidential Election recently took place and Emmanuel Macron took the prize and will become the next president of France. This article will re-examine what each candidate stood for, how each of Macron’s policies will shape the future of France, and what the country would have gotten if Marine Le Pen had won instead.

Emmanuel Macron:

Macron has been deemed a centrist politician and is the next president of France. Politically speaking, Macron is an odd mix of both American Republican and Democrat policy positions.

He is Pro-European Union:

Macron sees a Europe bound together by a central authority. However, he does want to reform how the EU functions – how exactly he would do that is up in the air.

Impact: In the next years, expect France to embrace a central government figure in the European Union. EU control in France will grow at the same time calls for a completely sovereign France will take over headlines. In fact, since the clever ‘Brexit’ marketing ploy was implemented, France has a pair of witty names they could use including Oui out, Frexit.

Macron wants to strengthen the international Borders but maintains the notion that immigration laws have unfairly targeted Muslims:

Macron feels Muslims have been target by France’s immigration laws, but also feels the need for France to strengthen their borders from people willing to kill French citizens.

Impact: For the sake of the France people, the borders should be reinforced. Macron may keep his word, but it may take a series of large scale terrorist attacks to actually implement any meaningful change. Even then, Macron may still be ‘politically correct’ with his policies and fail to address the threat of Islamic Terrorism, leaving France vulnerable to future attacks.

He plans on making France more business friendly:

Macron wants to lower the business tax from 35% to 25%. He also wants to keep federal work hours per week to 35, however he has stated those numbers are up for negotiation.

Impact: One of the better policies coming from the Macron campaign, a lowered business tax could mean huge benefits coming from the France economy. However, the federally mandated hours worked per week and heavily unionized workforce could harbor such GDP gains that would come from lowering the business tax.

He is in favor of an increase in the military budget and also favors military intervention in Syria:

Currently, France spends roughly 1.8% of GDP on its military. Macron wants to increase that number to 2%. Macron has also stated that if Syria continues to use chemical weapons on civilians, UN intervention will be necessary. Therefore, he isn’t necessarily saying France will commit to sending troops, but he supports anyone who will.

Impact: Nothing will change with regards to the French military. France has a long history of ignoring international conflict and staying out of international affairs. Macron was trying to gain votes with his plea for military intervention in Syria. He never said he would send French Troops to battle, only UN troops. Therefore, don’t expect any new military actions by Macron.

Marine Le Pen:

Le Pen was considered the “far-right” candidate mostly due to her extremist father, Jean-Marie Le Pen. During his time as the head of the National Front party, he was known for denying the holocaust, and wanting to deport illegals from France. Shockingly, he is a convicted rapist as well. However, after his comments on the Holocaust, Marine ousted her father from the party. It was her attempt to show the people of France she was not her father and disagreed with much of what her father has done. In fact, in the recent weeks, Le Pen stepped down as President of the National Front to be considered more of a “candidate of all of France.”

Le Pen mirrors a lot of the same policy initiatives that Donald Trump does. Below is a list of Le Pen’s policy positions:

Immigration

Le Pen wanted to drastically reduce the number of legal immigrants entering the country and halt illegal immigration and deport many in the country illegally.

Radical Extremists

Le Pen recognized that Radical Islamic Terrorist pose a threat for the people of France and she has taken a stance against the “religion of peace.” Marine Le Pen wants to strip citizenship from Muslims in France that are showing signs of extremist practices.

Law And Order

Yes, Le Pen was a Law and Order candidate, much like Donald J. Trump. She had campaigned on increasing the number of police working for the state, while also building more prisons to harbor criminals.

French First

Much like Donald’s “America First slogan,” Le Pen adopted the phrase and wanted every policy that came out of France to first benefit the people of France. This notion is spreading across much of the world. A nationalistic approach to governing one’s country. This idea can be seen in the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump.

In the end, the majority of French people decided to stick to the status quo and elect Macron, someone who will more closely follow in the footsteps of President Hollande than Marine Le Pen would. Le Pen would’ve shaken up the politics of France like a snow globe, and it appears most people just aren’t comfortable with that amount of change so quickly. And while neither of these candidates were very appealing to the French, garnering the lowest voter turnout since 1981, France made the the easy choice and settled for the same-old with Macron.

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