Did Le Pen expect rose petals?

What did Marine Le Pen president of France’s Front National Party expect? Canadians are hardly about to strew rose petals in her path when she decides to come here and tell us what we are doing wrong. We are open-minded people but we are not particularly interested in people who spread bigotry and fear.

Who does Le Pen think she is, Donald Trump?

Mind you, that seems to be the hard-right wing politician’s thing. Marine Le Pen is a problem for France in that role she rails against immigrants and Syrian refugees alike. She wants to keep France pure. She embarrasses the conservative and the left-wing alike in her own country. And it is why she is being shunned during her holiday in Canada.

No Canadian politician of any stripe is eager to be seen with Le Pen. Even Pierre-Karl Péladeau has denounced her and her political views. He has little choice. While he might have been impressed with the Front National during his years of living high in Paris on the Péladeau family fortune, he is now the leader of a mainly left-wing Parti Québécois. It would never do for him to be seen hob-knobbing with the likes of right-wing Le Pen.

The best we can do for Le Pen as a tourist is to point out some of the excellent restaurants she will find while visiting Quebec City and Montreal. We would also point out to her that some of the most interesting nightlife in Quebec City is in the western suburbs such as the Sainte-Foy area.

One of the Canada’s federal politicians who might have found a conversation with Marine Le Pen interesting is Canada’s Minister of Democratic Institutions. In the recent round of regional elections in France Le Pen’s Front National candidates did very well in the first round of voting. They reached as much as 42 per cent of the vote in some areas.

But France, with its two-round voting system, requires a majority to be elected. In the second round of voting, Le Pen’s candidates fell by the wayside as more mainstream candidates won the majority of votes. In some cases more left of centre candidates had stepped aside to ensure that the Le Pen candidates were defeated. And they were.

Minister Maryam Monsef in Ottawa should pay heed.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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