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Fareed Zakaria GPS

The Post-Roe America; America as a Global Outlier on Abortion Rights; Russia Makes Slow, Steady Progress In Ukraine's East; Putin's War Precipitates Global Food Crisis; Israel's Government Collapses; World Leaders Gather In Germany For G7 Summit; Far Right And Left Cost Macron Absolute Majority. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired June 26, 2022 - 10:00   ET



FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria coming to you live from New York.


ZAKARIA (voice-over): Today on the program the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. What are the legal and political implications of this ruling? And when it comes to abortion access, is America exceptional? We will look at reproductive rights. All that with two top journalists.

Then President Biden is in Germany today for the meeting of the G7. Will the world's advanced economies ramp up pressure on Russia? Will it work?

And Israel's government collapses. What does that mean for the country, the region, and for Bibi Netanyahu? Richard Haass and Gideon Rachman weighing.

Finally, a seismic shift in French politics. President Macron's centrist party loses its parliamentary majority but the far right and left make electoral gains. Why is this happening? And just who are these voters embracing the extremes?


ZAKARIA: But first, here is "My Take." American democracy has been under stress for some time now. Trust in its institutions is near the lowest on record. And when we say this we usually mean Congress and the presidency.

But the Supreme Court's decision on Roe v. Wade has brought the public's confidence in the court to an all-time low and puts it in the same category as the others, defined bipartisanship and polarization.

The court's decisions this week are not conservative. They are radical. One of the time honored conservative doctrines has been a respect for precedent. Stare decisis.

And yet in two days the court swept aside a right that for half a century American jurisprudence had held was a constitutional right.

And it also uprooted a New York law regulating guns that was 111 years old and had never before been found in conflict with the Constitution.

Many of the justices were asked in their nomination hearings about Roe v. Wade and stare decisis and they answered in a way any plain observer would describe as declaring that the precedent of Roe and many rulings affirming it should be respected.

It's worth noting that the power of judicial review by which the Supreme Court evaluates laws and strikes down those it deems unconstitutional is itself nowhere in the Constitution, was created by an 18-3 ruling from Chief Justice John Marshall and is respected by all three branches of government, well, because of stare decisis.

We'll talk more about Roe in a moment. So let me explain why the court's other decision on guns is actually equally radical. The Second Amendment is in its entirety 27 words with three oddly placed commas.

A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

As I've said before no disrespect to James Madison but grammarians and their red pens would have a field day with the sentence. No one is exactly sure what the first clause about the militia has to do with the clause about the right to bear arms.

For almost 200 years however the lack of clarity was barely an issue. Many states had what we would today regard as very strong gun control laws and they pass muster with all sorts of courts.

But then in the 1970s new leadership took over the NRA and made it the group's mission to protect every citizen's individual right supposedly enshrined in the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms.

This caused former chief justice of the Supreme Court, Warren Berger, a conservative jurist appointed by Richard Nixon, to say the following on PBS in 1991.


WARREN BERGER, CONSERVATIVE JURIST: This has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud -- I'll repeat the word fraud -- on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.



ZAKARIA: 217 years after the ratification of the Second Amendment, Justice Antonin Scalia and his colleagues on the Supreme Court discovered in the Heller decision an individual right to bear and carry arms, treating the first clause of the Second Amendment as if it were totally inconsequential. In fact the founders knew exactly what well-regulated militias meant.

As the scholar Michael Waldman told me.


MICHAEL WALDMAN, BRENNAN CENTER FOR JUSTICE: You had an individual right to gun ownership to fulfill your duty to serve in the militia. Every adult white man was required by law to serve in the militia and required to own a military weapon and keep it at home.


ZAKARIA: The latest Supreme Court ruling striking down a New York law that restricted who can carry a concealed handgun in public is even more radical than Heller.

As George Will, the conservative columnist, explains the oldest legal tradition has been to balance an individual's right with the state's concerns for public safety.

For example, the court stated in 1919 that your right to free speech does not allow you to yell fire in a crowded theater.

This Supreme Court seems less and less impartial and judicious and more nakedly political, which undermines trust in a great American institution that was once respected but has been losing that respect in recent years.

