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Author Topic: A Republic Stillborn: de Gaulle loses the 1962 referendum  (Read 2565 times)
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« on: July 03, 2012, 04:36:49 pm »
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In the expectation of some free time, here's my new what-if idea whose rhythm and eventual completion is entirely dependent on my mood, my whims and Stephen Harper's cat.

The POD is that the General loses the 1962 referendum and the major changes in French politics and history which would come out from that. Any comments, contributions, ideas or questions would be welcome as I lay out the first steps this week.
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2012, 09:56:31 am »
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Will De Gaulle's political career be cut short by this?
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2012, 12:41:50 pm »
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In the expectation of some free time, here's my new what-if idea whose rhythm and eventual completion is entirely dependent on my mood, my whims and Stephen Harper's cat.

The POD is that the General loses the 1962 referendum and the major changes in French politics and history which would come out from that. Any comments, contributions, ideas or questions would be welcome as I lay out the first steps this week.

Nice idea ! A 5th Republic without popular election of the President would become completely different from what it is IRL : that opens an impressive amount of possibilities. Looking forward to it. Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2012, 05:37:48 pm »

Referendum #1: Am I awesome? Remember: I'll quit if you don't like me!

Sure! Smiley

Referendum #2: Am I awesome? Remember: I'll quit if you don't like me!

Yes.

Referendum #3: Am I awesome? Remember: I'll quit if you don't like me!

... ok.

Referendum #4: Am I awesome? Remember: I'll quit if you don't like me!

...

...

:/

...

eh

...

yeah.

Referendum #5: Am I awesome? Remember: I'll quit if you don't like me!

...yes, but stop asking us this f**king question or we'll get really pissed, dude.

Referendum #6: Am I awesome? Remember: I'll quit if you don't like me!

THAT DOES IT! GTFO, OLD CREEP!

De Gaulle: ZOMGZ, FRANCE REJECTED TEH GRANDEUR! THIS COUNTRY WILL COLLAPSE WITHOUT ME WITHIN SECONDS! I'M TELLING TEH HISTORY ON U! Angry
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A note:

The fascist Kalwejt has once again deleted a whole thread I made in the International board today.
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2012, 07:56:05 pm »
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As the leaves started turning in September of 1962, France was experiencing a period of welcome political and economic stability. Since the end of 1958, the presidency of Charles de Gaulle, the former hero of the resistance during the Second World War, ensured political and institutional stability which had not been seen since the end of the War. The constant cabinet crises, parliamentary intricacies and political instability associated with the Fourth Republic were sealed with the advent of the Fifth Republic. In March 1962, France’s long national nightmare, the Algerian War, had ended with the ratification of the Évian Accords which finally granted full independence to Algeria, France’s most prized former colony. Economically, France was enjoying a privileged position of strong economic growth, industrialization and full employment. The sea was not without its little ripples, but an era of remarkable stability and calm enveloped the country.

The stability of early September would soon find itself disturbed by the President himself. While the 1958 Constitution entrenched principles such as ‘rationalized parliamentarianism’ and a stronger executive dear to the General, the constitutional stature and role of the President were, he felt, insufficient. Charles de Gaulle had only scorn and derision for political parties and parliamentary politicians, riling against the “régime des partis” which had prevailed under the Fourth Republic. Relations between de Gaulle and the legislature elected in 1958 – still largely dominated by parties closer to the Fourth Republic’s political tradition than Gaullism – were testy and unstable. His clear ideal was a strong President, above political parties and holding his legitimacy directly from the French electorate. As per the 1958 Constitution, the President was elected by an electoral college of some 80,000 members composed, in vast majority, of local councillors.

At the end of September, the General announced his intention of submitting to the people a proposal for the direct election, by universal suffrage, of the President. On October 2, de Gaulle submitted a bill which would change the electoral system for presidential elections to direct, universal suffrage. In doing this, the President bypassed Parliament and the constitutional method for amending the constitution, Article 89, which required the approval of both houses of Parliament before an amendment could be submitted to the people. Instead, de Gaulle opted to use Article 11, which gave the President, through his Prime Minister (namely, Georges Pompidou), the right to submit any proposal pertaining the “organization of public powers” to a referendum.

