Apparently it is a serious offense to jeer French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
A regional prefect (similar to a governor) and a local police chief have been removed because they failed to shield the President from the boos and whistles of protesters when he made a speech in Normandy in January.
According to the the Independent here: About 3,000 demonstrators protested. M. Sarkozy was furious that the demonstrators had been allowed to come so near that he could hear them faintly. The official reason for their removal according to the Sarkozy’s Interior Minister is that the officials made “arrangements which failed to meet the importance of a situation”.
Although internationally Sarkozy, who is also the current head of the EU seems more progressive, than say our current leader, opposing the US invasion of Iraq, proposing strong environmental reforms for the EU, and most recently working with Mubarak of Egypt on a ceasefire in Gaza, his party, the UMP is the conservative, right of center party in France.
His reforms to labour, separation of church and state (wanting more religious involement) and selective imigration rules (setting priorities for certain skills) have made him an anathema to the socialists in France and his authoritarian approch to governance, as demonstrated by the removal of these local officials have also earned him criticism from those on the right, including his own party.
Hence the Nicolas Sarkozy Voodoo Manual and doll displayed above that was published last year. Sarkozy filed a suit to ban the sale of the book, “requesting the withdrawal of the voodoo doll by invoking his right to absolute and exclusive use of his image”. A similar move and legal argument made by our own demogogue in power, although in France the suit was quickly dismissed.
Although France often appears like a dysfunctional country, it appears that a socalled, conservative, center of right politician can always make things worse. I like the idea of a Voodoo Doll though, maybe it is something we can start here in Canada, as Harper’s stimulus program starts to fall apart and makes things worse.