Saturday, April 21, 2012

Round One of the French Presidential Elections

Today I get to cast my vote for the French presidential elections. As an expatriate in the Americas I'll vote  the day before the mainland like those living in the overseas territories. This is an election in two stages. The first round held this weekend is to determine the top two candidates. There are 10 candidates to choose from ranging from the incumbent president Nicholas Sarkozy to the socialist candidate and strong contender Francois Hollande. Among the other eight presidential hopefuls are the centrist Francois Bayrou who calls for national unity as the key to get France back on track; the ecologist Eva Joly from the Green Party; Jean Luc Melenchon of the communist party and Marine le Pen leader of the far right Front National, the party known for its anti immigrant stand. Theoratically, a candidate can win at the first round provided he/she garners an absolute majority of the votes that is more than 50% . This has not happened since the inception of the 5th republic in 1958. More likely in two weeks on May 6 we will be back at the voting booth to decide who will be president . The polls predict that the choice will be between Sarkozy and Hollande. So for the next two weeks the debates between these two candidates will take place and hopefully they will argue over the real issues dear to the French electorate such as  high unemployment, education, health, the national debt and how to cut the deficit, the consumer's purchasing power, immigration, security--  more or less the same concerns that Americans voters will ponder at the November US presidential elections. Comme quoi le monde est petit et nous sommes tous dans le meme bain. Stay tune.

No comments: