France: The Sorrow and the Pity

Amid sagging polls, the Socialists gather to take stock

France's ruling Socialist Party assembled in the Burgundian town of Bourg-en-Bresse last weekend to assess, among other things, its alarmingly low standing with voters after two years in power. Few of the 2,600 delegates and other members present would dispute that the Socialists, along with their Communist allies in government, were disillusioning much of an electorate that had turned leftward in hope of change. Despite the free-flowing Beaujolais and steaming Lyons sausages served in a floodlit glow of camaraderie, the party's biennial...

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