Parliamentarians of all political stripes besides the Gaullists denounced this method as unconstitutional. Tensions had been mounting since 1960-1961 between the Gaullist executive and the traditional parties of the right and centre-right, originally over foreign and economic policy, and these tensions boiled over with the President’s controversial proposal of doubtful constitutionality. The President of the Senate, Gaston Monnerville, fairly hostile to de Gaulle, violently denounced the President’s proposal and brought the matter to the Constitutional Council.

Nevertheless, the referendum on the amendment went ahead for October 28. In mid-October, the President announced that he would resign from the presidency if his proposal was to be rejected by voters on October 28. The fight was tough for the Gaullists, who were the lone supporters of the President’s proposal against a broad-based “cartel des NON” which reached from the Socialists (SFIO) to the right-wing independents (CNIP). The cartel denounced the unconstitutionality of de Gaulle’s ploy, but was also united by a certain distaste for the Gaullist vision of political power. All the four parties which made up the cartel (the Socialists, the centrist Radicals, the Christian democratic MRP and the CNIP) had, in general, backed the General in his return to power in 1958 given the situation of the country at the time, but had all broken with the General as he sought to cement his power and his Gaullist vision of politics. These four parties were the traditional parliamentary parties of the Fourth Republic and all shared some affection for the ideals of parliamentary government. They feared the personalization of the regime behind a single man – especially a Leviathan like de Gaulle – and were hostile to strong executive dominance over the legislative branch.

On October 5, these parties and the Communists successfully voted a motion of no-confidence in the Pompidou government out of protest at de Gaulle’s scheme. As per the constitution, Pompidou submitted his resignation and that of his government to the President, who refused it and preferred to dissolve the National Assembly and organized snap legislative election on November 18 and 25.

The referendum turned into a referendum over de Gaulle himself, after he placed his head on the line. Originally the game seemed to be heading de Gaulle’s way, as he played on his stature. But increasingly, the momentum started shifting in favour of the no side, which seized firstly on the constitutionality of the matter and presented the referendum as an example of an abuse of power by a leader seeking to structure the regime around him. At the same time, the no campaign claimed that while the extraordinary circumstances of the conflict and civil disturbances in Algeria legitimized a certain form of executive dominance, the return to peacetime conditions allowed for this parenthesis to be closed. The cartel claimed that it was not fighting Gaullism and de Gaulle per say, but rather sought to close the door on a political option which had rescued France in 1958 but whose time had passed by 1962.

On October 28, the referendum was marked by heavy mobilization with only 17% abstention. The results came as a real surprised to almost everybody involved:

Approuvez-vous le projet de loi soumis au peuple français par le président de la République et relatif à l'élection du président de la République au suffrage universel ?
Non 50.47%
Oui 49.53%

The no side won a bit over 11.5 million votes against 11.3 million votes for the yes side.1 The result was close, but ultimately it was undisputed. President Charles de Gaulle automatically resigned from office, and by October 29 he bowed out of active political life. Gaston Monnerville, President of the Senate, became the interim President of France.

The gap left open by the General’s resignation needed to be filled – by the ‘old method’. But before a new President would be elected, the French electorate was called back to the polls on November 18 and 25 to renew the National Assembly. What would be the shape and colour of the new majority which would emerge from these elections? The results of the referendum showed that a large part of the no’s victory came from the left, the no having done extremely well in the most left-wing regions of France (the south, the southwest, the Limousin, Berry and the Bourbonnais, parts of Bourgogne) even though it had also narrowly triumphed in non-clerical conservative regions such as the Champagne. But, clearly, the core bases of conservative, right-wing and clerical France overwhelmingly endorsed the Gaullist proposal. Would these voters be reluctant to abandon Gaullism even in the absence of its leader, or would they conform to the verdict of their countrymen and partake in the construction of a non-Gaullist, non-communist majority?

On October 30, Prime Minister Georges Pompidou followed his old boss and handed down his resignation to President Monnerville. The new President accepted the resignation of the Gaullist Prime Minister and called upon Pierre Sudreau, a respected centrist who had served in the last Pompidou government until he resigned in disagreement with the government over the amendment to the electoral system for the presidency. Sudreau vowed not to run for the Presidency and to form a purely technical, interim cabinet which would only ensure the organization of the legislative and presidential elections in November and December.

