Which French Party Would You Vote For?

 

Update: My answers are now here.

Let’s take a break for a bit of mild amusement. My friend Arun has translated the questionnaire below, designed to see which French political party you should vote for, into English. As he notes:

[T]his is a multiple choice questionnaire developed six or seven years ago by former students at Sciences Po, to determine where one is situated on the French political spectrum. There are questions on twelve key issues, with some of the choices complex and only slight nuances of difference between them, so as to identify precisely which political party or current within a party—of a list of some 25—most closely articulates one’s views (and with a runner-up). So the algorithm is sophisticated. N.B. It does not speak to how one may actually vote, just which parties one is politically closest to. The test’s satisfaction level has been very high (see ‘Les taux de satisfaction’ tab), particularly for those supporting the major parties of government.

Here are the rules. You’re on the honor system:

  1. Don’t click on Arun’s site until you’ve taken the test (so you don’t prejudice yourself), and — although his comments are very interesting — don’t write anything about what he says until tomorrow, after everyone’s had the chance to take the test and come up with their own thoughts about what they think their score might mean.
  2. Take the test before reading anyone else’s comments and before seeing how everyone else did.
  3. Answer the questions, as much as possible, based on your own political principles, instead of trying to second-guess what you might think if you were French.
  4. Be honest about your results, even if they surprise you. It’s fine — encouraged, even — to speculate about why they were or weren’t what you expected, but again, take the test before reading everyone else’s results and before reading their thoughts about why they scored the way they did!
  5. Were you surprised? If so, why? Why do you think you scored the way you expected to, or why do you think you came up with a surprising result?
  6. I’ll tell you my results, why I think I got them, and what I think that means, tomorrow.

Here’s the translation from Arun’s website. (Remember, take the test first before clicking on that link. Ideally, don’t look at his site at all until after you’ve reported your results and speculated about why you scored the way you did — it’s not apt to influence you hugely, but it may prejudice you a bit. And we’ll talk about his hypotheses tomorrow, not today.) Some of the questions may have more than one answer that seems right to you; just pick the statement with which you most strongly agree.

TAXES (1 /12)

1.  There should be a tax cut for everyone when government has the means to do so and a tax increase for everyone when this is necessary.

2.  There should be an across-the-board tax cut to enable business and individuals to invest more money in the economy and in order to create more jobs.

3.  There should be a tax cut for lower-income persons and a tax increase for the rich or on business, in the interest of social solidarity and to finance public services.

GLOBALIZATION (2 / 12)

1.  Globalization should be regulated.  International institutions (or even national governments) should impose rules to better protect the rights of working people, the environment, and sensitive sectors of the economies of each country (for example, agriculture or culture).

2.  All customs barriers should be abolished, as well as subsidies and national regulations that distort competition, so that competition between firms throughout the world may take place in all areas and without impediment.  It is by these means that optimal economic efficiency will be realized and which will be in the interest of all.

3.  Globalization can be an opportunity.  It enables firms to find new markets.  Jobs that are lost due to outsourcing and plant closings are generally compensated for by those that are created elsewhere in the economy, which are higher skilled and raise living standards.  But government should help those who lose out due to globalization.

4.  Globalization of the economy aggravates the exploitation and pollution of poor countries, and brings about outsourcing and plant closings that destroy jobs in rich countries.  International institutions that are truly democratic should protect the rights of people (and not multinationals).  The profits of business that are generated by globalization should be taxed in order to help poor countries develop.

5.  Globalization is an opportunity, as the opening up of borders gives firms access to new markets and which enables them to create jobs.  “Barriers” that prevent goods and services from circulating freely should thus be brought down.  But in order for national firms to fully benefit from this, they should be freed to the utmost from regulatory constraints that place them at a disadvantage vis-à-vis foreign competitors.

POVERTY AND EXCLUSION (3 / 12)

1.  Rather than having people depend too much on public assistance (or in tempting them to profit from the system) they should be made responsible [for their own fate], so they will depend more on themselves and less on government in order to get out of the situation they find themselves in.

2.  Government should come to the aid of the poorest members of society, though they should not become too dependent on government.

3.  Government should do what is necessary so that each person receives what he or she needs to live decently.

PUBLIC SERVICES AND THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT (4 / 12)

1.  Government should focus its efforts on the principal missions of public service and share other missions with the private sector (such as health insurance, postal service, universities…), in order to lower their cost and increase efficiency.

2.  Public sector employment should be increased and with much more money allocated to public services, so that each user, whatever his or her means, has access to quality public services (health, education, culture, water, energy, communication, public transportation…).  Public services have a social mission and must not seek to make a profit.

