His rivals were aghast, and counted on the Senate to balance this new chambre introuvable. Amendments made in the upper chamber could be rejected out of hand by deputies, unless they had passed by an absolute majority, in which case they could only be rejected by an absolute majority in the lower house. I worked at the University of Salford 1990-1991 and University College Dublin 1991-1992 , before joining the Department of French and Francophone Studies here at Nottingham in September 1992. I now work principally on contemporary French politics, with particular emphasis on political relations and institutions and on the making of memory. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Then France experienced a burst of activity, beginning with a general election in November, municipal and departmental elections in December, two postponed Senate renouvellements and a large number of outstanding by-elections at the beginning of January 1920 and the election of a new President of the Republic two weeks later.
Poncelet, for example, relinquished his post as mayor of Remiremont to retain the chair of the conseil général for the Vosges. The government wanted as little disruption as possible, though quite why the departments mentioned above were overlooked is unclear. Early predictions of a 60 per cent majority for de Gaulle were whittled down to 44. Instead of a three-seat threshold, the legislation commission argued for four and instead of one delegate per 500 inhabitants suggested by the government, offered 1:700. Managing his supporters was not always an easy job, but by force of character, Pompidou imposed the rules of le fait majoritaire. French political history has been stagnant for many years, until a fresh wave of scholarship in France and England in particular began, in the 1990s, to re-examine the political mainstream. Served as the President of France from May 17, 1995 until May 16, 2007.
Because the new constitution declared the post of minister and member of parliament incompatible, all candidates had to name a suppléant e to take their seat if they were called into government. This, they argued, was the promise made on 3 June: that government would be responsible to parliament, not just the National Assembly. Senators had led eight of the 28 governments since 1879, though no senator had served as premier since Loubet himself in 1892. Constitutional revision was also on the cards and in 1884 Jules Ferry piloted limited changes through Congress. Pious hopes that modifications to the constitution might force a change of behaviour in the National Assembly proved misplaced. Bayeux redux Pompidou did not much like the Senate, but he saw little value in institutional reform for its own sake and had no time for demands, especially from the left Gaullists, for change.
The architecture outwardly looks the same, but there has been some major extension and demolition work to the edifice. Gélard was prepared to break with the tradition of simply throwing more seats at the problem. Une redoutable machine de guerre9 Mitterrand dissolved the Assembly and the subsequent general elections saw a vague rose sweep into power. But when he fell in May 1957, normal service was resumed, first under Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury, then Félix Gaillard. Monnerville understood that although the challenge to his position in September 1965 had failed, he had to respond. Debré and de Gaulle recognised that not all the battles had to be won at once and conceded. This did not mean the matter was closed and neither Elysée nor Matignon were about to soften their attitude to the upper house or its speaker.
In 2007 Lambert had been commissioned by the Fillon government to lead a working group examining relations between local authorities and state field agencies. The government lost the vote. It was a serious miscalculation. Given the centrality of commissions to the work of the Senate, this was not as great a handicap as might first seem, but the meaning was abundantly clear. French Politics, Society and Culture Series. In those with only two seats, for example, it was not so easy to ensure the interests of three different sectors were represented, but it was very unusual for all senators to come from one or other locale within a department. Stronger in the Senate than the Assembly, neither the Independents, nor the Centrists, nor the Radicals were likely to endorse a reform to disenfranchise their core support.
The order in which the series would proceed to be elected was decided by drawing lots, but as it happened, the letter A came out first and so the renouvellements ran in alphabetical order: series A in September 1962, B in September 1965, C in September 1968 and so on until 2008. On the first count he succeeded, on the second he failed. This was retained in 1924, but the old system was restored for the last three elections of the regime — in 1928, 1932 and 1936. Not all republicans accepted the Senate immediately. The Senate was conservative in several ways. A third portion would be elected by departmental colleges. The distinction looked unimportant to the outsider, but it was intended by the upper chamber to signal that its constituencies, the departments, were not negotiable.
Paris intramuros became a department in its own right and kept the number 75 , with its city council functioning at times as a municipal forum and at others as a conseil général. The 1986 Senate session, at 129 days and 928 hours of debate, established a benchmark as the longest in the history of the Fifth Republic and included a 43-day summer session which ended in mid-August. Monory had hoped for something more concrete and though a commission was set up, chaired by Daniel Hoeffel, the talk in the Luxembourg Palace was focussed on a challenge for the presidency come the autumn. Some would say that the serenity of the house masks the deadly truths that lie beneath. The Front did not have a majority in the Senate: probably no more than fifty senators were truly pro-Front, though the votes that saw Blum fall in June 1937 and again in April 1938 suggest a slightly higher figure. A shrewd political mind belied by an avuncular exterior saw him rapidly assume a role of mover and shaker within the majority. The domain is used in.
Giscard naturally encouraged his political allies in the Senate, therefore, to consider themselves as members of the majority, with a full contribution to make to government. La chambre de tous les dangers 191 191 193 Notes 197 Select Bibliography 209 Index 215 List of Tables Table 2. Lost re-election to Socialist Francois Hollande in 2012. Its ways and its traditions, its ever-developing and changing role under three republics and its place at the heart of a particular and peculiar political culture, have remained little known or explored. With no fixed number of readings, no last word, and ministries vulnerable in both houses, it was easy to stifle legislation through inertia.
The colonial element remained in place, however, right up until August, when overseas representatives voiced strong objections. The timeframe was tightly constrained: 40 The Senate of the Fifth French Republic in June the government outlined its overall plan to the Interministerial Committee. Despite his own track record as a cumulard, Chirac was now fluent in the language of décumul and parity. The Senate could not be dissolved. In such unlikely conditions began a presidency that would last 24 years.
On the one hand, it was driven by a desire to streamline the presidentialisation of the regime brought about by the reduction of the term to five years and the coincidence of the elections of the head of state and the National Assembly. He was already minister for small and medium-sized businesses when he won a seat in parliament for the first time, as senator for the Vienne in 1995, though he opted to remain in government and only took up residence in the Luxembourg Palace after the 1997 dissolution. Bicameralism and political culture 35 The period between the election of the second Council of the Republic and the next general election in June 1951 , was a testing time for the upper house, whose majority was very different to the National Assembly elected in 1946. It concludes by looking at the institutional revival between 1992 and 1997, under the stewardship of speaker René Monory. Bourgeois was no rabble-rouser and he resigned. The departments, the great success story of the Revolutionary redrawing of the French administrative map, would serve as the senatorial constituency and election would be by a list system. Debré, prime minister from January 1959, could not call himself the chef de la majorité in the way Pompidou later would.