1 This scenario, which remains a huge stretch, comes from a 1984 article in the RFSP where it is theorized that the no would win from mobilization of OTL abstentionists (from 23% to 17%, the no gaining 5% of these new voters against 1% for the yes) and the transfer of 15% of OTL yes voters to the no option.
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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2012, 07:57:36 pm »
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A map of the results of the (alternative) referendum, based on UNS.


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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2012, 06:05:37 am »
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Sounds good. Congrats to the left for mobilizing massively. Smiley Doesn't the results map look like a pretty solid win for the no side ? I'm not very sure of how populated each departement is, but from seeing such a map I'd expect the results to be more like 55/45 or at least 53/47.


Now I'm eager to find out what the legislative elections will result in ! Will we have a constituency map as well ? Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2012, 06:34:12 am »
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Sounds good. Congrats to the left for mobilizing massively. Smiley Doesn't the results map look like a pretty solid win for the no side ? I'm not very sure of how populated each departement is, but from seeing such a map I'd expect the results to be more like 55/45 or at least 53/47.


Now I'm eager to find out what the legislative elections will result in ! Will we have a constituency map as well ? Smiley

But don't the yes side run up huge margins in Alsace and Brittany, whilst  no wins only narrowly in most places.
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2012, 08:16:04 am »
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Sounds good. Congrats to the left for mobilizing massively. Smiley Doesn't the results map look like a pretty solid win for the no side ? I'm not very sure of how populated each departement is, but from seeing such a map I'd expect the results to be more like 55/45 or at least 53/47.


Now I'm eager to find out what the legislative elections will result in ! Will we have a constituency map as well ? Smiley

But don't the yes side run up huge margins in Alsace and Brittany, whilst  no wins only narrowly in most places.

The no seems to pull equally impressive margins throughout the C-shaped old left core running from Nièvre to PACA. And its win in Ile de France is pretty solid as well.

Since the map is based on UNS, it must be correct, but I find it really surprising.
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2012, 08:36:55 am »
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Sounds good. Congrats to the left for mobilizing massively. Smiley Doesn't the results map look like a pretty solid win for the no side ? I'm not very sure of how populated each departement is, but from seeing such a map I'd expect the results to be more like 55/45 or at least 53/47.


Now I'm eager to find out what the legislative elections will result in ! Will we have a constituency map as well ? Smiley

But don't the yes side run up huge margins in Alsace and Brittany, whilst  no wins only narrowly in most places.

The no seems to pull equally impressive margins throughout the C-shaped old left core running from Nièvre to PACA. And its win in Ile de France is pretty solid as well.

Since the map is based on UNS, it must be correct, but I find it really surprising.

I'm fascinated by French politics, tell me why is that area more left-wing, as I thought (with my own limited knowledge) that the area there was more rural and from my experience, such places tend to support the right.
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2012, 09:21:54 am »
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I'm fascinated by French politics, tell me why is that area more left-wing, as I thought (with my own limited knowledge) that the area there was more rural and from my experience, such places tend to support the right.

Actually, all I know about French political geography was taught to me by Hashemite. Wink If you are interested, he's got a blog specifically dedicated to the topic : http://electionsfrance.wordpress.com/

Anyways, France's political geography differs from that of most other countries in that the rural/urban divide hasn't played an important role in political cleavages. Rural areas may always have been a bit more right-wing, but you can find plenty of examples of left-wing rural areas, right-wing cities, right-wing rural areas and left-wing cities. Certain lands are famous for their rural progressivism (Limousin) and a city like Paris has long been a bastion of the hard right. I think the patterns of French political geography depend more on factors such as religion, socioprofessional situation (not really social class like, say, in the UK) and historical traditions inherited from the Revolution or early 19th century. But things are much more complicated than that, and to learn more I can only advise you to read Hash's blog.
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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2012, 04:35:29 pm »
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Legislative Elections

President Charles de Gaulle had dissolved the National Assembly on October 9, precipitating legislative elections for November 18 and 25. The General likely expected to win the referendum and use the legislative elections to confirm his victory in the referendum with the election of a Gaullist majority. However, the surprise defeat in the referendum turned the game upside down. The Gaullists had lost the referendum and their lider maximo had quickly bowed out of active political life. The movement was far from leaderless, but in the absence of the man who had structured and built the movement, they found themselves in a major trough.