We know that January 6th was a terrible day for American democracy. Sadly, we now have to add two more days, June 23rd and 24th, to that calendar of shame.

And let's get started.

This weekend American women woke up to a country remade. 50 years of constitutional abortion rights gone overnight. At least 10 states effectively banned abortion since Friday's decision and women with procedures scheduled found their appointments canceled.

An additional 16 states have laws that indicate they could outlaw or set pretty sharp limits on abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

All over the country protesters flooded the streets to demonstrate against the court's decision overturning Roe v. Wade. But the fight in the streets is only the beginning. Courts will almost certainly be flooded with challenges to bans in the coming months and years.

To talk more about the Supreme Court decision and what it might mean for the country I am joined by Emily Bazelon, staff writer at the "New York Times" legal magazine who writes often and brilliantly about legal affairs.

Emily, welcome. I want to start by asking if you can frame this decision in terms of history. How often does the Supreme Court, you know, take back a constitutional right that it has granted and granted for two generations?

EMILY BAZELON, STAFF WRITER, NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE: Not often at all. I really can't think of a precedent for rolling back an individual civil right that people especially women have depended on for five decades.

The court changes its mind on occasion. But not in this direction. We usually see the court trying to expand people's rights over time. And this is a direction that is entirely the opposite from the point of view of women especially people generally.

ZAKARIA: And what I'm struck by is that the method of reasoning and the dissents point this out. So when you look at a ruling like Plessy vs. Ferguson which allowed for segregation, when Brown vs. Board of Education overturned that and said, you know, we made a mistake, what it cited was decades of social science evidence that showed that the contention in Plessy versus Ferguson which was that separate is equal was not true in education in particular.

That having separate education for blacks and whites was inherently unequal. So they were citing facts on the ground that had changed. This ruling doesn't do any of that, right?

BAZELON: Right. I mean, we're really going in the opposite direction. So in this case we have more and more evidence that abortion is safe and effective and crucial for women's advancement in society.

There is really good social science. And so the court claimed a comparison between overturning Roe and overturning Plessy. But, in fact, if you're thinking about evidence and if you're thinking about people's individual rights, those decisions are diametrically opposite in their effect.

ZAKARIA: So what do you think this tells us about the court going forward?


There was an article in the "New York Times" that said what this means is that John Roberts has become the most inconsequential chief justice in a long time because he has no moderating power. He tried to find a way to split the difference, to find a kind of compromise. And now that there are solidly -- there is this solid conservative majority, he's kind of irrelevant.

BAZELON: That's exactly right. He has been sidelined along with his moderating impulses. And what we see here are five conservative justices that are really determined to change the law in a way that is going to affect Americans' lives directly.

You talked about the decision from New York which makes it harder for states and localities to control their own gun safety laws, and now we have this huge upending of reproductive rights across the country.

So you really see a court that is willing to maximally use its power in a conservative direction. And the question will be, you know, what the American people decide to do about that over time.

ZAKARIA: Clarence Thomas says that the court now, this is one justice and was not joined by others, says that the natural consequence of overturning Roe would be to rethink gay marriage, to rethink access to contraception, you know, all that kind of thing because in a sense it all came out of the same idea that there was a right to privacy famously described by Harry Blackmun as existing within the penumbras of the Constitution.

BAZELON: Right. So all of these decisions rely on an interpretation of the 14th Amendment that's based on privacy and a conception of liberty. And this conservative majority does not buy into that thinking.

So for the moment, Justice Thomas is the only justice saying out loud that these other decisions, same-sex marriage, contraception, are also called into question. But it's entirely possible there is more support for that on the court.

And I think that while, you know, the court would say that public opinion and public response is not relevant to its considerations, we know over history that that's not true.

And so how far the court goes really will be at least in part a response to the way Americans respond to this decision overturning Roe and the signals the political system sends to the court about what people are willing to tolerate when the court seems to really move far away from American popular opinion.

ZAKARIA: Emily, always a pleasure to have you on. Thank you so much.

BAZELON: Thank you.

