Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Election times


The election campaign has officially started... It means that each of the 12 candidates has the right to be exposed on public billboards (like this one) and to appear on public television and radio (for the exact same amount of time, needless to say...) They are not allowed to spend more that 15,4 million euros for the primaries and 20,6 million € for the actual elections and all their expenses will be refunded by the government provided they get a minimum of 5% of the votes. As you see, even at election times we stick to the "Egalité" principle as much as we can...

46 comments:

  1. Yes, i'm impressed. I'm certain we don't have anything like that here in the UK. I saw the lady there being interviewed on the news today (sorry i forget her name oops) and she was saying that, whilst she wanted social benefits to remain the same system, she was striving for a system more similar to Britain. God help you all.

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  2. In fact my advice is therefore: Run, run! Save yourselves whilst you still can!

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  3. Lynn who said she wanted a system similar to GB?? Ségolène Royal?

    I'm surprised, that is not exactly what she says on this side of the Channel...

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  4. Interesting, Luc. I feel really stupid that i did not retain her name. She had brown hair, quite glam looking and spoke a lot of sense. Until... she ... said that. lol. How many women candidates are there and does that fit a description? Also the lady mayor was interviewed afterwards and questioned about the British thing and she too backed up the idea.

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  5. Sorry so vague, i was grabbing a bit of lunch at the time and saw the news piece very quickly so didn't get names. Two women, anyway, one a candidate. Helpful, that, isn't it? Doh!

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  6. Wow, Eric, is there any reason why you have Sarcozy as No. 1, Le Pen second, on this pic? ;)

    (Nasty GG, I beat you to it this time ;) )

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  7. It's really impressive how your system work. I wonder if their appearance on tv during the campaign is useful, does the people in France enjoy watching it?

    Here when candidates get to campaign on tv it's almost like a bad joke, they're so unprepared and all they do is accuse one another. The people here can't stand it. And we don't get just a few weeks of tv campaign, but a few good months.

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  8. Tomate, no there is no reason, actually the position of each candidate on the billboard was drawn in a hat (or was it a beret?!) and the order is the same everywhere!

    What's good on this pic is that you can see the 4 main candidates.

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  9. Why trying to copy GB such a bad idea ?

    As far as I know they have a much healthier economy, much less unployment and the administration papers in general are far far easier to understand. The fact that they don't have a 46 billions euros national debt is quite a sign that things aren't going so badly there. (sorry I'm not starting any kind of debate, I just lived in both countries and the Brittish system seemed to be more efficient to me.)

    I'd be surprised though than Segolène Royal (well I guess it's her since she's the only one fitting the description) would say something like that since it's contradictory to her party's ideas.

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  10. Well i've started a bit of a debate which i don't mind at all, except i've very inadequately provided vague details, for which i apologise. I wish i knew who it was, all i got was as above.

    Some things in Britain do run smoothly, it's true, i am exaggerating my horror just a bit, but some areas are ridiculous. The health and education systems need so much money and are suffering because of that, yet we give billions away to other countries' charities, for a start. I am not uncharitable at all, but if the money is there to give away, why wasn't it used for our needy hospitals and schools? Charity must begin at home. Many other things wrong; too big and too numerous to mention really but; the war, the Bush-following, political correctness, human rights (both blown out of proportion as to be truly restricting), housing, social care. Money is key and it seems it's all in a big, locked pot at No. 10 waiting to hand out to others simply to look good and be seen to be able to match Bush. Blair has outstayed his welcome but will not leave until he enters the history books for his ten years. I knew once i'd started i'd go on and on... lol!

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  11. I was interested in what the native French speakers think of Sarkozy's slogan - On Language Log (a website dedicated to linguistic issues), there was a discussion on what the language-proud French thought about it, as it seems to be an awkward construction. I can judge only as a speaker, not a native speaker, and the distinction is important.

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  12. Good for you Lynn. Go ahead and let it out. I am behind you on this.

    All who claim that the Anglo-American economic system is functionning well or better than mainland European economies do not remember the hell of the 80's, with Lady Thatcher, The U.S' Ronald Reagan, and their successors.

    You are quite right in saying what you said. Both Governments have been out-sourcing jobs, and by now, many of them are, or were, well paying ones, to countries with cheap labor. They, the Governments, have undercut us as citizens and wrokers in our own societies, and continue to claim that their brand of economics benefits all.

    Anyway, give it all you have, after all Eric posted a political theme especially for you.

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  13. As we start to see the election get started in the US, I think I like this idea!

    In late may I am going to get a day or two to wander around Paris. If I could only see one thing, what should it be?

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  14. "Democracy is the worst form of government except for everything else that's been tried."

    That's close, I belive. And this is whose quote?

    Ten points to the winner.

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  15. Jeff, I would say that's Churchill's quote.

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  16. In the US we try to do something similar by matching campaign funds with public funds and setting limits. However, there is a loop hole and if the matching funds are rejected there is no limit ... Thank you for sending a postcard to my Aunt's 100th birthday. She enjoyed it and I very much appreciate your sending the card.

