Emmanuel Macron\'s massive win as the next President of France reflects a comprehensive rejection of right wing offensive by the French people who saw in his opponent, the ultra nationalist Marine Le Pen, a serious challenge to the idea of a nation that stood for equality, liberty and fraternity as its core values.
Emmanuel Macron's massive win as the next President of France reflects a comprehensive rejection of right wing offensive by the French people who saw in his opponent, the ultra nationalist Marine Le Pen, a serious challenge to the idea of a nation that stood for equality, liberty and fraternity as its core values.
Over 65 per cent of the votes received by the liberal, centrist Macron indicate a consolidation of vote against far right trying to loom large over Europe. But, this xenophobic baggage that was triumphant in United States failed to receive a winnable margin in France and elsewhere in Europe, precisely because the latter was the epicentre of Nazi devastation during the Second World War.
Since the Fifth Republic was established by Charles de Gaulle in 1958, the France never saw such a powerful regressive onslaught. In fact, many observers believed that the fight between Macron and Le Pen is the choice between predatory global finance and xenophobic nationalism.
But, barring the far Left who saw a Hobson's choice in the French presidential elections calling it as one between "cholera or the plague,” the centrist, Left and the liberal vote rallied behind the young liberal in the final round.
In fact, the contest primarily remained between the two anti-establishment parties as the Socialists and the Conservatives who swayed the French polity for decades were eliminated early during the phased polls, resulting in such an anti-right wing consolidation.
Europe is in turmoil as never before with economic deceleration wearing out enthusiasm for the European Union. But, instead of a radical response to the perils of hegemonistic globalisation that has kept some countries and sections on main line and many more in the loop line, the continent was witnessing rise of jingoistic causes.
Meanwhile, Macron's victory would at least for now nullify the fears for a possible Frexit as the President-elect in his manifesto promised to strengthen the institutions that hold the euro zone together.
But, Macron cannot ignore the fact that the ultra nationalist ascendancy is a result of bulging inequalities due to not so benign globalisation. The new President has his task cut out as he has to assuage the apprehensions of those in small towns and rural parts who have lost their jobs in factories and services.
However constitutionally powerful the French President, he cannot enact reforms without the political backing of parliament as the party he founded, En Marche! (“On the Move!”), will probably not win a majority in the legislature making his task much more challenging.
The trend in France today is similar to what has been experienced elsewhere in Europe. For instance, a far right candidate was narrowly defeated in Austria. Similarly, the far right candidate could rise to the second place in Netherlands.
Now the Macron's centrist party might have defeated its rival, Le Pen's National Front, but the latter might have lost but not out. If the new ruling dispensation fails to set right the economic and social malaises plaguing France, the ultra nationalist flames would further spread.