Time magazine has a long piece (2/17/14) about beleaguered French President Francois Hollande. The headline is "Meet Monsieur Reform," and the piece, by is a lengthy, rather predictable argument that his turn to the right is a good idea; or, as the subhead puts it, "The world needs France's president to succeed in reviving his country's fortunes."
But it was hard to get past the very first paragraph:
French presidents don't so much govern as reign from the splendors of the Élysée Palace. They have powers most democratic leaders only dream of, able to deploy their military or command nuclear strikes without first consulting the national legislature.
In France, the president can take military action without consulting the legislative branch?
What a weird place that must be.