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  17. Lynn: A pretty face doesn't necessarily ensure pretty policies does it? Segolene = socialist standstill; Sarkozy = conservative; Le Pen = far out right.

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  18. Anomyme, regarding your above comment, I'm puzzled. Please explain why a connection is being made between a woman's face and her politics?

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  19. Jeff, Winston Churchill, I think.
    Now there was a leader :)

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  20. Eric, this photo is so typical of Paris (and France) as a subject matter. I remember 10 years ago when I first saw these portable billboards and thinking how organised the campaigning in France was. Of course, it doesn't stop posters from ending up on bus stops, walls, telephone booths, etc.

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  21. Thanks for this interesting post. The rules on spending and reimbursement do sound very fair. Maybe we should try the French method here in the U.S. After all, there was just a piece on 60 Minutes on Sunday about how France is the most progressive on nuclear energy and how all the other countries are taking notice! They interviewed a woman called "Atomic Anne" who was quite interesting.

    Bill: So hard to answer your question, but in my humble opinion, a great way to see some awesome parts of Paris is to start at the Louvre and walk towards the Tuileries Gardens (stop at L'Orangerie museum to see some truly jaw-dropping massive Claude Monet paintings). Keep walking towards La Place de la Concorde. Walk on to the Champs Elysees, all the way down to L'Arc de Triomphe (if not too pooped, go up to the top for a look around). Then, turn left and go down to the Trocadero and start your approach to the Eiffel Tower. By then you will have a walked about 5 miles or so, but you will have enjoyed it immensely and have had a nice taste of Paris.

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  22. Thanks, Anonymously yours. Just telling it how it is.

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  23. I’m a bit skeptical about the fairness of the campaigns. See people who vote blank see their votes distributed equally to all the candidates, increasing their percentages, helping them to get 5% and therefore seeing their campaign entirely refunded by the government, which is to say by taxes money. So people who are not satisfied with any of the candidates actually bring votes to all the mini-parties that are killing these elections (3 communist parties? Hunters and fishermen party? … come on). It is relevant because of the significant number of people voting blank.

    Another problem about the fairness of the election is that radio and television must give the same amount of time for each candidate. This sounds good until you realize that no debate is being set up because it would be impossible to have 12 people (though lots of them have exactly the same program) arguing and debating and still control they all speak the same amount of time. So, all the candidates do is giving their speech with no opponent to underline the flows. This might be fair for the candidates but it is certainly not fair for the voters.

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  24. Well of course not everything works perfectly in the UK but let's face it: France is now poorer than the UK and that happened because France remained socialist while England turned (back?) to capitalism (what the French called Liberalism).

    The problem now is that France has no money left to maintain it's social benefits... As Mitterrand said once: you can only share what you earn...

    Most French people have realized that now, that is why Sarkozy will be elected. Will he be brave enough to do what Thatcher did in the 80s? That remains to be seen.

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  25. The French system seems superior to me. In the U.S. we have the electoral college that has managed to put the loser, not the winner, in office for two terms. Isn't it just grand to have the will of the populace ignored so that what is really good for them can be imposed? not a LOL, I fear.

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  26. Pont Girl, Monet´s Nympheas are on my list too as one of my priorities! Well, another one I guess.

    Bill, it´s impossible to go to Paris and see just ONE thing (the good news is most of the time you just need to stand there and look around you, you´ll see soooo many beautiful things and landmarks!). Pont Girl´s tour is a good start. But even if you have just one day, you can´t miss Notre Dame Cathedral either.

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  27. the husband of a friend is from Paris and very actively campaigning for one of the four frontrunners.

    Eric
    answered below, but here again to say Oui! I arrive the same day Jeff does, Avril 26. We are trying to work something out. I have sent you an email, I hope you received it.

    It is almost lunch time here, my co-worker did receive here passport and hers is prettier than mine, lol, so I guess we are on for Paris.

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  28. Johnny Parsons: the difference is "representative democracy." Might have made sense a couple of hundred years ago when you had to send someone on horseback all the way across the country to carry the "vote of the people" to its destination, but now ... pff... However, I wouldn't go as far as saying that the French system is superior. :-)

    (Eric: I was pulling your leg)

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  29. Representative democracy is the only option. It is absolutely impossible to have all citizens vote on all issues. As to the elections themselves, it may be possible to count votes directly rather than have the electoral college. If the number and distribution of electors in the electoral college were updated to actuall, mathematically represent the numbers of voters in each state, then it would mathematically be the same as counting direct votes. What you need to remember is that if voting can be corrupted with the electoral college (as I believe it has been in Florida and possibly Ohio), then the voting can be corrupted with direct voting just as easily. Democracy is a pain in the ass, folks, but it's many variations are, indeed, better than the others forms of government. Governing itself is a pain in the rear end, and people always will argue. That is why we set up numerous branches of government and checks and balances. When it gets out of whack, things go very badly.