3.  All public services have a social mission—not to leave anyone by the wayside—that private enterprise cannot assume.  They should have sufficient means to serve the public, but government should also seek to make them more efficient.

4.  To ensure their mission but without representing too heavy a burden for government, public services should become both more efficient and less costly.  Some of them (the postal service or rail transport, for example) can be made to compete with private firms and even be partially privatized (though where government maintains majority control), which will motivate public services to improve.

5.  Government should focus only on its three veritable missions, which are the police, justice, and national defense.  All the rest can be given over to the private sector, whose methods of management are much more efficient.

BUSINESS (5 / 12)

1.  Laws benefiting working people (e.g. health care, pensions, collective bargaining, paid vacations and maternity leave) should be imposed on business, and indemnities paid to laid off employees by profitable companies should be increased.

2.  Government should give business total freedom by doing away with the various taxes and regulations that impose handicaps on their development.

3.  Priority should be given to aiding small business, by lowering their taxes and lessening regulations, and government should not interfere in labor-management relations.

4.  The profits of companies should benefit employees before they do shareholders.  Moreover, there should be a law that forbids mass layoffs by profitable companies, under penalty of being requisitioned by the state and to the benefit of the employees.

5.  The tax burden on business should be lessened and regulations reduced, so that companies will create more jobs and be more competitive.

RELIGION (6 / 12)

1.  Whether or not one is religiously observant, one must not neglect the moral values conveyed by religion.

2.  One must tolerate all types of religious practices so long as they are freely consented to, even when they may be shocking to some.

3.  Religious morality should be combated, as it prevents people from living and thinking freely.

4.  Religion may sometimes be incompatible with personal freedom but it can, at the same time, offer answers to the profound questions of human existence.

5.  The message of religion is primordial, as it helps us distinguish good from bad in our lives.

HOMOSEXUALITY (7 /12)

1.  LGBT parenting should be recognized, with gay couples enjoying the same rights as heterosexual couples, and who should be able to openly live their homosexuality as they wish.

2.  Homosexuality is dangerous for society. Anything that encourages it should be opposed.

3.  The attitude of society toward gays needs to change so as to do away with discrimination that they may be subjected to, but gay marriage should not be authorized nor should gay couples be allowed to adopt children.

4.  There should be total equality of rights for gays, who should be able to live normally, marry, and adopt and raise children.

5.  If homosexuality in itself does not pose a problem, it may do so when it is openly displayed. The traditional couple—with a father and a mother raising children—should be defended.

ABORTION (8 / 12)

1.  The right of abortion should be guaranteed but women should also be made aware that abortion is not a trivial act.

2.  Women should be able to have abortions but only in cases of rape or if their health in is danger.

3.  The right of women to freely have abortions must be defended.

4.  Abortion should be illegal. To abort an unborn child is a crime.

DRUGS (9 / 12)

1.  The legalization of cannabis would be a serious error. The use of all drugs must be opposed.

2.  Soft drugs should be legalized. The consumption of hard drugs should be decriminalized.

3.  Cannabis should be legalized, though, as with alcohol, it should be consumed only in moderation.

4.  The issue of drugs is complex; the viewpoints of specialists should be accorded particular consideration.

DELINQUENCY/CRIME (10 / 12)

1.  Each person is responsible for his or her acts and has it within his or her power to decide not to engage in delinquency. To deter people from committing delinquent acts, the punishment they risk should be truly dissuasive (i.e. sufficiently severe).

2.  Delinquency often develops in difficult contexts (unemployment, ghettos, family problems, difficulties in integrating into society…) but context does not explain everything. In order to effectively counter delinquency the right balance between dissuasive punishment and preventive measures (i.e. getting at the causes) should be sought.

3.  Delinquency is above all the result of difficult contexts (unemployment, ghettos, family problems, difficulties in integrating into society…). In order to obtain lasting results in countering delinquency, tackling its causes should be given priority.

VOTING RIGHTS AND NATIONALITY (11 / 12)

1.  All foreigners who have lived in France for a long time, regardless of where they come from, should have the right to vote at least in local elections. The acquisition of French citizenship should also be facilitated for them.

2.  Only French citizens should have the right to vote, and, except in special cases, one cannot be French without having at least one French parent. The mere fact of having been born in France should not lead to the automatic acquisition of French citizenship.

3.  Only French citizens should have the right to vote. All persons who were born in France and live here, whatever their origin, should have French citizenship.

4.  All foreigners resident in France should have the right to vote, whatever their nationality.

5.  Only French citizens should have the right to vote. The only immigrants who should be able to become French citizens are those who have demonstrated their attachment to France in making an effort to integrate, and who have applied for French citizenship on their own volition (and including children born in France to foreign non-naturalized parents).

