112 gripes

    110. "The French are too radical in politics."

     Don't be fooled by the names of the French parties. The Radical Socialist party for example, is neither radical nor socialist. It is the party of small farmers and the lower middle-class; it is a middle-of-the-road party (Its name is a carry-over from the past.)

     For the past twenty years, the great majority of Frenchmen have voted for men and parties that were neither extreme Left nor extreme Right.

     In the last pre-war elections of 1936, the parties of the Popular Front (Radical Socialist, Socialist, and Communist), which stood for a sort of New Deal program, got 382 seats in the Chamber of Deputies out of a total of 608. The parties of the Right, which opposed the Popular Front, got 222 seats.

     Since the liberation, the French have held municipal elections in May 1945 and cantonal elections in September 1945. The voting strength of the main parties in those elections was approximately as follows:

Name of Party:                   May 1945  Sept. 1945
Communist Party...                 17%       21%
Socialist Party...                 15%       24%
Radical Socialist Party...         32%       24%
Popular Republican Movement.....    5%        9%