ZAKARIA: Next on GPS from abortion rights at home to abortion rights around the world. How did the U.S. under Roe compare to other countries? And how does it compare now? That's when we come back.



ZAKARIA: In the majority opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade Justice Samuel Alito repeated a claim that is often invoked by antiabortion activists. The claim is that under Roe the U.S. is a global outlier. More permissive than most other countries in its abortion law.

Is that true and does that assertion tell us the whole story of abortion rights in America and around the world?

My next guest is Margot Sanger-Katz, a reporter at the "New York Times" who covers health.

First, Margot, let's get the facts on the table. It is true as far as I know that the U.S. is a rare country where abortion is a constitutional right. I think in no European country is it given that level of protection. And it is also true that the United States allows abortions up to

about 24 weeks, which is pretty -- which is a longer time period than most countries.

Fair or not fair? What give us a sense of the outlier?

MARGOT SANGER-KATZ, HEALTH CARE CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I think that would have been fair as of a couple of days ago but because of this new Supreme Court decision we no longer have a constitutional right to abortion in the United States and so these decisions about when abortions will be allowed have been left to state legislatures, potentially to Congress.

And I think that that does make it a lot more like how abortion is governed in many other countries of the world.

There are some countries where the courts have gotten involved and there have been constitutional rulings about reproductive rights but for many countries, you know, especially in Europe these have really been legislative matters.

And we've seen countries decide, you know, with their parliaments what they want their abortion laws to be.

I do think sort of technically it is correct that the United States was unusual in having a very expansive abortion right prior to this decision but I think in practice it's a little bit more complicated.

A lot of countries in Europe have laws that say that you can have abortion for any reason up to about 12 or 14 weeks of pregnancy but then after that you can get an abortion if you have a reason like a health reason or socioeconomic reason.

These reasons differ by country of course. But on the ground in real life in many of these countries it was in fact easier to get an abortion later in pregnancy than it was in some parts of the United States and of course that contrast now has become much more sharp.

ZAKARIA: And it's fair to say that most -- the overwhelming majority of pregnancies you tell me the percentage happen pretty early on. You know, they don't happen in week 22, 23.

SANGER-KATZ: That's right. Even in the United States when abortion was technically legal up until the point of fetal viability of about 23 weeks of pregnancy the vast majority like 95 percent or more of abortions were taking place before that point. More than 90 percent of abortions in the United States happen in the first trimester of pregnancy.


ZAKARIA: And, you know, Ruth Bader Ginsburg famously said about Roe, which she supported, but she said it did have this bad effect, which was that it stopped the democratic process from finding compromises.

And you can see that in Europe where these decisions have been made by democratic legislatures that they come up with these compromises which are, you know, more in the center than the United States is, say, 14 weeks, or Germany is 12 weeks I think. But as you say, after that with reasons.

Is it possible that we will come to some kind of centrist, moderate compromise in the United States?

SANGER-KATZ: I think it's certainly possible. But that's not at all what it looks like right now.

I think what we see in the United States right now is that some states are very comfortable with the kind of abortion rights that we've had for the last 50 years under Roe and are looking to cement that right and perhaps expand it to help people who want to come in from other states.

And then of course there are about half of states in the United States that are really looking to ban abortion almost entirely.

You know, these laws that are going into effect several of which have already kicked in in the last few days ban all abortions except in very rare exceptions. And in that way they are very different from what we see in the rest of the world.

Those kinds of laws exist in the minority of countries of the world. And the long term trend has been towards liberalizing abortion law not tightening them.

ZAKARIA: That's very interesting what you say that where we will end up in this country is two completely different sets of states. Some that have laws that are almost in a sense enacting Roe and some which will have extreme bans on abortion.

So the American average may end up at something like 12 or 14 weeks but that will be because you have two completely different countries.

One that has abortion laws that resemble more, you know, I don't know, Nigeria or something, and the other side which has laws that resemble the most liberal European country.

SANGER-KATZ: And of course, you know, women can travel in the United States from state to state. And, you know, we've already seen that there are states even before this decision where it was hard to get an abortion and where women wanted to go someplace where it was a little bit easier to schedule an appointment.

