French Socialist leader Martine Aubry has jumped off the fence and come down in favour of open primary elections for the next presidential candidate. Except that she has not said which sort in a press article out today.
Many of the party big guns had already plumped on an extended plebiscite as the best way to renew the PS and take it back into power. Unity is what it has always lacked. “We want the vote to be open to anyone on the left, for the simple reason that candidates chosen by primaries can unite everyone better,” said a supporter of the idea. However any move to make politics even more presidential in France is met with resistance. Some are very sceptical about primaries. “I’m against them because I think we will produce another Segolene Royale, in other worlds a candidate who looks good in the media but who maybe is not the best,” said a party activist. Others from the PS and beyond into the Communists, Greens, and factions of the centrist MODEM party, favour an even more radical reform; opening candidacy up as well, meaning a united left leader need not be a Socialist.