Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Oh, that's Alsace!

Pauline Lefebre on the Elections!

If you go to about 18:00 into La Partie 2 you will understand.  Well, really, if you heard about the French elections that happened on Sunday, it was a pretty thorough rout of the UMP (Union Mouvement Populare), and a pretty solid win for la PS (Parti Socialiste).  The clearest victory was in Poitou-Charentes for Ségolène Royal.  She took 61 percent of the vote.  Overall, the popular vote finished the second round with 49 percent for the PS and and 35 percent for the UMP.  The other party that was involved in the elections had a pretty miserable showing, but for them, 16 percent was pretty impressive.  They are known as the Front National.

French elections are quite a bit different from American elections, especially in that a party is outright calling itself socialist.  They also vote twice and by popular vote.  The first vote is to determine who makes it to the second vote.  So in the first term there was the UMP, PS, Front National, MODEM (Mouvement démocrate), Front Gauche, and Europe écologie.  Out of these different possibilities, only the first three continued through.  So in the second election, you could only choose from between the UMP, PS, and FN. 

The UMP is the main conservative party in France.  I should really say the more conservative party because even some of the stuff they believe in wouldn't fly in America.  They are what we could consider center right, to right.  They are also the party of the current president, Nicolas Sarkozy.  For most of the French people I know, he is basically George Bush, Jr. with a brain.  There have been a lot of caricatures of him, much like Bush and really any world leader, but lately there have been a lot of Petit Nicolas references.  One thing that may really be none of my business to also mention is that shortly after his campaign he divorced his wife, and married Italian model turned French chanteuse Carla Bruni shortly thereafter.  Carla was his third wife.  Did I mention he ran on a family values platform?

The PS is the main left party in France.  They are more of what we would call Progressives in the US.  The  best known is, of course, Ségolène Royal.  She ran for president against Sarkozy and did fairly well.  Being a Progressive, this is more of how I see my self and how I would vote in France. 

There are a variety of other parties here.  The Front National is the extreme right party here.  It's headed by Jean-Marie Le Pen and his daughter Marine Le Pen.  It's a pretty nationalist outfit.  They want to take things to extremes.  The MODEM party is the center party, but probably what we would consider center left.  Front Gauche would never do well in the US.  They are beyond Progressives.  Europe écologie is similar to the Green party in Germany.  I would say the Green party in the US, but they accomplish nothing, especially if they keep putting Nader on the ticket. 

I am generally pleased with the outcomes.  Lets see where it takes us. 

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