But of course not everyone is going to be able to do that. And we do anticipate that the number of abortions is likely to decline as a result of these very strict state laws and, particularly, because the states that are looking to limit abortion are kind of geographically clustered.

And so that makes it much harder for a woman to travel. It's not just in many cases that she would have to go to a neighboring state but that she might have to travel hundreds and hundreds of miles to reach a state where an abortion is legal. ZAKARIA: Now, there is a hope that many Democrats have that this will

galvanize Democrats, suburban moms, and things like that. But it seems to me that the key is for the Democrats not to come across as equally extreme.

That the country is somewhere in the middle. 70 percent in favor of pro-choice position but they all grapple with, you know, where to set that limit.

Does it seem to you -- I mean, I look at Chuck Schumer's proposal that, you know, abortion is to be allowed, you know, for even longer than Roe. Is the -- you know, looking at other countries, does the success come if you present yourself as understanding that there is a need for compromise or is it better to go hard and get your constituent?

SANGER-KATZ: I think it's hard to know because obviously the political and legal history of these other countries is different. But it is certainly the case that the kind of laws that we see in Europe, which say you can have an abortion for any reason early in pregnancy, and then later in pregnancy if there's a health reason, if you have some severe socio economic problem or something like that, that's where we really see American public opinion in general.

You see about two-thirds of Americans, and this has been very stable for many decades, about two-thirds of Americans support abortion in those kinds of circumstances.

They want there to be some kind of right to abortion but they are in many cases uncomfortable with very expansive abortion rights that allow abortion for any reason until very late in pregnancy.

And it's just very hard to see in our current polarized environment how the United States gets to a political reality, to a legal reality that reflects that kind of compromise consensus view that we see in other countries and that we also see in the American public at large.

ZAKARIA: Such a great point. How to reflect the majority or the plurality of the country that is in the center and moderate on a lot of these issues.

Margot, that was terrific. Thank you so much. We got to go.

Next up foreign policy panel about all kinds of things, Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Saudi Arabia. When we come back.



ZAKARIA: President Biden is in Germany today for the meeting of the G7 and what to do about Russia is on top of the agenda.

I am joined now by Richard Haas who's the president of the Council on Foreign Relations and Gideon Rachman who is the "FT's" chief foreign affairs columnist and the author of "The Age of the Strongman." Terrific book. He joins me from London.

Gideon, let me put to you a proposition that I've been wondering about which is the economic sanction strategy against Vladimir Putin is not working and is not likely to work.

As long as you have this huge exception for energy, Russia is basically the second, the first or second largest energy exporter in the world, Putin is getting more and more cash from that because prices are high because of the crisis, because of curtailments of supply. So why -- production may have gone down 20 percent.

Say the prices are up 40 percent. He makes out. And there isn't an easy solution to this because you can't embargo the oil. The whole world would go into a sharp recession. And the more you squeeze it actually the less supply there is and the prices go even higher. So is this economic sanction misconceived or am I getting it wrong?

GIDEON RACHMAN, CHIEF FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR, FINANCIAL TIMES: Well, I think you certainly put your finger on the major flaw in the strategy. I don't think you should be too gloomy. There will be effects.

There are effects on the Russian economy. You know, people expect it to shrink by up to 10 percent this year. And there are some things they're going to find very hard to get around.

For example, restrictions on semiconductor imports which may in time actually affect their ability to produce weaponry and so on.

But you're right. They are currently getting something like a billion dollars a day in revenues from oil and gas exports. And the Europeans far from, you know, being in a position to cut them off, they're going to try that with oil, but gas you're looking at a dependency that it may take three years and that is being optimistic to get rid of.

And meanwhile, the Russians actually turning the pressure back on the Europeans by threatening to turn off the gas tap in time for winter which could cause the Europeans to have to do energy rationing in countries such as Germany and Italy. So, yes. We can damage the Russians but we are also learning that the Russians can damage us.

ZAKARIA: And one quick point on that. You've written a book "The Age of the Strongman." Putin is not likely to be particularly moved by the plight of ordinary Russians if he is getting, you know, by the barrel full all this energy revenue, right?

