Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Ségolène Royal

[posted by Callimachus]

The woman's got ideas. I'm a big fan of ideas, even if 9 out of 10 of them are terrible. There's no other way to get to that tenth one.

In a two-hour speech to about 10,000 supporters north of Paris, she laid out a 100-proposal platform, pledging to raise pensions, to increase the minimum wage to €1,500, or about $2,000, a month and to guarantee a job or further training for every youth within six months of graduating from university.

She also said that randomly selected citizens' juries would watch over government policy and that juvenile delinquents could be placed in educational camps run by the military.

...A former schools minister, she vowed that she would tackle the social exclusion in the suburbs by reducing the number of students in classes. She also promised free tutoring for students that have difficulties keeping up, and workshops for parents to teach them how to discipline their children.

... Royal said she would tax companies in relation to what share of their profits is reinvested in equipment and jobs, and what portion is paid to shareholders. She also promised to abolish a flexible work contract for small companies and hold a national conference in June on how to increase salaries.

Indeed, she seemed to have something to offer to most groups in society without saying how much the combined measures would cost: Under her presidency, she said, young women would get free contraception, all young people would get access to a €10,000 interest-free loan and the handicapped would see their benefits rise.

But my big question is, if she wins, will that force media outlets in the U.S. to break out the full font set and start using accented vowels required to properly spell "Ségolène?" And will copy editors take to the streets in protest?

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