Recent polls tell us, for instance, that 60% of Americans disapprove of President Bush's overall job performance; 74% disapprove of his handling of rising gasoline prices; 62% disapprove of his handling of the Iraq war; 63% think the president's role in the intelligence leak scandal was either illegal or unethical. Further, 45% of Americans think Bush should be censured or officially reprimanded for authorizing secret domestic surveillance by the National Security Agency, and an astonishing 33% of Americans think Bush should be impeached. (As a point of reference, public support for impeaching President Clinton averaged only 26% in the summer and fall of 1998.)The French, alone among peoples of filthy rich countries, still remember how to rock the government in the streets. They admirably put it in practice in fierce defense of their way of life: contre la précarité généralisée. That's a great start. No people who cannot defend themselves can hope to defend others. And yet, it is telling that, after the victory over the CPE, streets of France went quiet, even as the National Assembly passed a bill for selective immigration: for skilled and educated workers from the South, against non-skilled and ill educated workers from the South:
In many foreign countries, such a high level of popular discontent would translate rapidly into mass protests. (Rosa Brooks, "One More Job for Immigrants," Los Angeles Times, 14 April 2006)
France's lower house of parliament easily passed a divisive immigration law put forward by Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday which has been heavily criticised by the opposition, the church and immigrant groups.
The law aims to attract skilled workers while keeping less skilled ones out. Critics say it will stigmatise foreigners, discriminate against the poor and undermine France's traditional role as a haven for the persecuted.
The deputies in the National Assembly, where the ruling UMP party has an easy majority, adopted the law by 367 votes to 164. The Senate will start debating it on June 6. (Emile Picy, "French Deputies back Divisive Immigration Bill," Reuters, 18 May 2006)