IMMIGRATION (12 / 12)

1.  Integration works when immigrants feel that they not only have rights but also responsibilities. It is also important to fight against illegal immigration.

2.  Problems linked to immigration do not come from immigrants themselves but rather from the various contexts (economic, social, historic…) in which immigration occurs. The first order of business is to make sure the rights of immigrants are respected, whether the immigrants are legal or not.

3.  To facilitate the integration of immigrants it is necessary to fight against unemployment—which hinders their integration—and to make sure that the rights of immigrants are respected in countering discrimination of which they may be victims.

4.  In order for the integration of immigrants to succeed they must not suffer from discrimination but, at the same time, they should respect the values of the host country.

5.  Some immigrants will always remain foreigners. They should therefore return to their home countries, for our good and for theirs.

OPTIONAL QUESTION — THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR YOU IN FEELING CLOSE TO A PARTY OR POLITICAL PERSONALITY IS SHARING THE SAME CONVICTIONS ON:

1.  Economic issues.

2.  Social and moral issues.

3.  The idea one has of France, Europe, or the world.

4.  None of these in particular.

OTHER ISSUES NOT MENTIONED IN THE PRECEDING LIST:

1.  Defense of the environment, and particularly ending nuclear power.

2.  Defense of rural life.

3.  Defense of republican equality (i.e., refusing special treatment based on the specificities of regions or individuals, such as Corsica, homosexuals, those who practice such and such a religion, etc).

4.  None of these in particular.

And here’s the test itself.

Have fun! I’ll refrain from weighing except in response to specific, factual questions, or problems of translation, until tomorrow — so that I don’t prejudice anyone’s answers or thoughts about their results.

And a bonus for those of you studying French, or interested in French politics …

There are 88 comments.

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  1. Stephen Bishop Inactive
    Stephen Bishop
    @StephenBishop

    It’s a waste of time.

    The only almost honest person is Le Pen. So the question should be do you want her or not?

    • #1
  2. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Vous vous situez à droite.

    Le parti dont vous êtes le plus proche :

    Les Républicains (tendance libérale)
        Le parti Les Républicains soutient la candidature de François Fillon.

     

    So I guess I’m a Republican in both France and the US of A.

     

    • #2
  3. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Stephen Bishop (View Comment):
    The only almost honest person is Le Pen. So the question should be do you want her or not?

    Bernie Sanders was honest, more honest than Trump IMHO.  Doesn’t mean I’d vote for Sanders, though.

    • #3
  4. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    My results (translated):

    You are on the right.

    The parties you are closest to (in order):

    1. The Republicans (“Strong Right” trend)
    The Republicans party supports the candidacy of François Fillon.

    2. the National Front
    The National Front supports the candidacy of Marine Le Pen.

    The following party (ies):

    3. the Christian Democratic Party (ex-Forum of Social Republicans), Christine Boutin

    But you do not always share the same opinions about the importance of people’s personal responsibility or the evolution of mores.
    The Christian Democratic Party, which participated in the right and center primary, supports the candidacy of François Fillon.

    4. Standing France (DLF), the party of Nicolas Dupont-Aignan

    But you do not always share the same opinions on economic or social issues or the importance of people’s personal responsibility.
    Standing France supports the candidacy of Nicolas Dupont-Aignan.

    Sounds about right.

    • #4
  5. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Un maudit gauchard moi.  I think these are French words.

    • #5
  6. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Stephen Bishop (View Comment):
    It’s a waste of time.

    The only almost honest person is Le Pen. So the question should be do you want her or not?

    Today’s headlines: Le Pen denies French responsibility in WWII round up of Paris Jews. Last week’s: France’s Marine Le Pen urges end to Russia sanctions. Week before: Russia’s Putin Picks Le Pen to Rule France. Week before: France: Le Pen’s Office Chief Charged Over “Fake Jobs” Scandal. France right wing party leader: Ban kippahs. Russia rightfully seeks the demilitarization of Central Europe: Le Pen. Europe’s focus now falls on Le Pen pledge to leave NATO.

    No, I don’t want her. Anyone else?

