POL 150C1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Dominique Voynet, Catherine Tasca, Christiane Taubira

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POL 150: Politics of Happiness - Lecture 7: European Dream: Women & Politics of France
Wednesday 10/1/14
Selected features of the Fifth Republic (of Charles de Gaulle)
Popular election of president; strong president & relatively weak legislature.
5-year term of president; had been 7 years until 2002
President’s power to appoint prime minister without prior parliamentary
consultation
The President & the Prime Minister
President sets the general direction of the government program
Prime Minister runs the operations of the government
2 round system:
1st round: must obtain majority to win
2nd (runoff/two weeks later) round: top two vote getters compete
What policies are associated with the “left” and “right” in contemporary Western
democracies?
“parties of tradition” VS. “parties of change”
UMP vs. Socialist Party
Republican vs. Democratic Party
Conservative vs. Labour Party
President Francois Hollande - Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (Left) Program:
Tax hikes on wealthy, reduce taxes for small businesses
Significant investment in state-funded housing; funds for poor suburbs
Shifts electricity generation from nuclear energy to renewable resources
Financial (banking) system reforms (separate lending & investment)
Restore (state) funding for retirement to age 60
Support same-sex marriage & adoption rights for LGBT couples
Closer Franco-German partnership; withdraw from Afghanistan
Women & Men: Equality and difference
Some de Beauvoir (1908-86) & Elisabeth Guigou (1946 - Present)
“One is not born a woman, but becomes one.”
Legacy of the Ancien Regime and the Nineteenth Century had male political
dominance
At versailles, why was the king’s bed the central focus of state power &
more important than his throne?
Women received the vote in 1945
Women & indirect power - tradition of “guarding the private garden”
Breaking with Tradition:
Edith Cresson - first female Prime Minister (1991 - 92)
Rise with President Francois Mitterrand, PS functionary & regional official,
Not an ENA graduate; dislike of technocrats
Cresson’s woes: victim or inept?
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