Charles de Gaulle’s strongest argument had always been that, in his absence, France would fall back into the chaotic “partitocracie” which had brought down the Fourth Republic. In part, he was correct. As the General erased himself from French politics on October 29, the new reality and the implications of the General’s resignation began to sink in. A sort of vacuum was opened. Who would fill the General’s shoes, if such shoes could be filled? While the presidential election in December would provide more answers to that question, the legislative elections were to be extremely important given that most expected a slow realignment of forces in favour of the legislative rather than executive branch.

The political forces lined up for the fight. On the left, the Socialists (SFIO) were found vacillating between an alliance of the left, with the left-wing of the Radicals but also the Communists (PCF) or a continuation of a centrist Troisième Force coalition with the centre and centre-right. The SFIO’s boss, Guy Mollet, clearly favoured the election of a centrist or moderate to the presidency and aligned his party for the legislative rather than presidential battle. But at the same time, the PCF and SFIO moved closer together. Unlike in 1958, the SFIO and PCF indicated that they would conform to the tradition of désistement républicain, a left-wing principle inherited from 1936 which held that left-wing candidates in a constituency who placed behind the first placed left-wing candidate would drop out of the runoff and endorse the left-wing candidate who placed first. The absence of such a deal in 1958 had annihilated the PCF, which won only 10 seats. Such a strategy obviously played to the PCF’s advantage, because the PCF, which maintained a base of roughly 20-25% of the electorate in every election, could hope to place ahead of SFIO or Radical candidates in a large number of constituencies and stand a good chance to win these seats in direct runoffs against the right or centre.

Two forces on the centre-right stood to gain the most from the political vacuum opened by Charles de Gaulle. On the one hand, the centrist Christian democratic Popular Republican Movement (MRP) and, on the other hand, the CNIP and its assorted coalition of ‘moderates’, ‘independents’ and other right-wingers. The Gaullist UNR fished directly in the MRP and the CNIP’s pond because, despite significant ideological and political differences between these two parties and the UNR, they shared a fairly similar right-wing, oftentimes clerical, electorate. The MRP and CNIP had already suffered in 1951 from the emergence of the Gaullist RPF, and while both parties had resisted fairly well in 1958 they were increasingly feeling the Gaullist pressure on their electorates. The MRP and CNIP had originally backed the General in his return to power in 1958 but both had left the presidential majority prior to the 1962 referendum. While both parties had underlying fears about the personalization of powers and executive dominance, for the MRP it was disagreement on European policy (the MRP being stridently pro-European and fairly ‘atlantiste’) and for the CNIP it was disagreement on economic and Algerian policy which precipitated the split. Both parties had formed the core of the cartel against the referendum.

As the political system seemed to slowly shifting back towards some kind of revamped Fourth Republic, the MRP and CNIP stood to benefit the most. Both parties had formed the core of many coalitions with other moderate parties (the Radicals and SFIO) during the Fourth Republic and they occupied a prominent position in the political centre as moderate, pragmatic and consensual centre-right parties which could form the base of any government or at least provide the bricks to build a new government.

The Gaullist party, the UNR-UDT, faced a major trough. Again, it was not because the General’s resignation had left his movement entirely leaderless. Prominent leaders such as Michel Debré, Georges Pompidou or Jacques Chaban-Delmas remained very prominent active politicians and formed the new backbone of the UNR. But, in the wake of the rebuke of the Gaullists in October, the UNR was losing speed and momentum. The legislative election, overnight, turned into a defensive rather than offensive one for the Gaullists.

On November 18, abstention was higher than in October at 25%, but still fairly low. The referendum showed a very polarized France, but the first round of the legislative elections showed a much divided France. The PCF won the most votes, with around 22%, against 21.5% for the UNR-UDT. The MRP placed third with 14%, narrowly ahead of the CNIP which took 13.5%. The SFIO won 13%. The Independent Republicans (RI), a group of liberal CNIP dissidents who were somewhat pro-Gaullist, won 5.5%. In reality, the UNR-UDT’s first place amongst right-wing parties was illusory. The party had performed very poorly. The old presidential majority behind de Gaulle won 21.5%, 27% if the RI is included. The “droite et centre d’opposition” – the MRP and CNIP – won 27.5% or 33% if the RI is included. The second round would prove decisive.

