Commentary: The United States and France are the two oldest surviving republics of the world as the American Constitution was promulgated in 1788 and French Revolution took place in 1789. The two republics have diverged in its tendencies as French has rooted in a monarch republic and American has kept its republican roots. The American constitution has remained intact with a few amendments while France has known its 5th constitution.
The tradition of primary elections are deeply rooted in the American system that no incumbent is entitled to bypass it. Primary elections are only a novelty to the French political system. Some incumbents or past presidents feel entitled to bypass the primary election system that they had established themselves. Due to bad governance of Francois Hollande, 46% of French prefer Nicolas Sarkozy be President to Francois Hollande (27%).
The rancor and big egos are part of politicians’ personalities. Negative campaigns are parts of the political life. However, French leaders have harder time to swallow their prides. Sarkozy and Hollande could not stand each other for 13 hour flight to South Africa to attend Mandela’s funeral. In contrast, American leaders can put aside their differences for the photo-ops or sharing with the exclusive club members. The travel of the current and former French president to South Africa had been a polemic in the media for the past few days.
The travels of former and current presidents show the maturity of democracy of France and the United States.
American Delegation to Mandela’s Tribute:
French Delegation to Mandela’s Tribute: