riding the "Segolene Royal" wave...

After my cheap shot at "frere Jacques (Chirac)" ( I already lauded him plenty for standing up as the voice of reason during the Iraq fiasco), I felt like I owed a bit of positive vibes to the current french political scene. 3 years ago, the left-leaning opposition party did not have a viable candidate to counter the heavyweight from the governing party. It was a mano a mano between De Villepin and Sarkozy. The best part of French politics and maybe its eventual downfall is its reluctance to follow the bipartisanship system that is in order in the Us. So The Socialist Party was an afterthought on the political scene until the "Segolene" wave stole the spotlight. She never officially entered her candidacy to the presidential elections and consciously veiled some of her public persona, leaving the media wanting for more. In this age of women empowerment (Merckel, Bachelet, Taylor..) her timing could not be better. She is atypical: 4 children but not wedded to her PACS partner Hollande who also has also presidential aspirations, and refreshing: she is drifting away from her party's directives more often that not. The mystery surrounding her and her original stance are probably her best assets because the french voters seem to be saturated with their old-fashioned politicians. Her critics often point at her lack of agenda or concrete strategy were she to gain the highest authority. I am not a political buff and I follow french politics with a casual amused interest. However, the surprising appeal of Segolene Royal caught my attention. I have no doubt that she is as qualified as any candidates and her hidden strength of caracter comes through on specific issues. However, I cannot shake the feeling that she is a "by default" choice for many voters. Royal is thriving at a time when most politicians in France have either dissapointed or scared the voters to death. Unfortunately, this type of situation seems to be the norm in world politics as leaders in general have failed to inspire more than remote interests. Madagacar is also struggling to find a decent alternative to the incumbent president ( maybe he is just doing a terrific job, who knows ? Still some kind of opposition would be nice. you know... to validate the whole concept of democracy thingy). Let's not even mention politics in the US, where accountability is a merely an afterthought ( which makes the democracy here very similar to the "democracies" in Africa ). I digress yet again....
I am much more interested in knowing the reason why Royal and Hollande did not tie the knot? I am aware that it is a decision that concerns only them. However, they both are public persona and scrutiny from bystanders is part of the job description: so what gives ? A few option:
1) They were making a point: agreeing to PACS is as strong a commitment as a marriage without the religious undertone.
2) They wanted to give same-sex marriage a boost without actually marrying someone from the same gender. ( although she was a bit lukewarm on the LGBT support base)
3) This is a way of sticking it to their political foes by showing that it is possible to generate strong family values and ties under the PACS legal binding.
4) It was a publicity stunt.
5) A wedding was too much of an investment in time and money.

Either way, I am curious to find out whether 1) her sail would have enough wind to carry her through 2) how Hollande will react if she indeed goes through with it ( now this would be a tv reality show I would watch: "Hillary/Bill, Segolene/Francois and Michelle/Nelson: real world who is wearing the pants edition", Spielberg and Trump need to make this happen, please) 3) when Hollande propose to "PACS" her , did he still get a diamond ring or a "Lord of the rings" replica was enough ?
Have a great week-end !

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