Monday, 31 March 2003

Your Jacques Chirac thought of the day

Steven Den Beste today notes the rather curious relationship between Jacques Chirac and Franco-Belgian oil giant TotalFinaElf.

A brief history lesson for those who don’t follow French politics: in 2002, when M. Chirac faced reelection at the end of his seven-year term (since reduced to a five-year term), he was believed to be at the center of a giant campaign finance scandal dating back to the 1980s, and was only immune from further investigation—and prosecution—because of his position as French president. If the far-right National Front’s Jean-Marie Le Pen hadn’t unexpectedly edged ahead of the socialist Lionel Jospin, leading to a rally around Chirac’s campaign in the run-off round (thus illustrating a fundamental problem with majority run-off elections, including instant run-off voting), Chirac would now likely be facing charges stemming from his alleged involvement in the illegal financial shenanigans.

In other words, nobody should be surprised at Chirac’s behavior regarding Iraq: he’s been bought and paid for. Perhaps the only surprise is how many pockets he’s been paid from.

There’s more at Glenn’s place.