The framework of the French political system was changed by the 1958 constitution that created the Fifth Republic. Many observers at the time did not hold out much hope for the success of the new regime. However, over time the country has stabilized, and it appears as if the current framework has cured at least some of the political problems that plagued France during all of the previous republics. The system is a hybrid presidential-parliamentary one that has both a president and a prime minister. The combination of characteristics has created a complicated government structure that strikes many as unwieldy, but the Fifth Republic has survived multiple challenges, and has at least tempered the unpredictability and instability of the historical "swing effect."
Political parties have the status of an association under the Act of 1 July 1901 on association contracts. They are organised on a long-term basis and established throughout France. They aim to exercise power or at least take part in it. Pluralism and competition of various political groups are among the foundations of democracy and freedom of opinion. This is embodied in Article 4 of the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, as is the freedom to join a party or not.
The internal organisation of a party is set out in an enactment. Parties need structures so that they can be introduced into the electorate and endure:
· At national level, a national office or council, led by a chairman or national secretary, most often elected by all its members;
· At local level, branches or cells organised into Departmental federations. Their bodies are elected by the members.
Political parties that have elected representatives in the National Assembly, Senate or European Parliament are as follows:
· The Union for a Popular Movement (UMP)
· The Union for French Democracy (UDF)
· The Socialist Party (PS)
· The French Communist Party (PCF)
· The Greens
· The National Front (FN)
· The Movement for France (MPF)
· The Left Radical Party (PRG)
While the political parties in France can be divided into right and left leaning parties, the political party spectrum is much more broadly represented than in the United States. The French government, conceivably, can take the views and desires of a wide range of citizens into account. France also has a number of political parties with views that support communism and worker's rights. The goals of these parties are represented in Parliament, ensuring more protection for the working class.
Today, owner of the government is Union For a Popular Movement (UMP) of Nicolas Sarkozy. In fact The Union for a Popular Movement created a political party which would ensure victory for Chirac and dominate Parliament. UMP is a moderate political party with many progressive policy reforms to its credit. When we look past, there is Rally for the Republic before Union For a Popular Movement. Historically, Rally for the Republic was probably the most powerful political party in France. It generally took approximately one-fifth of each election, and over time, several smaller parties aligned with Rally for the Republic for more political clout. Rally for the Republic was founded in 1976 by Jacques Chirac. In 2002, the political party merged with several other major political parties to form Union for a Popular Movement. Another powerful political party in France is the Socialist Party. In Europe, Socialists are differentiated from Communists, with many nations having a substantial Socialist majority. The Socialist party is committed to worker's rights, access to health care and education for all citizens, as well as state support for citizens in need. The Socialist Party cooperates with other left of center political parties including the Greens and the Left Radical to advance their aims.
The National Front is a political party which is also active in France, mostly regionally. The National Front is a right of center, nationalist political party which has been accused by detractors of being racist, anti-Semitic, and far-right. The party promotes traditional French values, higher tariffs on imports, more separation from Europe andreinstatement of the death penalty. The National Front is opposed to immigration and liberal movements. While the National Party rarely gains seats on the national level, it does exert power in some regions of France, especially those struggling with immigration issues.
In 2005 Le Figaro wrote, "French political parties separated about Membership of Turkey's to EU and EU constitution"
Then Le Monde wrote, President Jacques Chirac and government warned not to implicate these two issue each other, but the warning did not work. Then the newspaper had summarized in 2005 attitude of the parties about membership of Turkey;
YES FOR CONSTITUTION AND TURKEY: President Jacques Chirac, Socialist Party General secretary François Hollande and from Green party Dominique Voynet.
YES FOR CONSTITUTION, NOR FOR TURKEY: UMP Nicolas Sarkozy, UDF leader is François Bayrou and Socialist Party Senator is Robert Badinter.
NO FOR CONSTITUTION AND TURKEY: From Socialist Party Laurent Fabius (Old
Prime Minister), from radical right wing Jean Maire Le Pen, MPF (against Turkey) leader Philippe De Villers.
NO FOR CONSTITUTION, YES FOR TURKEY: From Communist Party Marie George Buffet, LCR Leader Alain Krivine and from LO Arlette Laguiller.