RACHMAN: Absolutely. I mean, the political situations that the two sides have to deal with are very different. You know, Putin is in a position to crush any dissent. Thousands of people were arrested for demonstrating against the war.

So even if the Russian economy goes into, you know, a deep spiral downwards there is not going to be, you know, a direct effect on Putin.

Whereas, if you're a western politician and you're looking at soaring inflation, possible energy rationing, you immediately have to start worrying about the next election. And so there is a kind of asymmetry there.

ZAKARIA: Richard, if you agree with this analysis, let me ask you, another way of getting at this is the economic strategy is not working.

How to make the military strategy work because even there the Russians are in this very brutal way gaining ground. I mean, since the goal is to bring Putin to the negotiating table, if he doesn't want to do it now, he doesn't see that he is losing, how to change that dynamic on the battlefield?

RICHARD HAASS, PRESIDENT, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: Well, I'm not sure, Fareed. You can change the dynamic to bring Putin to the negotiating table, if he is winning he is going to want to continue.

And if he's losing he'll never accept defeat. He will basically hang tough until he believes things will move in his favor.

So, I think, what we need to do and by, we, I mean, the West is gear ourselves for a long war. We need to be providing Ukraine with more quantity and quality than we are. Over time the Russians may run short of munitions.

That is where some parts of the sanctions could have some bite. So essentially we need to do what we're doing. Just do more of it faster.

ZAKARIA: And, Richard, do you think that there is a way to -- I've raised this often and Admiral James Stavridis agrees with me -- find a way to escort Ukrainian ships out of Odessa.

This is where most of their exports, you know, leave the country. Ukraine's economy which seems to have contracting 45 percent this year is in free fall unless it can export particularly grain but really everything out of Odessa.

HAASS: Well, you're right. And the grain matters not just to Ukraine as an export but it matters to a big chunk of Africa and the Middle East as an import. And we could see considerable instability, food riots, or worse around the world.

The idea of organizing some type of a flotilla, the model is in the late 1980s when Kuwaiti tankers were escorted by the United States in the context of the Iran/Iraq war. That is a possibility.

We'd have to get Turkey onboard given its unique position in the Black Sea. We have to get the countries, I think, that import grain involved, the Egypts of the world. We wouldn't want it to be simply an American or a NATO effort.

I think it is a long shot, Fareed. I think it would be a bold step. Up to now we've obviously avoided any type of direct military involvement. So I'm not saying we should rule it out but, one, I think it is risky. And, two, I think it's a long shot that we'd be able to organize it. So we may need to think about imperfect approaches. For example, importing as much as -- or exporting rather as much as we can of Ukrainian grain out through places like Romania.


Like I said, it's a -- it's a second best outcome but it's less risky and it might be something more within our control.

ZAKARIA: Stay with me. When we come back I want to pivot to the Middle East. Israel has perhaps the most unstable government in the world and it now has a new prime minister. There may be elections soon. What is going to happen there? And more on the Middle East when we come back.


ZAKARIA: And we are back with Richard Haass and Gideon Rachman. Richard, I want to ask your reaction to the Israeli government collapsing or however you want to describe it. Was this inevitable? And what do you make -- what do you think comes of it?

HAASS: It was inevitable. This was an eight-party coalition that really bridged the entire political spectrum. The one thing they had in common, Fareed, is they were against the previous prime minister, Bibi Netanyahu, but governing was always going to be difficult.


Some might say it is amazing they lasted as long as they lasted. Anyhow, Israel is going back to its fifth election in as many years. My guess is Bibi Netanyahu's party Likud will get a plurality but never in Israeli history has any party gotten the majority.

So first he will have the challenge of putting together a government. That will be extremely difficult. And even if he were to succeed he'd have real problems getting a govern that could govern.

So, I think, Israel essentially is stuck with a political system and a society that is so divided that it can't essentially get out of its own way to produce a working -- a working majority.

ZAKARIA: Gideon Rachman, Israel is also one of those countries that has famously not really condemned the Russian aggression in Ukraine and is not being particularly helpful to Ukraine. Ukraine's president called them out on it. Could any of that change?

