May 7, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The socialist party leader François Hollande won the French presidential election on Sunday with 18,004,656 votes and 51.63% of the total. Outgoing president Nicolas Sarkozy, was more than 1,390,000 votes behind, with 48.37% of the total. More than 2 million voters – 5.8% – chose a blank ballot, a clear indication of many voters’ lack of confidence in both finalists, but also of the weight of conservative Front National leader Marine Le Pen’s decision not to support Nicolas Sarkozy.
As a result, Hollande’s commitment to legalize homosexual “marriage” and embryo research, as well as promises to increase public spending for contraception and abortion, are well on their way to being implemented.
Hollande’s first speech as president-elect on Sunday evening in the small French town of Tulle gave no indications as to his immediate program, apart from upholding “republican secularism.”
It is understood, however, that his first efforts will concern education policy. Hollande wants more personnel, more funding, and less freedom of choice in the public system in the name of equality, and less public funds for the private system under contract with the state. As part of this plan, fully independent schools could lose the right to offer tax deduction on donations, which most of them rely on to survive.
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Polls suggest 58% of the 6.5 million voters who voted for Marine Le Pen in the first round of voting, in which she was eliminated from the race, did cast their ballot for the outgoing incumbent in the second round. This was not sufficient to take the race, however, with Green and left-wing competitors, including the Communist party, massively transferring their vote to François Hollande following the elimination of their candidates in the first round.
Hollande also benefited from a partial transfer from electors of the centrist and self-claimed Catholic François Bayrou (9.11% in the first round). Bayrou himself announced he would be voting for Hollande 48 hours before the election. He has always drawn a firm line between his religious beliefs and political stances. For instance, he criticized the French government for having flown flags half-mast when John Paul II died in the name of the secular society.
During the last fortnight of the campaign Nicolas Sarkozy worked to woo Marine Le Pen’s electorate as well as a growing number of French citizens who are critical of non-European immigration, the dismantling of the country’s frontiers and loss of national identity. His record on these counts is far from good, which may explains voters’ reluctance to return him to office, but at the same time his public speeches have been unusually outspoken.
During his major speech in front of more than 100,000 people on May 1st, Sarkozy said, to resounding applause: “No one will stop us from proclaiming our Christian roots.” Sarkozy’s predecessor as president of France and past political mentor, Jacques Chirac was one of several European leaders who successfully fought to exclude any reference to Europe’s Christian roots from the European Constitution.
Sarkozy’s decision to campaign on right-wing themes probably helped him to reduce his losses in an unfavorable context: the financial and European crises and growing unemployment have already caused the fall of European leaders – with or without elections – in Italy, Portugal, the UK, Spain and Greece.
But it also provoked unprecedented hostility from the mainstream press, which is almost 100% left-wing and liberal. Sarkozy was called an “extremist” and his meeting compared to Hitler’s Nuremberg rally.
Several of Sarkozy’s UMP party members have already given voice to similar criticism over the right-wing oriented presidential campaign. With Sarkozy himself recognizing defeat on Sunday evening and promising not to lead the campaign for full two-round legislative elections in June, a more liberal approach is to be expected on the part of UMP candidates.
Sarkozy’s defeat could be used to marginalize pro-lifers and proponents of the “non-negotiable principles” propounded by Pope Benedict XVI: respect for life from conception to natural death, upholding of the traditional definition of marriage and recognition of parent’s rights as regards the education and schooling of their offspring.
Much will depend on the scores Marine Le Pen’s candidates will reach in the 577 constituencies: they are expected to qualify for the second round, with at least 12.5% of the potential vote, in over 300 constituencies, probably with two other competitors. This situation, should the UMP persist in refusing to negotiate mutual stand-down agreements, could result in a landslide for the left-wing candidates.
With the Socialist party already dominating the Senate, 21 of the 22 French regional assemblies and many of the larger cities, this would give François Hollande almost complete control.
This is why pro-lifers and advocates of parental rights and freedom of education are calling for a genuine union of all opponents to socialism in the hope of obtaining a right-wing National Assembly. Among other things, this would block attempts at social engineering as announced by Hollande during his campaign.