Sarkozy’s Second Wind

One of the peculiarities of the French parliamentary system of government is the strategic cabinet shuffle. It can serve a variety of purposes, the most prominent being to register popular disapproval of a specific government action, or even its general record, without calling new elections that could jeopardize its majority. That’s how former President Jacques Chirac responded to the brutal defeat of the EU treaty referendum in 2005, at a time when many suggested that political honor dictated he resign. It can also be used to reward loyalty, as well as to settle political scores and hobble party rivals, for […]

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