French Politics Goes To The Blogs

    January 10, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

The next president of France may owe the blogosphere a debt of gratitude after toiling in “la toile,” the fabric of the Internet.

Should a historic wave of voter ballots place Sgolne Royal in the French presidency, an interesting footnote to the first woman president of the country could be the degree to which she and political foe Nicolas Sarkozy use the Internet for their campaigns.

Reuters indicated the first round of French voting in April will have an undercurrent of web-savvy voters lining up at the polls.

At this point, the Socialist candidate Royal may be ahead of her center-right opponent Sarkozy in attracting those ballot-casting Internet users:

“Segolene Royal built her political strength outside the Socialist Party with her Web site ‘Desirs d’Avenir’, and she really did create a support base outside that of the Socialist Party,” said Yves-Marie Cann of French pollster Ifop.

Her “Desires For a Future” Web site portrayed her as a modern force: a break from tired, male-dominated politics, an image reinforced by iconoclast statements on law and order, schools and the 35-hour working week.

Royal previously demonstrated a willingness to empathize with technologists; she met with Free Software Foundation creator Richard Stallman last June to discuss the concept and importance of free software in society.

American politicians who want to attract the attention of their Internet-savvy potential voters should get into the blog act as well.

That opinion comes from the tippy-top of the Internet, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who made that pronouncement in November 2006 according to the report.

That followed the June 2006 news of Hilary Clinton’s hiring of writer Peter Saou as a blog advisor.

The Republicans have similarly recognized the importance of the blogs.

Mitch McConnell brought on Jon Henke to handle “New Media” duties for the GOP in the Senate at the beginning of 2007.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.