What the vocabulary of presidential candidates hides

“Tell me what vocabulary you use, I’ll tell you your political color”. This is essentially what the Nice teams from the Bases, Corpus, Langage (CNRS) laboratory and the University of the Côte d’Azur did for this presidential election. A countryside observatory that inevitably arouses curiosity.

His hobby? Probe the inexhaustible resources of artificial intelligence to fix on the cursor, in a “left-right” counter style, the main candidates.

“Over the course of the campaign, more than 250 speeches were entered and digitized. Textual statistics and artificial intelligence algorithms analyze the data for the general public. Thus we can know the keywords and favorite themes. This makes it possible to evaluate, on a barometer, the political position of each candidate”, deciphers the Riviera researcher Damon Mayaffre.

seventeen keywords

Participating in Var-matin and Nice-Matin, dealing only with the five best-placed candidates to date. This explains why four out of five applicants screened by the clever machines of the CNRS are oriented to the right. Author last year of Macron or the mystery of the verb: His speeches decrypted by the machine, Damon Mayaffre therefore lends himself once again, with his colleagues, to the game of textual decryption (read elsewhere) to identify the message behind the recurrence words.

Disturbing Similarities

“Lexical markers categorize a speaker, but the words are not enough. We must also analyze the context of their use. It is the full force of artificial intelligence which also knows how to interpret this”specifies Damon whose “right/left” cursors are based on all the speeches and not only on the seventeen keywords published here.
The guarantee of a few“surprise”. Like a Valérie Pécresse whose name hunts on the lands of the duo Le Pen / Zemmour, an Emmanuel Macron whose leaning to the right leaves no doubt, a Zemmour who does not misuse the term “Islamism” or even a Jean-Luc Mélenchon with a studied “humanist” posture.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon: the “Humanist” pose

“Classified on the left at 69.93%, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s speech presents itself as a humanist, ecological and social speech. The candidate addresses ‘humanity’ and recites a ‘program’ aimed at ‘the’ harmony’ of ‘humans’ among themselves and with ‘nature’ and ‘animals’.

The speech has an ecological intonation with for example the preservation of the ‘sea’ at the heart of its project of ‘ecological planning’. This expression signs, in addition to ecology, the social and political dimension of the candidate who underlines with marked words the excesses of ‘capitalism’ and the ‘market’, the defense of ‘retirement’ at 60, the blocking of ‘prices ‘ or the preservation of national ‘education’ and the ‘University'”.

Emmanuel Macron: the “I” of the truth

“During this campaign, Emmanuel Macron speaks little. The political barometer classifies his rare speeches on the right (57.78%), as if the candidate had identified where the pool of votes to be conquered was. Outgoing President, he uses the verb ‘ continue’ to assert its record on the ‘reforms’ undertaken, the ‘construction sites’ started or simply the fight against the ‘virus’.

As during the five-year term, it often takes Sarkozist accents around the need to ‘work more’, the extension of the retirement age, ‘learning’ or ‘profit-sharing’. Finally, his speech is marked by the strong presence of the ‘I’ and the personality of the ‘president'”.

Valérie Pécresse “Take care of her right”

“Her lexicon seems to deport her to the right (71.63%), very close to Marine Le Pen (71.88%) and Eric Zemmour (80.29%). Her favorite words are thus often ‘sovereignty’ , ‘France’, ‘French’ or ‘Nation’ We also find ‘identity’, ‘immigration’, ‘Islamism’, ‘African’ or ‘impunity’.

More classically for the Republican right, Valérie Pécresse also likes the words ‘order’, ‘authority’, ‘freedom’ or ‘families’. Faced with ‘Macron’ whom she often denounces in her speeches, she thus takes care of her right and worries, as a good manager, about the state of our ‘finances'”.

Marine Le Pen “anti-submersion” candidate

“The speech, identified on the right at 71.88% by the barometer, is neck and neck with the speech of Pécresse (71.63%). It is marked by the traditional themes of the RN. Like her father before her, the candidate denounces ‘immigration’ which she describes as ‘submersion’ and warns of the threats of ‘Islamism’.

Faced with these dangers, it develops a national and security discourse focused on the fight against ‘delinquents’, ‘criminals’ and ‘anti-French’ acts. Certain words, however, denote an attempt by the candidate to refocus on the political spectrum by addressing social issues such as ‘single-parent’ families or ‘medical’ desertification.'”

Eric Zemmour plays on “fears”

“Ranked by the barometer as the most right-wing of the candidates (80.29%), Zemmour takes up a very typical lexicon of the French far right. It is the ‘History’ of ‘France’ with, for example, that of the ‘Vendée’ that the candidate often summons.It is a concern around ‘civilization’ and the ‘fear’ of the downgrading of ‘French power’ which are expressed.

It is the idea of ​​a necessary ‘reconquest’, like Joan of Arc, which is put into discourse. Zemmour targets the traditional electorate of ‘craftsmen’, ‘tradesmen’ or ‘hunters’, and denounces ‘assistantship’ and ‘scum’. In this, he thinks to make the link between the right of Sarkozy, Buisson line, and that of Le Pen senior.

We would love to give thanks to the author of this article for this outstanding material

What the vocabulary of presidential candidates hides


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