    • #6
  7. Mrs K Inactive
    Mrs K
    @MrsK

    You are on the right.
    The parties you are closest to (in order):
    1. The Republicans (ex-UMP)
    The Republicans party supports the candidacy of François Fillon.
    And in a lesser extent :
    2. the Democratic Movement (MoDem) by François Bayrou
    But you are more conservative about issues related to changing mores.
    The MoDem supports the candidacy of Emmanuel Macron.
    The following party (ies):
    3. IDU
    But you are more conservative about issues related to changing mores.
    The UDI supports the candidacy of François Fillon.
    4. Christian Democratic Party (ex-Forum of Social Republicans), Christine Boutin
    But you are more open about issues related to changing mores.
    The Christian Democratic Party, which participated in the right and center primary, supports the candidacy of François Fillon.

    • #7
  8. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    I couldn’t find anyone to vote for in the last United States election, let alone France…

    • #8
  9. Cato Rand Inactive
    Cato Rand
    @CatoRand

    When I click the link, I get a test in French.  Is there an English version @claire?

    • #9
  10. Matt Y. Inactive
    Matt Y.
    @MattY

    My results

    You’re on the right.

    The party of which you are the nearest:

    The Republicans (ex-UMP)
        The party The Republicans supports the candidacy of François Fillon.

    • #10
  11. Cato Rand Inactive
    Cato Rand
    @CatoRand

    Matt Y. (View Comment):
    My results

    You’re on the right.

    The party of which you are the nearest:

    The Republicans (ex-UMP)
    The party The Republicans supports the candidacy of François Fillon.

    I got the same thing, though I got my answer in French.

    • #11
  12. Cato Rand Inactive
    Cato Rand
    @CatoRand

    Claire Berlinski, Ed. (View Comment):

    Stephen Bishop (View Comment):
    It’s a waste of time.

    The only almost honest person is Le Pen. So the question should be do you want her or not?

    Today’s headlines: Le Pen denies French responsibility in WWII round up of Paris Jews.

    Hey, look at the bright side.  At least she didn’t brag about it.

    • #12
  13. Matt Y. Inactive
    Matt Y.
    @MattY

    Cato Rand (View Comment):

    Matt Y. (View Comment):
    My results

    You’re on the right.

    The party of which you are the nearest:

    The Republicans (ex-UMP)
    The party The Republicans supports the candidacy of François Fillon.

    I got the same thing, though I got my answer in French.

    I right-clicked and hit “Translate to English” (in Google Chrome)

    • #13
  14. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Cato Rand (View Comment):

    Claire Berlinski, Ed. (View Comment):

    Stephen Bishop (View Comment):
    It’s a waste of time.

    The only almost honest person is Le Pen. So the question should be do you want her or not?

    Today’s headlines: Le Pen denies French responsibility in WWII round up of Paris Jews.

    Hey, look at the bright side. At least she didn’t brag it.

    Do foreigners even really exist apart from their usefulness to shallow domestic political discourse?

    I have my doubts.

    • #14
  15. Matt Y. Inactive
    Matt Y.
    @MattY

    I didn’t get the multiple party results that some of the earlier commenters got, only the Republican party, for whatever reason. But (after clicking on the link for a further explanation) this is my positioning, compared to the Republicans’ positioning on the three axes. Technically inside the party’s range, but I don’t really match any of the “four trends” that it says the party brings together, if you look further down the same page.

    But look here at the Christian Democratic Party’s positioning, and compare it to mine. It’s the same pattern, although my position on the second and third axes is just slightly outside their range. But that might just depend on a tweak to a question or two. So my pattern matches their pattern, and if I were French, I might well be a member of that party. I’ve thought for a while that my political ideas resemble some of the Christian Democratic parties of Europe – not a very common profile here in the U.S.

     

    • #15
  16. outlaws6688 Inactive
    outlaws6688
    @outlaws6688

    There are no good options, so if there aren’t any good options then I would prioritize two things. 1) Smashing the EU. 2) Reversing the open borders and refugee policy currently in place. Now, Le Pen is a Socialist and I would never normally vote for her, but with the other options available, I would go with the one person who fits those two criteria.

    • #16
  17. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    I don’t like any of the questions, like the questionnaires I get from conservative groups to entice me to send them a check.   If I send them back it’s with heavy edits and no check, but only if its in a prepaid envelop, it’s not worth the 42 cents or what ever stamps cost now days.

    • #17
  18. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Les Républicains (tendance libérale)

    • #18
  19. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    You are on the right.

    The party of which you are the nearest:

    The Republicans (liberal tendency)
        The party The Republicans supports the candidacy of François Fillon.

    The following party (s):

    Standing France (DLF), the party of Nicolas Dupont-Aignan
    but you give much less importance to the role of the State in the economic and social field .

    • #19
  20. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    I didn’t vote in our 2016 primaries or general elections on the basis of stated “policy positions,” and would prefer not to start the bad habit of evaluating candidates that way here.  (Some Ricochetti told me they do give weight to stated policy positions.)