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  30. I love PDP wayyyyy toooo much to try to get "too political" here...but, since you started this...LOL!! I want to attach a link to an article I read by a VERY conservative American political type about the French election and Sarkozy. Enjoy! LOL!! I think Les Francais that read and post here may have some very interesting thoughts...merci!!
    Sarkozy

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  31. Looks like it's the hotel Drouot in the back, where you took that unusual easter scene...

    Am I the only one to think that Segolene Royal's photo on that poster has a little of Mona Lisa in it: the angle of the face, position of the eyes, the smile... mmmm

    Mona Lisa

    I also like to look at the dominant color used on the posters... the left stick to the red, right to the blue, greens to green, center came up with orange... and the rests of them have to take what remains from the color spectrum...

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  32. What a wonderful photo! I must say though that Le Pen = BAD! *WINK*

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  33. kpgallant. The article you refer us to is interesting, almost as interesting as its author Pat Buchanan, who himself has campaigned, when running for president in the U.S., on nationalist ideals.

    Buchanan has opposed Free Market economics (also known as neo-liberal economics), exactly because of it ideals, which led business to flee to cheap labour markets elswhere around the globe. Neo-liberal econimists such as the late Milton Friedman have always claimed that their brand of economics, works to benefit all involved.

    The problem with Sarkozy as I see it, is that he wants to be an economic nationalist, while aspiring to implement Anglo-American economic policies. The last two do not bode well together simply because since 1980, both the U.S. and Great Britain had followed Free Market economics with destructive results to their general public, and profitable ones for business (you need only examine the disparity in pay between CEO's and the rest of the working (non-executive) population.

    Allow to refer you to a book called "Railroading Economics" if you wish to expand on the subject.

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  34. sarkozy's shadow....very interesting!! I'm not really a fan of Buchanan, though I find his observations interesting. You are correct about the destructive results to the general public and in the US it is definitely getting worse[as I type]but the stupidity of the average American allows the BUSHIES to continue with their plans as long as they have the latest gadget, gas for their SUV and a Big Mac in their hand. They are very short sighted and have no knowledge of history.

    I find it comical that Sarkozy came to la Maison Blanche and had his photo op with Bush, yet Bushie really didn't get too cozy with him...cozy avec Sarkozy..ehhh??? Wonder what that was all about...Hmmm?? Great handle there!!

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  35. Hi Monica: Yes, L'Orangerie is divine. The last 2 times I was in Paris, it was closed for the remodel. I hear it's even more incredible now with the skylights - they say the paintings change drastically based upon the lighting from outside! Let us know how you like it!

    LOL KP Gallant - love the "cozy avec Sarkozy"!!

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  36. Pont Girl...I actually thought one of the French folks would reply to you, but didn't see a resonse. "Atomic Anne" that you refer to is Anne LAUVERGEON, the Chief Executive Officer of Areva. She is one of the few women heading a major French company.

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  37. By the way, given that this is a political topic, "Nasty GG", "Socialist GG" or "Anti-establishment GG" is noticeably missing! ;-)

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  38. Sorry, it's me again. I'm not sure if people heard outside of France, but there's now a "scandal" alleging that Sarkozy and Chirac organised a deal to protect Chirac from prosecution once his judicial immunity runs out next month. That and Sarkozy's comment about paedophilia being most probably genetic, have landed him in a lot of debates (and newspapers!) lately.

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  39. tomate farcie on the runApril 12, 2007 at 12:25:00 AM GMT+2

    Michael: not to mention "lutte finale GG" ;) BTW, I didn't realize Sarcozy was an expert on paedophilia. The things you learn on PDP! ;)

    Jeff: good point on voting on all the issues, I never thought of it that way. The last SF ballot was pretty heavy already with numerous, numerous, numerous local propositions... sigh... I wonder who stays on top of these things, probably a very small amount of people.

    KPG: Will read your article and get back to you later!

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  40. Is there a large voter turn out in France?

    Bill: a really nice way to see Paris is via boat. Check out batobus.com.

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  41. A great photo Eric showing the current times. Was watching CNN here in Poland and they commented on how big the current French elections are. Glad that you have managed to capture it on Paris DP!

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  42. Okay i may put the cat among the pigeons again but i've just seen another tv interview, BBC news 24 from Dijon, and again i could not get the name of the interviewee (sorry) but he was saying the following.

    That plans for immigration control were to accept people from Europe but not Asia and that rich people were very welcome but poor were not. Our reporter (same one as last time; maybe it's he who gets these weird quotes out of people! Good journalist lol) then picked him up because the interviewee, too, had said it would then be more like Britain!! The BBC reporter obviously was quite shocked as our country, more than most, accepts all, troubles and baggage coming with them (unfortunately)!

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  43. Well it may get even more exciting. I just read this about heightened security alert in France. Scary!

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  44. Hmm, frightening, Michael. Let's hope not. Better to be as prepared as poss though.

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