Wednesday, 21 January 2015

L'an prochain à Monte-Carlo? (*)

(*) Translates as: Next year in Monte Carlo?

A thoroughly ineffectual President, who lied his way into office and who had become extremely unpopular well before mid-term, indeed breaking unpopularity records as reality progressively caught on with him, is landed with a surprise large-scale terrorist attack, which gives him a huge popularity boost. Hollande, right? Yes, correct, as this graphic confirms:

But think, with hindsight, this is also close to what happened to one G.W. Bush after 9/11:

and ... the rest is history. To keep that external conflict-induced popularity, Bush went on to start a war with the first villain available in the Middle-East, Iraq, even though it was totally unrelated to 9/11 and a deep foe of Al Qaeda.

Now, G.W. Bush started from a much higher popularity level than Hollande, who is truly desperate, garnering not even 20% job approval in the months before Charlie Hebdo was attacked, and who needs any additional boost he can get before the next presidential election in a little more than two years.

So, a relevant question has suddenly become: who will France invade next year?

It has to be close to home, as the French are used to shrug off their numerous military expeditions in Africa, which never boost any incumbent's popularity, however spectacular they may be.

If I were Luxembourg, Andorra or Monaco, I'd start worrying.