On November 25, voters confirmed the results of the first round. The results seemed to throw France back to the days of the Fourth Republic and its divided legislatures. While the Gaullists emerged with the most seats, 112, this accounted for only 23% of the total Assembly and represented a sizable loss compared to the 1958 election, already fairly mediocre for the Gaullists. The “droite et centre d’opposition” – the MRP and CNIP – won 141 seats together, with 77 for the MRP and 64 for the independents. On the left, the SFIO and PCF both increased their standings significantly compared to 1958 but represented only a minority of the Assembly with 76 and 64 seats respectively.

The PCF gained 54 seats, being buoyed – in large part – by the successful and quasi-universal application of the désistement républicain in its favour by the SFIO or left-wing Radicals. In large part, the PCF’s gains came in its traditional strongholds – the Nord, the Seine department, the Berry and Bourbonnais, the Lot-et-Garonne and the southeast.

The major realignment of forces, however, was on the right. The MRP and CNIP emerged; despite sizable loses for the CNIP due to the RI scission, as the largest block of forces on the centre-right. The MRP was successful in defending or tacking back lots of old turf in the old Catholic MRP strongholds in Brittany, the inner west, the southern Massif Central, the Lyonnais, the Savoie and Alsace-Moselle. The UNR held tight in conservative Normandy, Maine-et-Loire, the Parisian basin and parts of Champagne.

Most high-profile leaders were elected or reelected, with the exception of former Prime Minister Michel Debré who lost his seat in Indre-et-Loire. Otherwise, the likes of Georges Pompidou, Jacques Chaban-Delmas (UNR-UDT), Guy Mollet, Gaston Defferre (SFIO), Waldeck Rochet (PCF), Maurice Schumann, Robert Schuman (MRP), Paul Reynaud, Antoine Pinay (CNIP) and Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (RI) were elected or reelected.

II Legislature by group
UNR-UDT 117 seats (incl. 5 app.)
Socialist group (SFIO) 76 seats
Popular Republicans and Democratic Centre (RPCD) 77 seats
Independents and Peasants of Social Action (IPAS) 68 seats (incl. 4 app.)
Communist group (PCF) 64 seats
Democratic Rally (RD) 41 seats (incl. 2 app.)
Independent Republicans (RI) 30 seats
Non-inscrits 8 seats (incl. 3 PSU)



What government could emerge from these results? The question would need to wait until the presidential election, which was set for December 9 and 16. The Constitutional Council had the choice of two dates, December 2-9 or December 9-16 for the presidential election. Because candidacies must be published twelve days before the first round, if the election had been on December 2, candidacies would have been deposited before the second round of the legislative election. Candidacies for the December 9 election were due on November 27.

(the map was built using the actual results, constituency by constituency, for the otl 1962 election)
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« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2012, 04:58:09 pm »
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You made a map ! Cheesy

I'm really wondering what kind of political scene will emerge from that. With the CNIP not falling into irrelevancy, the UNR left without its raison d'être but still strong, the French right might turn to be even more fragmented than IRL. Tongue Will the President or the PM become the main institutional figure ? I assume you will avoid a complete return to the old 4th republic partitocracy.
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« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2012, 01:19:46 pm »
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Who would succeed Charles de Gaulle? After the Gaullist defeat on October 28, that was the question on everybody’s mouth. Little public attention had been paid prior to de Gaulle’s resignation on October 29 to the question, but behind the scenes, the parties and candidates were scurrying to align themselves on the start line in time for the election on December 9 and 16.

However, because the Gaullist amendment for the direct election of the President had been rejected, the election of de Gaulle’s successor would be the matter of some 80,000 electors in an electoral college composed of parliamentarians, general councillors and representatives from every one of France’s over 36,000 municipal councils. In 1958, this college had elected de Gaulle as the new President of the new Republic with over 78% of the votes by the first round. But the 1958 election did not give an accurate reflection of the nature of this body of electors. Made up, in vast majority, of independent and non-partisan local councillors from small-town France, this electoral body had a strong bias towards moderate, pragmatic, consensual and fairly non-ideological movements on the centre-left and centre-right – in other words, the old parties of the Fourth Republic and the partis de notables like the Radicals and CNIP. This had been confirmed in September 1962 with the renewal of a third of the Senate: the Radicals, Christian democrats, independents and moderates together accounted for 170 of the 274 seats (62%) while the UNR bench accounted for only 12% of the Senate’s composition and the PCF had only 5% of the seats in the Senate.

