Socialists in Paris

Brian Topp looks to Francois Hollande.

First, Hollande campaigned on a relatively gutsy platform. It offers a fairly clear choice, within the mainstream of a western industrial democracy, with some impressively clear commitments. For example, much media coverage has focused on Hollande’s proposal to restore fair taxes on high incomes. The details are less important than the victory Hollande scored in how this proposal was debated. It was widely discussed in terms of whether or not to dispense with cadeaux fiscales – fiscal gifts, to the wealthiest of the French – rather than the populist right-wing “smaller government, lower taxes, more freedom” slogans that have delivered none of these things, while building grotesque income inequality here in North America. In short, Hollande found a way to win both the frame and the debate over economic equality.

Not mentioned by Mr. Topp, but not to be discounted: this music video.