11 May 2017   Leave a comment

The Pew Research Center has conducted a poll among Orthodox and Catholic Christians in East and Central Europe and the results indicate that religion is a major factor in attitudes of those citizens toward Russia.  Overwhelmingly, Orthodox Christians look to Russia as not only the protector of the faith, but also as the legitimate power in the region.  The results are interesting because there is also a strong feeling among many fundamental Christians in the US toward the moral positions of the Orthodox Church in Russia on issues such as homosexuality.  In many respects, Trump’s supporters in the US are favorably disposed to the role of the Orthodox Church in Russian affairs and are thus less concerned about Trump’s seeming affection for Russia.

The election of Emmanuel Macron as President of France was hailed as a repudiation of the right policies of his opponent, Marine Le Pen of the National Front.  The percentage of votes won by Macron (68%) was certainly decisive.  But there is another aspect of the election which deserves notice: the number of people who abstain or submitted blank ballots was huge.  According to the Washington Post:

“….roughly 15.5 million renegades….abstained or voided their ballots. The number amounts to a third of registered voters — staggering by French standards — who wanted no part in choosing between Macron, an independent centrist who will become France’s youngest head of state since Napoleon, and Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right National Front.

“More people abstained than voted for Le Pen, who won about 10.6 million votes, her party’s best performance in a presidential election. The number of blank and voided ballots was a record for France’s Fifth Republic, founded in 1958.”

The disillusionment of the French people with the political process is itself a serious political problem which will complicate Macron’s efforts to govern.

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Posted May 11, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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