"Caldochie" : a state of mind?
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
The loyalist political majority in New Caledonia is a group which has been largely neglected by academics and the media. Collectively, this majority has been attributed the status of a distinct community under the title "Caldochie". "Caldochie"- a state of mind? examines the diverse ethnic and social groups who support New Caledonia's continued status as an Overseas Territory within the French Republic. Chapter One discusses the various ethnic and social groups who support continued ties with France. Central to these groups are the Caldoches, inhabitants of European descent considered to be assimilated into the Territory. The presence of metropolitan French citizens in New Caledonia is also examined. As well as Europeans, other ethnic groups within New Caledonia also support French loyalism. Brief overviews are given of Melanesian, Polynesian and Asian loyalists along with their differing levels of involvement in loyalist party politics. Chapter Two concentrates on loyalist party politics in New Caledonia, which have some distinctive features and form a political backdrop of great complexity. The politics of the largest loyalist party, the RPCR, are discussed. Attention is also given to the FN(NC) and the FC, the two principal parties of the extreme right, and extra-legal right-wing extremist groups collectively described as the tentation ultra. The essay concludes by examining the validity of using the term "Caldochie" to describe New Caledonia's loyalists and concludes that this term is neither geographically, ethnically nor politically valid. Following the RPCR's signature of the 1988 Matignon Accords, mainstream loyalist support has been lent to the concept of a future New Caledonia in which both loyalists and indépendantistes might co-operate. Accordingly, the concept of an isolated loyalist community is no longer valid if indeed it ever was.