A Political Weather Forecast

Le Canard enchaîné headline

Last week’s headline of the French satirical newspaper Le Canard enchaîné ruffled feathers left and right — as it should have.

Explanation needed, I assume. Noël au Macron, Pâques au Fillon is modeled on Noël au balcon, Pâques au tison, one of the oldest — and least reliable — weather sayings. A cold Easter by the fire (le tison is the unconsumed part of a log) was, according to les faiseurs d’Almanach from the Middle Ages, what a warm Christmas would bring in tow.

Now who are Macron and Fillon? These former ministres — and current presidential candidates — have, but for a two-syllable last name ending in “on,” little to do with weather forecast — and sure don’t blow hot and cold on their campaign trails. Both recently defied the political odds: François Fillon, long lagging behind in the polls, by winning center-right nomination by a landslide, Emmanuel Macron by launching the loudest — and most talked about —2017 presidential bid last month. December was hot indeed for the maverick social liberal, but May might see a big drop in temperature. If elected, the sober (some say taciturn), socially-conservative, budget-cutting Fillon is bound to cool off the country. Noël au Macron, Pâques au Fillon? The prophetic powers of Le Canard may after all be more than a clever wordplay.

And whether they are or not, the newspaper is a must-read for pun — and scandal — lovers. But don’t get it wrong. Our duck is all but a canard.

Le Canard enchaîné

— Claire

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