By Alain Guyomarch, Peter A. Hall, Jack Hayward, Howard Machin
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In the 1986 election campaign Barre differed from both Chirac and Giscard d'Estaing by his demand to force the resignation of the incumbent president in the event of an RPR-UDF victory. Rivalry continued during cohabitation, although only Chirac and Barre were serious candidates for the presidency. The result was that Chirac, as Prime Minister, campaigned on his record in power, whilst Barre ran against him on a platform explicitly critical of that record. The campaigns of both 1986 and 1988, however, were singularly complicated by the competition from the FN, after its electoral breakthrough in 1984.
Opinion polls showed that many remaining PCF voters favoured participation in government. The Communists, however, were given only four ministries. Adopting a governmental approach was very difficult as leaders' and activists' instincts, since 1947, were to protest by demonstrations, political strikes and attacks on governments and capitalists. To share governmental responsibility - no easy choice - was the only option for survival and a chance of revival, at least until the Socialists became unpopular.
France has reluctantly faced the humiliation of seeing her language increasingly subordinated internationally to English, having been accustomed to regard French both as the symbol and substance of her 28 Ideological Change cultural identity and of her cultural dominance. France's status appears to be inexorably reduced to global insignificance by rapidly accelerating shifts in population; in economic, political and military power; and in intellectual, artistic and scientific achievement. A desperate search for a solution seemed to offer the emerging EC as a viable framework within which to express the identity which the national community was no longer able to embody successfully.