Remember April 2002 in France? Did you enjoy extreme right's Le Pen running fast against Chirac? Looking for more action as the 2007 presidential election race is getting warm in France? This year you might well enjoy a furious ecological row as Nicolas Hulot, ex TV star, is splashing the game, doing his best to move candidates to make environmental issues a top priority for the years to come in France. Nicolas Hulot's message is clear like a Gore movie : we cannot afford to wait.Nicolas Hulot makes no compromise. Being an outsider, his radical views threatens traditional parties that carry a heavy heritage of compromises, including the green party. After spending years traveling around the world for his famous TV show 'ushuaia', he spent the last few years counseling President Chirac on environmental issues. With great disappointment : words are ok (remember Chirac in Johannesbourg : the house is burning) but moves are slow.
Hulot now threatens to run for the election if other candidates don't make clear statements on a radical new way of leading the country. The impact of his recently published book (1500 sales every day) shows that his statement is a clear reflection of a great portion of the French public opinion. His polls ratings already hit 10%, which is huge in a presidential election. Hulot is extremely popular, and despite his former dealings with Chirac, has chosen to go completely free of partisan choice. As such, his current action might shake the presidential election on a scale unknown before.
More importantly, traditional candidates, from right Sarkozy, to left Royal including Center (Bayrou) and Green (Voynet) are doing their best to incorporate Nicolas's propositions into their programs. Even inside parties, discussions are harsh : Yves Cochet, ex candidate for the head of Voynet's Green Party, announced yesterday that he has decided to support Hulot if he declares himself candidate.
Who is Hulot working for ? We might never know who's behind the man : the truth is probably that he is his own leader, with enough money and knowledge of the media system to carry his heavy message to the top of the state.
His main proposal is the creation of a vice prime minister for environmental affairs. The appointend minister will overlook all the affairs of the state, from an environmental perspective. All aspects of the life of our civilization have been studied by Hulot's committee : energy, carbon, agriculture, land, transportation, fiscality, biodiversity, health, research, diplomacy.
Even though he's never been in politics, even though his TV shows were once sponsored by multinationals with heavy environmental record (Rhone Poulenc, L'Oreal), even though Hulot does not want to go, we have no doubt that his initiative will help bring environmental issues to the top levels of the state.