The victory in the referendum is important but its effects are over-estimated. It’s clear that the tone of the no vote was given by the left, but nevertheless 20-30 percent of the no vote came from the right.
Obviously the no collectives are important but they are on a much smaller scale than, for example, the committees supporting Pierre Juquin, the dissident Communist Party (CP) leader, when he ran for president in 1988.
The dynamic and life of the collectives depend on two factors. First, the struggles on the ground, which have mainly been defeated. Secondly the real compromises for unity that are made by the two main political components of the collectives, the CP and the Ligue.
The CP only participated in the collectives relatively late in the referendum campaign, and then only in half the collectives. Initially they gave priority to their own campaign.
The low level of struggle allowed the Socialist Party (SP) to achieve a synthesis uniting its different factions at its congress last November. Now the SP is trying to synthesise the whole left, including the CP.
It’s true that effect of neo?liberalism has been to narrow the differences between the main parties and thus to open a space on the left. But this space isn’t a vacuum. It’s a field of forces in which there is a struggle for influence.
The LCR has to continue with our position. This is that the best follow up to the referendum would be a unitary candidate who really sticks to the platform of the no campaign – for example challenging the control of monetary policy by the European Central Bank laid out in the Maastricht Treaty of 1991.
The serious issue is whether there can be an agreement between the CP and the LCR. The CP will lose credibility if it doesn’t have a presidential candidate.
The CP has changed a lot – we can do a lot with it. But the CP is not simply an ideological current but an apparatus and it will be the survival of the apparatus that decides its policy.