French politics

The PS Summer School or the time for change

La Rochelle, during the PS Summer School, on the 24th of August

The French Socialist Party is holding its traditional summer school (“université d’été”) at La Rochelle (west of France) since yesterday evening and till tomorrow morning. At this occasion, all the ministers and leaders went to join the about two thousand participants.

This new edition of the PS summer school is quite particular insofar as it has been the first time for ten years the socialists are ruling France and have the majority. Thus, this is the occasion for the first France’s party to wonder on its role and its involvement within the majority and vis-à-vis the government and the French president.

Indeed, much are the political analysts, as David Renault d’Allonnes in Le Monde, who is wondering on the utility of the Socialist Party since the François Hollande’s victory on the last May. This is relevant insofar as its role within French political life and the majority mainly is now questioned.

Some have an idea on the issue as Bernard Cazeneuve, minister for European Affairs, considering the Socialist Party should be a “enlightening party” while other people wish to see the ruling party take the initiative, anticipate to prepare the next elections better, the 2017 presidential and legislative elections peculiarly.

Jean Marc Ayrault, French Prime minister and Martine Aubry, current French Socialist Party First Secretary

Now in the power, the French Socialist Party must affirm itself as driving and pressure force vis-à-vis the government in the framework of the policies led by the President of the Republic and the Prime minister. This role is easily suitable with an active support to the government insofar as if the Socialists are in the majority the party shouldn’t be a yes man which supposes some independence of mind to be more effective and connected to French people’s concerns and expectations.

Indeed, it is the main issue for the PS, that is to say having an unreserved support to the policy led by the executive and losing the contact with the realities and the Frenchs’ priorities. That happened to the UMP and that explains why the previous majority was largely sanctioned at the legislative election on the last June, and now completely disoriented. If the French Socialist Party wants to be useful and exist, it has to dare critical mind, being the supporter n°1 of the government in the same time. It’s under this condition the French socialists will be still credible and have a good image within the opinion as a recent IFOP poll made for the regional daily Ouest France (published this Sunday) shows.

The French socialists have a field day, which is logical after ten years in the opposition. Nonetheless, it is on the interest of the Socialist Party to remain vigilant and ambitious for France and Frenchs which supposes a working party making some proposals and daring critics when it’s necessary and not only a party having an unreserved support to the government, as the UMP these last five years. It’s a challenge for the French socialist Party if it wants to be useful to French politics in the coming weeks and months.