While normally I abstain from talking about politics, religion, or any other hot button topics on my blog, mostly because I believe in keeping this a warm fuzzy kind of place and that there is a time and a place for such things, today we’re going to talk about the French elections a little bit, mostly because I think it’s interesting (and important) to learn how other governments work, and what other countries are up to, and thought I’d share a little about what’s been happening over here in the land of wine and cheese.
Next up we have François Hollande representing the Socialist Party who stepped in for Dominique Strauss-Kahn who remains firmly on the naughty list.
There’s Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the Left Front (does anyone remember that old General Foods International Coffee commercial from forever and day ago where two girls are reminiscing about a trip to Paris and one of them shouts, “Jean-Luc!”, well every time I hear this guy’s name on the news, that’s what I think about.) This guy is a ‘militant socialist’. I think he should wear a red shirt à la Hugo Chavez and call it a day.
That blonde stern looking lady is Marine Le Pen of the National Front party. She’s managed to sugarcoat her anti-immigration stance with this slogan, “French citizenship should be either inherited or merited”. Basically Madame Le Pen wants to keep France French, and I get that, but we don’t need to be such a Nazi about it, do we? (pun intended). And on a side note, The Husband, Gatz, and I had a chuckle the other day about the fact that out of the three of us, I’m the only one with a French last name (Gatz’s is Italian, The Husband’s is Swedish, and mine is from Normandy), so I say we kick those two bozos out and hand me my French citizenship card stat.
Under Sarkozy is François Bayrou from the Democratic Movement party. He’s considered the ‘great centrist’ of French politics, so his views put him somewhere between Sarkozy and Hollande.
Next is Nicolas Dupont-Aignan who represents Arise the Republic, a party that he founded himself (I like that initiative Nicolas).
Then we have Eva Joly of the Green Party who is very easy to remember because normally she wears these horrid bright green glasses making her look as Kristin said, like something out of Harry Potter.
And finally, the last three; Nathalie Arthaud of Workers’ Struggle, Jacques Cheminade of Solidarity and Progress, and Philippe Poutou from the New Anti-capitalist Party (frankly I think some of these party names could use a little work, a little magical PR touch if you will).
So last Sunday was voting day, and the way it works is, you go to your local mairie (town hall) and put one of the slips of paper that you received in the post into the ballot box. C’est tout!
After voting, we all had lunch at Papa’s house and discussed. Everyone sitting at the table had voted for someone else (except for La Petite because she’s only one, and me because although I am married to a Frenchman, and am a EU citizen thanks to Ireland, I haven’t looked into all the hullabaloo into becoming a French citizen because this being the nation of red tape, I can’t even begin to fathom the hullabaloo involved).
One voted for Sarkozy but admitted that originally they were voting for François Bayrou but switched because they didn’t think Francois Bayrou had a hope in hell (imagine if everyone thought that way).
One did actually vote for François Bayrou.
One voted for François Hollande.
One voted for Marine Le Pen (maybe I should look into that French citizen hullabaloo in case this person wants to kick my American, Irish, non-French butt out of the country… although I should remind them, that my name does hail from Normandy so back the F off).
And one did a vote blanc which means that they were choosing, none of the above.
Now, if one of the ten candidates had received over 50% of the vote, they would have won the whole kit and kaboodle and game over, but since that didn’t happen, the two candidates with the most votes, in this case Sarkozy and Hollande, will now face off in a final vote on the 6th of May and that will be that.