While this body was not Gaullist per se, as the 1958 election showed, it was not anti-Gaullist for that matter. Hence, the electable candidate needed to be a centrist politico who was more non-Gaullist than actually anti-Gaullist. Clearly, with this electorate, not representative of the wider French population, the PCF and the UNR candidates – if they ran – had no chance of success.

For ideological and political reasons, the PCF and UNR nonetheless presented candidates. The PCF candidate was Maurice Thorez, an old Stalinist boss and deputy from the Seine department. The UNR candidate was former Prime Minister Michel Debré, the General’s old right-hand man and the drafter of the 1958 constitution. Debré – like his old master – had much contempt towards Parliament. But neither of these candidates had a chance of winning in this electorate.

The fight was to be in the centre. The next President would certainly be a figure of the centre-left or centre-right, a consensual and moderate figure. This was conceded by Guy Mollet, the leader of the SFIO. Mollet was a parliamentarian and a fairly ardent believer in the predominance of parliament over the executive. For him, the SFIO’s place was clearly in the National Assembly, especially given that October 28 had confirmed Mollet’s reading of the constitution. Mollet endorsed the option of a moderate centrist figure for the presidential succession.

It was not quite a political vacuum which emerged after the dust from the General’s resignation settled. There was clearly an abundance of prominent centre-left and centre-right leaders who stood ready to assume the presidency. Major names which were floated included former Prime Minister Edgar Faure (Radical), Maurice Schumann (MRP), former Prime Minister René Pleven (centre-right), Maurice Faure (Radical), former Prime Minister Pierre Pfimlin (MRP), the Third Republic’s Paul Reynaud (CNIP) and even interim President Gaston Monnerville (Radical). However, above all other names, was that of Antoine Pinay (CNIP). Pinay had served as Prime Minister under the Fourth Republic, but in the revolving door politics of that era, he had nonetheless managed to emerge with a stature and popularity almost unequaled on the right, leaving his mark on the history of the French right like Pierre Mendès-France left his mark on the history of the left. Pinay had briefly served as finance minister under de Gaulle (1958-1960), a position in which he was the political architect of the liberal-minded Pinay-Rueff plan which devalued the franc and created the “nouveau Franc”. Pinay was a popular figure on the centre-right, but beyond his own political movement, he was respected as a hard-working pragmatic, consensual moderate. He was also not, per se, anti-Gaullist.

Pinay announced his candidacy and quickly emerged as the favourite. In the first round, for purposes of power politics, Maurice Faure (Radical) and Pierre Pfimlin (MRP), were candidates, but a second round consensus around Pinay was quite likely.

French presidential election, 1962: First round (December 9, 1962)
Antoine Pinay (CNIP – RI) 39.73%
Maurice Faure (Radical) 27.65%
Pierre Pfimlin (MRP) 15.09%
Michel Debré (UNR-UDT) 11.52%
Maurice Thorez (PCF) 6.01%

There was one week before the runoff on December 16, where only a plurality was required to be elected. Maurice Faure and Pierre Pfimlin quickly withdrew their candidacies and endorsed Antoine Pinay. As was widely expected, the entire political cast of the Fourth Republic from the Socialists to the moderates endorsed Pinay, leaving the PCF and the Gaullists on the sidelines.

French presidential election, 1962: Second round (December 16, 1962)
Antoine Pinay (CNIP – RI – Radical – MRP) 78.98%
Michel Debré (UNR-UDT) 12.62%
Maurice Thorez (PCF) 8.4%

Antoine Pinay was elected as the second President of the Fifth Republic on December 16. His election was the fruit not only of the reconstruction of a Third Force-type coalition from the centre-left to the centre-right, it was also the result of Pinay's own personal image and popularity. He represented neither a total break with the Gaullist legacy nor a continuation of Gaullism.

