In the next round of populist politics, France is in pretty hot water.
In the first round of the presidential elections in France, candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen came out on top. Each represent a completely different approach to French politics. Macron being a businessman, holds a more free market platform, favoring cutting government spending and reducing regulations.
On global and social issues, Macron is a liberal, supporting the schengen open border area and low tariffs. Meanwhile Marine Le Pen is far-right on social and global issues, pushing for heavy restrictions on immigration and trade. On economic issues Le Pen is more of a protectionist and supports government intervention in the market. Le Pen’s political party, the National Front, has been known to push a strongly- anti immigrant and anti free trade platform. Its founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the father of Marine Le Pen, has been known to hold many anti-Semetic and Islamophobic views. Marine Le Pen made the choice years ago to kick out her own father from the party in order to appeal to a larger voter audience.
In this way, the two front-line candidates in France’s presidential election are diametrically opposed to each other. This circumstance reveals a strong divide between people in French society whom favor a status-quo and liberal approach to government, versus those who see globalization as a threat to their way of life. The final round of the election is set to take place on May 7.