RACHMAN: I think unlikely to be honest. I think Netanyahu, if he does make it back as prime minister, is somebody who actually prided himself on having a good relationship with Vladimir Putin.

The Israelis say they need to work with the Russians to some extent because the Russians are so present in Syria. They say they are effectively Israel's next door neighbor. And they probably know that there is a limit to which any American government is going to go in punishing Israel for not following the guidelines of U.S. foreign policy. So I think they're going to walk this tight rope for a while. They're going to, you know, not obviously endorse what Russia has done but I think they're going to try and preserve a relationship with the Russians at the same time.

ZAKARIA: And Biden is, you know, looking at the region, Biden is going to Saudi Arabia. We all understand why. He wants them to pump more oil. But the Saudis are going to be asking for something very tough on Iran, I imagine.

Richard, can the United States find a way to both deal with the Iranian nuclear issue in the way that Biden and the Obama administration tried, which was some kind of deal, and placate Saudi Arabia or are those two contradictory goals?

HAASS: Ultimately they are contradictory. Because even if we were able to get back into the agreement with the Iranians it would simply buy a little time on the nuclear side. It wouldn't buy you anything on the missile side. It wouldn't buy you anything on the regional destabilization side.

That said, I think, the odds of getting back into it are long. So I think this becomes part of the new axis in the Middle East, Fareed. You and I are of the generation where so much of the Middle East was along the Israeli/Palestinian divide than along the Iraqi divide. Well, now it is along the Iranian divide.

And no matter who is the prime minister of Israel, including Bibi Netanyahu, there is consensus on one thing, a hard line towards Iran. So I think Israel and Saudi Arabia share that.

And the real question is will the Biden administration that wants to pivot to Asia, that's obviously heavily involved in Europe as we were just discussing, whether it has the appetite and the bandwidth to also take a tough line toward Iran? This could be the big foreign policy test of this administration before all else is done.

ZAKARIA: Gideon Rachman, when you watched the G7, the images coming out, is there something you think that they should be talking about that they're not? What do you think is -- what do you think should happen here?

RACHMAN: Well, I mean, I think it is pretty inevitable that they'll be very much focused on Ukraine and, I think, that is probably the correct call. But obviously, you know, that can crowd out other stuff.

And, you know, as Richard was saying you could have a crisis in Iran soon. And I think that America has this perpetual problem of knowing that China is the big long term challenge for the United States but constantly finding its attention dragged away, you know, during the Obama years to the Middle East, now during the Biden years towards Ukraine. In the Trump years towards North Korea.

So, maintaining this focus on the long term strategic challenge of China is a big issue. And I think you're going to actually see more of that at the next summit, the NATO summit, where interestingly they've invited some major Asian powers to attend -- Japan, South Korea, Australia. And I think that indicates that NATO is now looking not just at Russia but also increasingly at the challenge of China.

ZAKARIA: Richard, I have got about 30 seconds. If you had a magic wand and you wanted these leaders either at the G7 or NATO to do something big, what would it be?

HAASS: Do something about natural gas. That is the key to Russia's economic strain. Limit natural gas imports from Russia. Obviously, accelerate the military tools. But I don't think there's a game changer, Fareed. This is a long war. We have got to gear ourselves to that and avoid if you will fatigue.

ZAKARIA: I assume what you mean by that is also encourage American natural gas. The United States is the Saudi Arabia of natural gas and could export a lot of it to Europe and the world obviously in liquefied form.


Richard Haass, Gideon Rachman, thank you so much as always. Such a pleasure.

Next on GPS, the far right and left made surprising gains in France's legislative elections this week. Who are these people voting particularly for the far right? We will explore this with Sophie Pedder of "The Economist" when we come back.



ZAKARIA: In the United States it is not unusual for the president to govern with an adversarial House or Senate. In France, on the other hand, a sitting president has not lost a parliamentary majority for over three decades.

That is until this week when French voters denied President Emmanuel Macron's centrist Ensemble bloc, an absolute majority in the country's legislative elections. Macron will now have to govern through negotiation and compromise with both sides of the aisle.

