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Emmanuel Macron’s conquest is complete – what now?

French President Emmanuel Macron (C) speaks to an official during a ceremony marking to mark the 77th anniversary of General Charles de Gaulle"s appeal of 18 June 1940, at the Mont Valerien memorial in Suresnes, near Paris, France, 18 June 2017Image copyright

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Emmanuel Macron’s occasion, La Republique en Marche (LREM), didn’t exist two years in the past

So the legislatives have been received, and the ultimate a part of what future historical past books will file because the Macronian conquest is complete.

In fact it has all occurred so rapidly – little greater than a yr from the germ of an concept to Elysian omnipotence – that the nation feels barely dazed.

People are their new chief, and lots of greater than voted for him are truthfully impressed by his calibre. But many are additionally questioning: so the place will we go from right here?

For there is an unknown facet to the approaching mandate that units it other than all that went earlier than.


It is not simply the novelty of all of it: the truth that President Macron’s occasion did not exist till he dreamed it up, and that half of the brand new parliamentarians will want classes (actually) in tips on how to do their jobs.

And that by no means earlier than – no less than not since Charles de Gaulle in 1958 – has a head of state had such a strong majority, made up of women and men who rely upon him so personally for his or her new careers.

And that the opposition has been diminished to a rump, due to the dégagiste (kick ’em out) crucial that wipes out sitting MPs in droves.

It is additionally that at coronary heart Emmanuel Macron himself stays one thing of an enigma.

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Half of the brand new parliamentarians for LREM will want classes in tips on how to be parliamentarians

When he was 22, and already a precocious excessive-flier, the president spent a number of months because the amanuensis of certainly one of France’s then most revered philosophers, Paul Ricoeur.

The title will imply little to most individuals, however in line with the specialists, one of many key parts of Ricoeurian philosophy is the “potential to suppose on the similar time two concepts which can be apparently opposed”.

For instance – in a political context – that might imply supporting the liberating up of the labour market and defending probably the most susceptible. Or slimming down the state and guaranteeing that France’s social contract stays intact.

The coronary heart of the philosophy is a beneficiant one: the popularity that neither aspect in an argument holds a monopoly of the reality, and that the very best insurance policies are ones that mix some parts of each.

Macron’s adherence to this scheme of thought was most evident within the pre-presidential debates, when his use of the phrase “au même temps” (on the similar time) was a lot famous upon – implying because it did a continuing bid to reconcile apparently contradictory concepts.

All this is very nicely – and his honest want to carry collectively left and proper little question contributed drastically to his success.

But the enigma is this: in the case of appearing, quite than speaking, which means will the president leap?

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The president himself is an enigma – so how will he prioritise?

After all, the issues he’ll face within the coming months would be the basic ones that face all democratic leaders. Should I give approach to demonstrators? Or ought to I take advantage of pressure to enact my manifesto? How do I steadiness the price range? Which is worse, a large deficit or cuts in social spending?

Or on one other present difficulty: ought to I give approach to the human rights foyer and supply lodging to the brand new Calais refugees? Or ought to I be arduous-headed and switch them away, as a result of housing them solely encourages extra?

On these and a number of different questions, no-one actually is aware of the president’s pondering.

He has promised to go away the previous left and proper behind, however perhaps the previous left and proper do not need to go away. And perhaps not every thing is reconcilable by his magnificent Elysian fiat.

What we’ve seen up to now is an object lesson in tips on how to win energy, carried out by a very outstanding particular person, who is half Machiavelli, and half Cary Grant. But that story is over now. Let the brand new story start.

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