French Elections 2012 Essay

Submitted By ConorMorrison1
Words: 1071
Pages: 5

comDuring the 2012 electoral campaign in France, the French citizens decided to replace Nicolas Sarkozy with the socialist François Hollande. The French electoral system has similarities to that of the United States. They have a bicameral legislation much like the United States. The French have a unique way in which they elect their officials though. The French government is split between three branches the executive, legislative, and judicial branch. In class we have gone over the types of democratic governments. The French democracy is considered a mixed system. The French president holds the power to dissolve the government in during times in which the legislature cannot agree on legislation. In doing so he then calls for a new legislative election. The most recent case of dissolution was by Jacques Chirac in 1997. After Chirac dissolved the government and a new majority was elected they opposed Chirac. The electoral system for the president is a two-round system. The system holds runoffs of the two candidates who hold the two highest percentages of the vote. The electorate of France for the president is French citizens whom are 18 years or older. Currently, when youths reach their 18th birthday they are automatically registered to vote unlike in the United States. The French President is quite powerful in comparison to other European presidents. The President of France appoints the Prime Minister. The only way a prime minister can be removed from power however is if the French National Assembly decides to. Therefore the prime minister must be able to command support of the national assembly.
The French legislator is consistent of a bicameral system, much like the United States. The French Legislator consists of a lower house, The National Assembly, and an upper house, the Senate. The national assembly as of 2012 has a total of 277 seats. The Senate consists of 348 seats(Senate). Together the legislator writes and drafts laws and presents their bills to the president. The electoral system for the legislator is a two-round voting system that is used for their presidential election. The term for the National Assembly is five years unless the Assembly is dissolved by the President. Senators however are elected by one-half of the house every three years. Senators are elected indirectly by over 150,000 officials that include regional councilors, department councilors, mayors, city councilors in large towns, and members of the National Assembly.
When looking at the elections of 2012 you can notice some very discerning outcomes for the French government. The presidential election saw incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy of the Union for a Popular Movement was ousted by François Hollande of the Socialist Party. During the electoral campaign there was only one debate that was held on May 7th ,2012(policymic). The debate consisted of Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande. During the debate Sarkozy and Hollande was razor sharp in their debate. They attacked each other based off of their character and their political ideals. Hollande attacked Sarkozy over the close relationship Sarkozy held with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkal and the close economic ties and ideals in which Sarkozy has had with Germany(Bauer). The debate however did not focus on policies and how things would change. This allowed Hollande to show the viewers of France that he could rise to Sarkozy’s level and surpass him.
During the last few years economic policy has been closely tied to that of Germany under Sarkozy’s rule. This was due to the fact that both Germany and France are the two strongest economies in the European Union. Both France and Germany believed that they must work together to help get through the economic crises that the world and especially the European Union is facing. The fact that Sarkozy’s government has been working so closely with Germany’s over economic policy was a major point in the elections. The French people were sick of