El reality show presidencial de Francia

El ungimiento de los socialistas de Ségolène Royal como su candidata presidencial es un paso importante en el camino hacia las octavas elecciones presidenciales de la Quinta República, programadas para el 22 de abril de 2007, con una segunda vuelta dos semanas después. Para fin de enero –fecha límite para imprimir las boletas- deberían conocerse todos los candidatos. De modo que, a esa altura, los cuatro principales partidos políticos de Francia, dos de la izquierda y dos de la derecha, ya deberán tener preparadas sus plataformas partidarias y elegidos sus candidatos.

Así, al menos, es como debería funcionar el sistema en teoría. En la práctica, mientras que la campaña oficial supuestamente dura sólo dos meses (tiempo suficiente en una democracia, en la que los candidatos tienen que soportar los implacables embistes de la prensa), la aparición en la pista de los potenciales candidatos, junto con el apetito de los medios por ver una carrera de caballos, ayudó a que la campaña real se lanzara hace prácticamente un año y medio. De manera que los debates públicos de hoy tienen un carácter algo surrealista, porque los programas en los que los candidatos basarán sus campañas todavía no están desarrollados. A falta de ellos, la personalidad y el estilo, y no los programas políticos, resultaron decisivos. No estoy seguro de que esto sea bueno para la democracia, pero así son las cosas.

Dos personalidades con estilo han dominado hasta el momento las encuestas de opinión pública, y parecen destinadas a encontrarse en la segunda vuelta. En la derecha está Nicholas Sarkozy, el ministro del Interior (y brevemente ministro de Economía), cuyo ascenso político tuvo lugar dentro del marco de la Unión por un Movimiento Popular (UMP). El UMP es el heredero político del gaullismo, pero su inconsistencia ideológica es legendaria –y se refleja en los cambios de nombre del partido cada ocho o diez años.

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