In heated debate, Macron showed control over issues and Le Pen avoided newspaper | Before Sunday’s elections in France, they both need the votes of the left

from Paris

They waited 5 years to meet again and avenge the first confrontation that took place between the first and second rounds of the 2017 presidential election. Candidate for President Emmanuel Macron and candidate for Far right, Marine Le Pen Orchestrating a new debate that shut down Marine Le Pen in two challenges: to do better than the embarrassing episode in the previous debate in which he was crushed by Emmanuel Macron and to win electoral affiliations at a crucial moment when opinion polls give further advantages to the party. Leader.

Macron is going through an upward dynamic For several days (56.5%, 43.5%) and from the start, the controversy reversed that movement. The head of state did not come down from his base and Marine Lupine Did not climb stairs. Avoid it, if newspaper 2017 Confused and hesitant, she got lost in the numbers, quotes, and files she was consulting. This time, although not always accurate, it was more realistic and emphatic. however, When the Russia case came up, Le Pen lost his footing and much of the credit. Macron mentioned the support Marine Le Pen has always given to Vladimir PutinThe way he praised, in 2014, the annexation of Crimea and a loan of more than 9 million euros that his party took from the First Czech Russian Bank to finance the 2015 regional and district election campaign (still being repaid). rudely unheard of, Marine Le Pen denied everything. However, it is all trueeven when he said, on BFMTV, in January 2017: “I absolutely do not believe that there was an illegal annexation of Crimea: there was a referendum, the population wanted to join Russia.” In this chapter, Ms. Le Pen became nervous and weaved a web of misleading arguments This made him lose a lot of credibility, even if at one point he said the invasion of Ukraine was an “unacceptable aggression”. Emmanuel Macron accused her of “relying on Russian power.” And he took Vladimir Putin “as a bank”.


There were other discrepancies regarding 2017, among them The position of the far right in relation to the European Union. 5 years ago, Marine Le Pen claimed that she wanted to leave Europe. This option is no longer pronouncedBut her program indicates a break, which is why Emmanuel Macron accused her of “lying”. In the far-right programme, there are proposals, if Marine Le Pen is president and implements them, that contradict the common rules enshrined in European treaties (control of national borders, renegotiation of the Schengen agreements, restriction of social rights of foreigners including Europeans). Memorable moments As in the other discussions there were no real confrontations and no front-facing too. Both Le Pen and Macron showed a moderate image because they need the votes left of Jean-Luc Mélenchon to win the election. Nor was there much to expect from a campaign-engaged debate without previous debates, without prominence, with institutional parties sank, with few ideas and with two finalists singing for several years. As if the exchange attended by the community tonight was already so intimate part of a calculated, chewed, and designed destiny that the debate aroused no more interest than seeing what each opponent would do in the face of the challenge.

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Two actors facing each other in a piece whose ending could change with any setback. Nothing changed. Everything was so low, controlled, calculated and sterile that on more than one occasion Marine Le Pen had given the impression of being a centre-right candidate. There is a big difference, in fact, between a popular leader who plays with opinion and a leader who knows the issues he is talking about.. This was reflected in the discussion with a Macron, who showed his knowledge of economic issues down to the smallest details. The rematch was announced more dangerous than it turned out. The discrepancies between the two were so enormous that the teams who prepared the discussion did not even agree on what topic the exchange would begin with. The channels broadcasting the debate had to go to the audiovisual and digital regulator (Arcom) to propose a solution. Arcom ended up recommending choosing the first theme via a lottery. The discussion opened with the issue of purchasing power, followed by Ukraine. Environment, social model (retirement, health), corporate, education, security, and immigration were the other thematic components of the programme. On the environment, apart from Macron’s “you’re a climate skeptic” and “you’re a ‘climate hypocrite'” Marine Le Pen replied, nothing really should be highlighted.

Marine Le Pen opposed her “economic patriotism”, that is, the nation and the land as an antidote to the evils of business, against Emmanuel Macron who she called a “promoter of globalization that brings poverty and inequality”. There is no news either. They are the same rhetoric propagated by the media and commentators passing on Marine Le Pen as the people’s candidate and Emmanuel Macron as the last liberal bastion against fascism. In short, democracy or dictatorship, progress or decline, good versus evil. The same was the case in 2017, but with more dramatic accents due to the prominence of the far right and the high percentage of people who reject the alternative and prepare to vote blank. Only that the far-right program is as liberal as Macron’s and that the “for the people” measures proposed by Marine Le Pen are an incoherent hinge and no basis for their financing.

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Marine Le Pen shines in her favorite subjectForeigners and mistreatment of all kinds prepared for them by their electoral program. Already seen and heard, he also attacked Muslims. The far-right candidate renewed her idea of ​​banning headscarves in public places. I want to fight Islamism. “I am not fighting Islam, but against Islamic thought that attacks the foundations of our republic,” he said. Macron made it clear that with him, “the scarf, the yarmulke, or any religious sign will not be banned.” Then he added: “What disturbs his presentation is the path he takes. From a question about the veil, you go to terrorism to return to Islam, and from there you go to foreigners.”

Marine Le Pen was exhausted from hours of discussion while her opponent seemed to be a somewhat arrogant person who was better prepared. Wednesday’s debate is unlikely to fundamentally change voting intentions that are reflected in opinion polls. Five years on, the long-awaited rematch looks more like a less improvised iteration by Marine Le Pen, but no more decisive in winning votes that would lift the far right to a presidential majority.

Interrogations, battles over numbers, stress and some low-key bangs during the debate are not enough to fill the imaginations of voters who feel deeply that they have fallen into a trap in which they do not have complete freedom of choice.

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Freddie Dawson

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