Monday, March 24, 2008

Over and out

In the week before the election, three fliers were delivered on behalf of the outgoing UMP mayor. The Parti Socialiste remained silent, confident that their list would win despite some patently absurd promises. To no-one's surprise, they won by 2:1. No-one believes that we will have lower taxes, free water and parking and so on, but it's time for a change.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Two left

The centre-left "radical" group and the communists & greens came in third and fourth in the first round of the mayoral elections, with 19% and 11% of the vote respectively. Under the rules for larger towns, both lists had the right to continue to Sunday's final round. Both of them decided to withdraw, however. The communists advised their followers to vote for the Parti Socialiste list, but the third-place PRG declined to endorse the PS leaders. The rifts within the left are deep and rancorous.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Seconds out

Four of the eight lists in our mayoral elections were eliminated and four remain for next week's second round. The Parti Socialiste slate pushed the UMP old guard into second place in the first round. Third was the radical-left coalition and fourth came the communists & greens. It appears that Jean-Marc Vayssouze-Faure, a young career politician who counts Ségolène Royale as a close friend, will be the next mayor.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Voting

My voter card arrived in the post a few days ago. It plainly identifies me as as a foreigner with European Community nationality, who is entitled to vote in local and European contests, but not in national elections. None of the election officials at the polling station had even seen a card like this before and there was a considerable brouhaha, all completely respectful and friendly.

There is no ballot form to complete in our city (mayoral) election. One simply picks up a sheet of paper with the chosen list of candidates printed on it, folds this into eight to fit into a tiny envelope and then asks for permission to register the vote. Today, I picked the sheet for my chosen list from one of the eight piles by the front door and, after running the gauntlet, dropped it into the ballot box.

It's said that, on the first ballot in France, one votes for the candidate one wants to win. A week later, when also-rans have been eliminated, one votes against the candidate one wants to lose.