    • #20
  21. Gaius Inactive
    Gaius
    @Gaius

    Les Républicains (tendance libérale)

    • #21
  22. JcTPatriot Inactive
    JcTPatriot
    @JcTPatriot

    Very interesting. All we hear about over here is Le Pen Le Pen Le Pen. The reality is that we should be talking about “the party I am the nearest” (probably because there is nobody further to the right) François Fillon.

    Nicolas Sarkozy has backed François Fillon completely, and, coupled with the fact that the Left has been making up scandals about him and the MSM there has been running hard with that Fake News, and the Left has been throwing food at him, I’d say he is probably the person who is most likely to save France from their slow suicide.

    My policy is, when I don’t know enough about the candidates, anyone who gets the far left marching in the streets is probably the best candidate. I hope he wins.

    • #22
  23. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Despite having already declared for a candidate, it looks like I would be voting for Fillon.

    Votez pour l’escroc, pas la belette: c’est important!

    • #23
  24. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    I Walton (View Comment):
    I don’t like any of the questions, like the questionnaires I get from conservative groups to entice me to send them a check. If I send them back it’s with heavy edits and no check, but only if its in a prepaid envelop, it’s not worth the 42 cents or what ever stamps cost now days.

    I used to do that, too. In fact, I liked to send them back when they were paying postage, so I could waste their money.  I liked doing it even more with leftwing questionnaires.

    I don’t get those any more, or maybe we do get some but throw them in the trash, unopened.

    • #24
  25. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):
    There are no good options, so if there aren’t any good options then I would prioritize two things. 1) Smashing the EU. 2) Reversing the open borders and refugee policy currently in place. Now, Le Pen is a Socialist and I would never normally vote for her, but with the other options available, I would go with the one person who fits those two criteria.

    What open border and refugee policy now in place?
    Let me just repeat: This morning, Le Pen denied French responsibility for this:

    If you’d like a non-socialist candidate who supports withdrawing from the EU, may I suggest François Asselineau? He’s a decent man who doesn’t descend from a long line of Holocaust deniers.

    (Correction: I wrote “socialist” when I meant “non-socialist.” Asselineau is definitely not a socialist! Please excuse the error.)

    • #25
  26. RyanFalcone Member
    RyanFalcone
    @RyanFalcone

    Republican.

    I didn’t see a secondary party listed for myself.

    I enjoy these types of exercises. Although, as I get older, they are becoming more predictable and less revealing. I’m at the age where I wonder if it is possible for my personality and beliefs to change much? Much of my world-view is born of fire and has been seared into my soul. I am becoming less open to debate and more judgmental and dismissive of the beliefs of others. I can’t discern whether Ricochet is good or bad for me.

    Thanks for sharing this!

     

    • #26
  27. JcTPatriot Inactive
    JcTPatriot
    @JcTPatriot

    RyanFalcone (View Comment):
    I enjoy these types of exercises. Although, as I get older, they are becoming more predictable and less revealing. I’m at the age where I wonder if it is possible for my personality and beliefs to change much? Much of my world-view is born of fire and has been seared into my soul. I am becoming less open to debate and more judgmental and dismissive of the beliefs of others. I can’t discern whether Ricochet is good or bad for me.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    Ricochet won’t matter. If my almost-age-80 dad is any guide, you’ll get worse. Soon, everyone except you (and maybe a couple of your friends) will be idiots who are probably still trying to find a way to get Hillary in the White House. You’ll think everyone in America (except you) are Left-educated Useful Idiots who believe every single word the DNC tells them.

    Sorry to give you the bad news.  :-)

    • #27
  28. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Does this settle some of your worries, Claire?

    Le Pen has dominated headlines, so Americans’ defense of her has generally involved distrust of media and an assumption that because of one or two policy stances she must be on the side of sanity. But, as this shows, the French have more options than Americans. So in France multiple parties might share a couple sane policy positions and yet only one of the parties is generally sane.

    I wasn’t entirely sure which option to choose on two or three of those questions. But we can get into the details tomorrow.

    • #28
  29. Locke On Member
    Locke On
    @LockeOn

    Les Républicains (tendance libérale)
        Le parti Les Républicains soutient la candidature de François Fillon.

    • #29
  30. Richard Finlay Inactive
    Richard Finlay
    @RichardFinlay

    You are on the right.

    The party of which you are the nearest:

    The Republicans (liberal tendency)
        The party The Republicans supports the candidacy of François Fillon.

    I should take it again, changing my answers to the ‘other’ choice when I had trouble picking one.

    Just to see what happens.

    • #30

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