Speaking to the Assembly of French Citizens Abroad recently, French President Emmanuel Macron announced his intention to offer electronic voting in the next consular elections, due to take place in 2020. He argued that French overseas voters, who did not have the option of casting an online vote, were notably absent in the 2017 election
As most Macron-related article conclude, these are early days. Macron's personality is winning the elections, but the hard work is only about to begin. Will he be able to work with what may be the largest majority in the history of the French 5th Republic to alleviate some of the problems that beset France? From chronic unemployment to thorny race relations, the list is long. At the very least, however, it is refreshing to observe a French politician able to score points on cautious optimism.
That's why we all still need to pay attention to France. We have not yet entered the aftermath of the reinvention of French politics, even as the presidential elections have finished. If international media meant to raise up the presidential rounds as an example of what the rest of Europe can expect over the next few years, it needs to realize that the race has not yet reached its finish line.
Keep your eyes on June 18. If the FN fails then, its internal pressures are bound to fire up to the surface. After its rise in the last few years, the far-right is not going anywhere, but the Front national as its unique voice may find itself either transformed or marginalised by a newcomer.
On Saturday 6th May 2017 Europe held its breath. The people of France were going to the polls, and in a matter of hours the results of the final round of voting in the French Presidential Election were to be declared.
What does Emmanuel Macron's victory mean for the German federal election in September?
Even as Sunday's ballot may in all likelihood reject a Le Pen presidency, it will reaffirm the normalisation of the European far-right. As this is a genie that will not retreat so easily back to its bottle, it is time for those who believe in parliamentary democracy to get used to fighting the far-right in a world where references to fascism and calls to stand up to it no longer hold.
Many Brexiteers think the EU should and perhaps will fail whatever happens. A Le Pen victory would therefore just put the whole thing out of its misery sooner rather than later. With the zeal of the revolutionary, some Brexiteers are impatient to see the old order burn down and a new one emerge. Except, that is not how the rest of Europe sees it. The EU faces many challenges, but its immediate demise looks unlikely. Even in France, Le Pen's Euroscepticism has been a hindrance to her campaign, scaring off wealthier conservatives who fear the effect on the economy. Leaving a political and economic union is one thing, unravelling yourself from a shared currency is another.
Having said that, if Le Pen wins, I think life will change. I've already seen the protests in the street increase since the first vote, so I dread to think what will unfold if she becomes President. Macon is by no means perfect, and I understand why people are unhappy, but I think a victory for En Marche! would offer some real hope for Europe."
When a WW2 Resistant tells a newspaper that in French politics, Le Pen represents the negation of all that the Resistance fought for and calls on everyone to vote Emmanuel Macron next Sunday.