Democracy Arsenal

« Yeltsin: Farewell to the Century | Main | Is Islam a Peaceful Religion? »

April 26, 2007

The French Muslim Swing Vote
Posted by Shadi Hamid

This may set a bad precedent, but I accidentally stumbled onto Dinesh D'Souza's blog. And, feeling a bit adventurous, I decided to wade through some of his posts. This one about Muslims and the French elections is worth your two-minutes. His point: Muslims aren't going to "take over" Europe through sheer numbers, but, if they form a voting bloc in places like France (where they are nearly 10% of the population), they can pretty much become the decisive factor in close elections:

So Edward Gibbon's fear--that the students of Oxford and the Sorbonne might be subjected in their curriculum to the teachings of Muhammad--seems as far-fetched as ever. But there is another, more plausible, way for the Muslims to "take over," and that is to become the swing vote in closely divided European countries...While the international press is focusing on "Bayrou power," little is being said about "Allah power." If they can form a united bloc the Muslims can play a crucial, and perhaps decisive, role in the French election. They are in a position to extract commitments from either party.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The French Muslim Swing Vote:


What exactly does he mean with "...extract commitments"?
A more conservative stance on sex education, abortion, gay rights, divorce? Or acceptance of Sharia law for French Muslims? Some softening of French "laicite"? Or what?

As a German I have to say that Dinesh D'Souza probably doesn´t understand four things about Europe.
1) The number of "one-topic voters" (like Christian fundamentalists in the USA ?) isn´t that high in most European countries.
2) In most European countries the percentage of "core voters" (Is that the right term? Voters reliably voting only for one party?) has been going down in the last 1-2 decades.
3) Most Europeans aren´t that supportive of Dinesh D'Souza´s conservative values anyway. :)
4) Because of the proportional voting system in most European countries for parliamentary elections, we tend to have more than just two significant political parties. And these parties "overlap" somewhat on political issues. Which means that a moderate "right-wing" voter can jump ship for a "centrist" party for example. A far smaller step than having a "left-wing" party as the only viable alternative. So the group of swing voters is pretty large.

So let´s assume that somehow the 10% of French Muslims form a reliable voting bloc. And say, they extract some "commitments" from a Presidential candidate.
What happens then?
Sarkozy: He´ll lose support from the Le Pen far-right voters (anti-immigration, suspicious of Muslims) which probably will abstain then. Plus he´ll lose support from the center. You know, the "fiscal conservative, free market but liberal in social issues" group. He´ll probably lose more than he wins. And did I mention that he is against Turkey in the EU?
Royal: Same for her. Only from the other side of the political spectrum.

(Not to mention the whole "laicite" thing in France. Supported by a clear majority in France. Both conservatives and socialists.)

Bottom line: Such a Muslim voting bloc could probably extract some commitments about more money for schools and education, better infrastructure and housing in predominantly Muslim suburbs. Things like that. But commitments on "conservative social values" would frighten away many (liberal in social issues) non-Muslim voters.

It might work perhaps in the minority of National Assembly seats where Muslim voters are a majority or a very strong minority.

Because of fiesta money, I meet a lot of friends. Besides, my friends usually give me some fiesta online gold. I usually buy fiesta Gold through Internet and advice from my friends. I gain a lot of fiesta online money and harvest in life.

we don't think it is reasonable to spend hundreds thousands dollars to buy a decorating watch. you can use those money to invest in other industry which will return you good profit.
here you just need to spend 100-200 dollars to buy a replica rolex watches.
A.Lange & Sohne replica watches are made by the rating 1:1 according to the original watches, and you can't distinguish the original and the fake watches when you look at the surface of the watches.

my brother says sro gold is his favorite games gold he likes,

Once I played Rom Gold, I did not know how to get strong, someone told me that you must have Rom Gold. He gave me some Runes of Magic Gold.

I another friend do not like twelve sky Gold. She like in home along 12sky gold.

you must borrow flyff gold from friends, or you buy flyff penya.

Thank you for your sharing! I like i very much!

The prolonged run is coming, you had much better get prepared upfront for Oil Seed Extractor

Great article. Some stuff on here i never even knew about.

Thank you for the article, I saw after the enlightened, my idea like you, just not good at expression

can play a crucial, and perhaps decisive, role in the French election. They are in a position to extract commitments from either party. Gucci outlet online
Gucci outlet

These kind of post are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content so I happy to find many good point here in the post

I have the same opinion with higher than post the author did a fantastic work to collect information and share with us it is pure quality work . you have to keep it up

Simply a goal. No real change in policy. No surrender. Troops still in Iraq. Did the White House read the bill? Just theater, as Bush said.

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.

Guest Contributors
Sign-up to receive a weekly digest of the latest posts from Democracy Arsenal.
Powered by TypePad


The opinions voiced on Democracy Arsenal are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of any other organization or institution with which any author may be affiliated.
Read Terms of Use