As Pinay prepared to take office on December 21, his first task was to read the results of the legislative elections and name a Prime Minister.
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17:40   oakvale   the people are bad and shouldn't be allowed vote whenever possible
17:40   oakvale   The average voter wants to end austerity, bring back hanging and put all immigrants in death
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« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2012, 02:14:52 pm »
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I guess Pinay would be the most logical choice in such scenario. Waiting to see what comes next. Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2012, 03:15:05 pm »

French presidential election, 1962: Second round (December 16, 1962)
Antoine Pinay (CNIP – RI – Radical – MRP) 78.98%
Michel Debré (UNR-UDT) 12.62%
Maurice Thorez (PCF) 8.4%

LOL Grin
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A note:

The fascist Kalwejt has once again deleted a whole thread I made in the International board today.
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« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2012, 10:42:06 am »
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President-elect Antoine Pinay took office on December 21, 1962. His immediate preoccupation was the formation of a new government based on the results of the November legislative elections. The election had resulted in the explosion of the French political spectrum in a million different ways, and threatened to throw the country back to the chaotic days of the Fourth Republic.

A government seeking an absolute majority in the new Assembly needed to have the support of 242 of the new legislature's 482 members. A centre-right coalition of the MRP, moderates and RI obviously lacked a majority. There were, in reality, only two options: a broader right-wing coalition extending from the MRP to the Gaullists, which held 292 seats or a reconstructed Third Force coalition composed of the SFIO, Radicals, MRP, moderates and RI, excluding the PCF and the UNR.

Both coalition options, however, had major obstacles on their path. On the one hand, the Gaullists had only been ousted for power and its leadership was in no mood to participate in a government which it probably would not control and which would lead the country in a political and institutional direction different than the one they preferred. Quickly, a coalition of the right with the UNR was quickly excluded as neither side showed particular interest or sympathy for such an option.

While a Third Force option quickly emerged as the only possible solution to guarantee the country's political and institutional stability in the short term, even that old and tried option was facing obstacles. The main obstacle remained the SFIO, which would obviously be marginalized by the weight of the centre-right in such a government. Even if Mollet had more appetite, on the whole, for a moderate centrist Third Force-type government than for a left-wing alliance with the Communists, he was not as viscerally anti-communist as the old SFIO leadership. After all, Mollet had been the leader of the party's left-wing when he won the leadership over the stridently anti-communist old guard of the party. The SFIO had also been placed in a more left-wing direction by its electoral alliance of sorts with the PCF, a deal which in the end pleased no one but which served the interests of both parties. At the same time, though, the SFIO's alliance for electoral purposes only did not mean that the PCF had moved much closer to the SFIO than it had in the previous years.

Ultimately, a revamped and expanded Third Force emerged as the acceptable option. Such a coalition could theoretically count on some 292 or so deputies in the new Assembly, but it would be a tough crowd to control at all times. What (re)emerged was the political mentality of the Fourth Republic: a fairly unruly and superficial coalition of parties who didn't like each other and who diverged on a number of fundamental issues but who, in the end, all disliked the PCF and the Gaullists more than they disliked each other, and agreed, for the sake of the country's political and institutional stability, to come together in a coalition of divergent interests.

This recreation of the Fourth Republic's political organization, however, still came in the context of the Gaullist-inspired 1958 constitution and its principle of 'rationalized parliamentarianism'. Unlike under the Fourth Republic, the government had a major tool in its hands to assuage its authority and cement its leadership: Article 49. The first clause could be read in a way which did not technically require the government to seek the approval of the National Assembly for its political program. The second clause of Article 49 enshrined but also limited the use of the motion of no-confidence, which needed the support of a tenth of deputies, and could only be ratified if an absolute majority of the members composing the National Assembly (all 482) expressed a positive vote (hence, abstentions were counted as, defacto, pro-government). If a motion of no-confidence failed, a new motion could not be presented again during the present session. Finally, the third clause of Article 49 allowed for the government to "ram through" controversial legislation by forcing the Assembly to adopt it without a vote save if a motion of no-confidence was deposed and approved within 48 hours. This tool, in the hands of the new government, could prove a Godsend as it allowed it to hold tight even in the face of an uncertain majority.

