Sources are reporting that center-right French Presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy has won the election by about ten points in France. The results mark the latest European government to make a rightward lurch in political orientation in the last several years.

Despite waging a dirty campaign that included a spam campaign suggesting riots and damnation should Sarkozy win, the voters came out in droves to elect Sarkozy. The attacks were reminiscent of campaigns in America, particularly dirty and deceptive campaigns against Barry Goldwater. Many people went to the airwaves to diagnose Sarkozy with mental illness, much like leftists in this country do against George W. Bush. Voters in France have rejected the fear-mongering campaign of the socialists, much like voters rejected similar attempts by Democrats to do the same in this country. Once again we see demonstrated that in the battle of ideas, socialists fight unarmed.

Sarkozy is most known for his previous post as interior minister by holding a tough law and order stand. The Paris riots by Muslim immigrants were considered stoked by Sarkozy who took a tough stand against such behavior. The fact that such a large turnout fell strongly behind Sarkozy indicates that France will not go silently into the night.

It is likely that France-U.S. relations will see a marked improvement with this election. Socialist candidate Royal not only ran a smear campaign, but was the latest socialist to run against George W. Bush and lose (a peculiar choice considering Bush wasn’t on the French ballot). France for the past few years has been antagonistic towards the United States under Chirac including undermining the Iraq sanctions in the Oil-for-Food scandal which led to the ultimate renewal of conflict with Iraq. Sarkozy will likely end such antagonism and return to being a helpful international partner again.

The most telling part of the election results is that what is considered a bellwether bastion of socialism in Europe has overwhelmingly voted to reject socialist politics. Royal clearly made her platform of strong welfare policies and social platforms known and Sarkozy clearly indicated that he wanted to cut down on high unemployment by getting people to work. France follows Germany in moving to more conservative policies and governments.

This is little less than a revolution in France against an ideology that has become stagnant and a demonstrable failure. France’s economy and society have been dragging behind the rest of the world and the French citizenry has decided they had enough. Likely pundits will shake their heads at voters deciding against “their own economic self-interest.”

The lesson in France is that whenever conservatism is on the ballot (unhindered by corruption, bad implementation of policies, or personal problems) conservatism wins. Today France joins the world in adopting more sane economic and governmental policies.

John Bambenek is the Assistant Politics Editor for BC Magazine and is an academic professional for the University of Illinois. He is a syndicated columnist who blogs at Part-Time Pundit and the executive director of The Tumaini Foundation which helps AIDS orphans and other children in Tanzania to get an education. He is the current owner of BlogSoldiers, a blog-only traffic exchange.

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