Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Great Debate

Well last night was the much hyped TV debate between Ségolène Royale and Nicolas Sarkozy.

It's a slightly odd feeling when there is so much riding on the presidential candidate and I am no longer an expatriate 'passing through'. As an travailleur indépendent (self employed) who hands over nearly 75% of income to the government in either cotisations (fees) or taxes, I have as much to win or lose as any other French person and yet I have no voice.

So, that means that Frog gets it in the ear!

A few things I have noted:

  • The popular press refers to Ségolène by her first name and 'Sarko' by his surname.
  • Last night's debate reminded me of occasions I have experienced at my family-in-law's. It begins courteously and then as the discussions progress the sniping begins until voices start to rise and it descends into full on verbal aggression. Doesn't sit so well with my passive aggressive tendencies and at times I found last night's debate quite stressful!
  • Whilst Frog and I agree on the economic policies required for this country, I'm a little more left leaning when it comes to social and welfare policies.
  • Frog was quite scared when he saw the results of the first round in his family village:

    1. Sarkozy (160 votes); 2. JM Le Penn (65 votes); 3. F Bayrou (50 votes) and 4. S Royal (47 votes).

    So despite Le Pen's national downfall, this village apparently still stays faithful. Which is odd because what I understood as so often the source of tensions don't exist here - although it's a conservative rural village, it's also one with a relatively wealthy profile since people either own vines or have a regular income working the vines or servicing in some way the industry. And I'm pretty sure there's 100% non-ethnic diversity.
  • What's also strange in a small village is that you see the exact numbers i.e. only 47 people voted for Royal and I'm sure that I know two of them. In fact I suspect the Frog Family are split 50/50 in their support between the two final candidates. At least we can claim that none of the Le Pen voters were from his family...

Perhaps in the end there's a slight relief that I can't vote since I do find that my left/right; social/economic conscience are split down the middle.

Oh and the debate? I fell asleep and missed the one most explosive moment....

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