Negotiations over the form of the new government still proved tortuous. The SFIO vacillated in its attitude towards the new majority, hesitating between support without participation or actual cabinet participation. Certain sectors of the RD group, notably François Mitterrand, showed themselves to be hostile towards the new government. The MRP was lobbying to receive the office of Prime Minister, as the largest party in the new coalition government. There was much uncertainty over the name of the next Prime Minister. Some wished to have the caretaker Prime Minister, Pierre Sudreau, take the leadership of the new government. Agreement emerged that the MRP should receive the office of Prime Minister, after which Pierre Pflimlin and Maurice Schumann became the two 'favourites' for the office of Prime Minister.

On January 3, President Antoine Pinay nominated Maurice Schumann (MRP), a former foreign minister and prominent Christian democratic deputy from the Nord department. On January 4, the composition of the new government was announced:

Schumann Government, as nominated on January 4, 1963 (ministerial positions)
Prime Minister: Maurice Schumann (MRP)
Minister of State, Minister of Justice: Paul Ribeyre (CNIP)
Minister of State, Minister of the Interior: Pierre Pfimlin (MRP)
Minister of State, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs: René Pleven (UDSR)
Minister of State, Minister of National Defense and Armed Forces: Jules Moch (SFIO)
Minister of Finances and Economic Affairs: Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (RI)
Minister of Cultural Affairs: Jacques Duhamel (MRP)
Minister of Labour: Paul Bacon (MRP)
Minister of Industry: Jean Legendre (CNIP)
Minister of Education: Joseph Fontanet (MRP)
Minister of Health: Robert Fabre (Radical-Socialist)
Minister of Social Affairs: Maurice Faure (Radical-Socialist)
Minister for Overseas Departments and Territories: Louis Jacquinot (RI)
Minister of Agriculture: Roger Houdet (CNIP)
Minister of Public Works and Urban Development: Pierre Sudreau (MRP)
Minister of Transportation: Robert Buron (MRP)
Minister of Veterans Affairs: André Colin (MRP)
Minister of Posts and Telecommunications: Roger Duchet (CNIP)
Minister responsible for Scientific Research and Atomic Questions: Max Lejeune (SFIO)
Minister responsible for Parliamentary Relations: Édouard Frédéric-Dupont (CNIP)
Minister responsible for the Budget: Pierre Courant (CNIP)
Minister without Portfolio: Paul Reynaud (CNIP)
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17:40   oakvale   the people are bad and shouldn't be allowed vote whenever possible
17:40   oakvale   The average voter wants to end austerity, bring back hanging and put all immigrants in death
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« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2012, 06:43:10 am »
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Mmmm... Great and fascinating idea. I've just discovered the thread.

I'm pretty sure that, for the first 10 or 15 years, the Vth Republic would have worked quite similarly as it did between 1962 and 2002 (or 2000 or 2005 or 2007, as you wish: I mean, until the real effects of the 5-year term for Presidents).

After some years, of course, Presidents' legitimacy may well have faded. But not immediately and not if the partisan structure would have become more solid.

Here the electoral system is in fact the main thing to take into account.
With a majority system, I think the Third Force combinations would have died ultimately.

In this idea, maybe PMF could have emerged as the new leader of the left, the one who has understood that you can have a broadly parliamentary system (or a mixed one but with a Parliament that have still powers) but with stability through stable bipartisan system thanks to majority system in elections (and even a stricter one than the one then at work).

With a bunch of socialists, with the PSU-PSA, with Mitterrand and a large bunch of radicals, and maybe even some MRP, he could have become the main opponent of Pinay, sidelining Mollet and preventing Mitterrand from really emerging.
So probably a PMF Prime minister in 1967.
And a PMF President in 1969, or still PM while a Savary or a Defferre is President with less power than written in the Constitution.

I completely agree that Pinay would have replaced de Gaulle in the presidential election and I broadly agree with your analysis of the right.
On the longer term, maybe Pompidou could have transformed the gaullist movement in a "simple" conservative party, able to prevail over Pinay's heir, VGE. Sort of RPR-UDF rivalry as soon as the late 1960s...

Or maybe even as soon as 1965, with the left of the MRP rallying PMF and the old gaullists (Debré) being dropped by the conservative barons, eager to enter the government (a bit like Chaban became a minister under the IVth Republic). Hence, CNIP + two thirds of MRP + DVD + three quarters of UNR + some isolated radicals could have made a majority with Pinay and Schumann still in command.

Anyway, it's a very good idea and I'll try to find time to keep reading this very interesting fantasy.
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