Jean-Marie Le Pen
In 2002, extreme right wing candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen (National Front) garnered 17% of the vote in the first round of the French presidential election- enough to qualify him for the final round. This news shocked and shamed the French people.

Political Objectives:

  • withdraw France from the European Union
  • end legal immigration
  • deport illegal immigrants
  • eliminate dual nationality
  • priority to French citizens for all jobs and public housing
  • only French citizens allowed to teach
  • outlaw the wearing of yarmulkes & Muslim headscarves in schools
  • create 20,000 more prison beds
  • increase power of police force
(information courtesy of Le Pen's Official Website)
Related Information:

"Le Pen out!"

"Le Pen in the trash"
  • The 2002 election witnessed a record amount of abstention
  • Many French voters used their first round vote in protest
  • Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin finished just behind Le Pen in the first round with 16% of the vote
  • Before the final stage of election, close to 1/2 million people gathered in Paris for an anti-Le Pen rally
  • In the final stage, Jacques Chirac (Republican) was re-elected with 80% of the vote
  • The 2002 election was Le Pen's fourth attempt to become president
  • There are over 5 million Muslims in France (Le Pen's primary target)
How Does Le Pen Relate to McDonald's?
The French people are proud of their culture and heritage. In 2002, Jean-Marie Le Pen, a presidential candidate against anyone and anything non-French, advanced to the final round of the French presidential election. Le Pen's ideals are clearly not representative of the entire nation of France, but his popularity does serve as a good demonstration of the extent to which the French people want to maintain their identity. The Le Pen story simply makes the fact that American icon McDonald's is successful in France even more incredible.
Return to Cultural Concerns