Marine Le Pen's far right National Rally Party scored an historic success in this election. And on the left Jean-Luc Melenchon's new coalition gained ground as well. So why is this happening? And just who are these voters embracing the extremes?

Sophie Pedder joins me from Paris where she is the bureau chief for "The Economist." Sophie Pedder, pleasure to have you on.


ZAKARIA: Tell us what this means. You know, what is the broader significance? Is this one more case of incumbency being unpopular, of people railing against the establishment in times that seem turbulent with inflation and war and all that kind of thing?

PEDDER: I think that is part of the answer. And certainly if you think back to the presidential election in France in April don't forget that Emmanuel Macron -- he was re-elected but it was a narrow margin over his rival, Marine Le Pen on the far right, and the fact she got a better score this time than when he beat her in 2017 already tells you that there is a sense of sort of antiestablishment anger still out there in France. And that hasn't gone away.

So I think in that respect, yes. That is what this is about. But I think it is more than that, Fareed. I think that what you're looking at is a very particular system in France which hands strong powers to the presidency under the Fifth Republic Constitution and that's where -- that's the way Charles de Gaulle devised it back in 1958.

But in doing so I think that what the French were trying to do was put some kind of break on the way in which Emmanuel Macron exercises power. He makes full use of that.

And I think what the French were trying to do by handing him a parliament in which it's fragmented, there are extremes on the left and on the right, they're trying to curb the way he exercises power and force him in some ways to govern differently, to take a more inclusive approach to government.

ZAKARIA: The most surprising result to me at least was the dramatic surge in Marine Le Pen's far right nationalist vote. It is up dramatically even from 2017. Did anyone predict that? And what do you think that is about?

PEDDER: No. I mean, the polls didn't predict that at all. It is extraordinary. She has got 89 deputies and you could see them coming into parliament this week. This is an 11 fold increase on 2017 and actually it's the highest that her party has ever held in parliament.

She has done a lot to try and kind of clean up her party's act. She has tried to make it more moderate. She is in a way -- I think, there's been a sort of normalization of some of the more kind of xenophobic, anti-immigrant discourse in France but she has also moderated that a little bit with a program that has been really focused on cost of living issues.

ZAKARIA: Another thing that struck me about her support is that she gets it -- and this was true even in the presidential election, she gets a lot of support from young voters. In fact, it's a sort of -- a bit of a -- the opposite of what happens in America and Britain where in France Macron was saved by people who were over 50. That young voters were disproportionately more likely to vote for the far right. What explains that, do you think?

PEDDER: That is true. I mean, the one thing I would say about this parliamentary election is that the young didn't vote at all. I mean, there were very few of them. There was a 70 percent abstention rate amongst young voters which is pretty -- a shocking statistic. That said, of those who did vote, yes, the young voted for Marine Le Pen. I mean, part of that is, I think, that she has exactly the sort of shift in her program. I'm not convinced that this is an anti- immigration vote. I think it's because they see her as someone who, you know, she had promised for example to -- that anyone under the age of 30 wouldn't pay income tax. I mean, she has been a very -- she's been very careful to look after the sort of social side of the worries that young voters have.

So I think, yes. It is something that, you know, certainly for Emmanuel Macron who is increasingly relying on the older voter is something for him to think about very seriously.

ZAKARIA: And finally, Putin. Marine Le Pen had fairly direct ties to Putin and the Russians, received loans from Russian essentially government entities.


That didn't seem to hurt her at the polls at all.

PEDDER: I mean, the war in Ukraine clearly has been debated a lot in France but it didn't damage her. And partly I don't think it damaged her because on the far left of the political spectrum in France you also had another figure, Jean-Luc Melenchon, who was also before the war instinctively sympathetic to Britain and hostile to NATO. So you know -- that you had to sort of -- balancing each other out and neither to contest the other on that -- on that particular issue.

ZAKARIA: Sophie Pedder, always a pleasure to get these insights from you. Thank you.

PEDDER: Thank you very much indeed.

ZAKARIA: And thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.