The French party system has traditionally been very divided. However, the Fifth Republic is the most “efficient” and stable democratic regime France has ever experienced. Despite this, there still appear to be divisions between the mainstream Right. Therefore, to begin with, the causes of the ruptures within the mainstream Right will be examined. This shall be followed with a second part focusing on the consequences of these divisions and finally the extent to which the UMP has put an end to these divisions and has helped to unify the mainstream Right shall be assessed in a third part. René Rémond is one of the most prominent analyst of the Right in France thanks to his study entitled “Les Droites en France” (The Rights in France).The title itself aims to highlight the existence of many Rights each of them independent and possessing its own history and system of thought. His thesis consists of emphasising the continuity behind the apparent changes. He identifies three main strands within the Right: the ‘Ultras', the ‘Bonapartistes' and the ‘Orleanistes'
[...] Moreover, the different “sensibilities” (the political trends) within the UMP are still distinct and the posts in the party are often distributed according to what parties the candidates were members of before joining the UMP. A good example of this is the implementation of a “triumvirate” leading the UMP at its creation composed of Alain Juppe (ex RPR), Jean Claude Gaudin (ex DL) and Philippe Douste Blazy (ex UDF). In a nutshell, one can say that the external divisions between parties became internal divisions within the party itself. [...]
[...] Often times the economic policy of the Right governments were not clear because of these divisions and there is no dominant discourse within the Right in terms of economic liberalism or globalisation which are mostly considered to be two aspects of the same phenomenon. II) The apparently inherent division of the mainstream Right influences French political life in many ways The divisions of the mainstream Right are one of the most important factors of change in French political life The political landscape of the French Right is roughly divided into three main trends (the “Orleanistes”, the “Bonapartistes” and the These trends are embodied by different parties over the French history and their division's structure French political life. [...]
[...] The UMP failed to represent all the tendencies of the mainstream Right and is more a recreation of the former RPR than the actual merging of different trends. For this reason, the UDF still has a purpose in defending the liberal ideas as opposed to the more conservative UMP. However, this focus on the divisions within the Right should not overshadow the difficulties encountered by the Left. The ongoing situation of the latter is no more optimistic than that of the Right as the Socialist Party is unable to bring together the other components of the mainstream Left such as the Communist Party and [...]
[...] First and foremost, it is not a return to the roots of Gaullism as most of the other similar attempts presented themselves (the creation of the RPR by Jacques Chirac ) and aims at gathering all the trends of the mainstream Right. The merger incorporated several parties including the RPR (Rassemblement pour la Republique), the DL (Democratie Liberale), part of the UDF (Union pour la Democratie Francaise), and the CNI (Centre National des Independants). According to Florence Haegel, was possible to talk about a new party cycle on the Right because the process of fragmentation that characterised the preceding period had been stopped”. [...]
[...] to the latter as a “nationalist” and “authoritarian” tendency although it took many different forms in the course of history. The third trend he defines is the “Orleanistes”, who combine both liberalism and conservatism. This tradition goes back to the most liberal periods of the “Restauration”. Although these trends often enriched their core ideologies with new elements and underwent changes, they are constantly present throughout the French political history. For instance, the “Bonapartiste” tradition was successively embodied by Boulangism, anti Dreyfusarism, the Leagues during the 1930s and finally by Gaullism. [...]
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