Monday, March 10, 2008

Inside the voting booth


The quality of this photo is not very good nor does it show much of Paris, but I found it funny to take a photo inside the voting booth! I took it today (today was the first round of the elections for the mayor of Paris) just before I slipped my ballot paper into the envelope. In order to vote, in France, you must be registered on a voting list (generally the one where you live) and have your ID ready; that's all. Who won the election? Well, we have to wait for the second round to be over (next Sunday) to know for sure sure, but there is no suspense: like I already told you, it'll be this man!

57 comments:

  1. Thanks for the voting update! I like the photo, with all that good French. Now I have to get out my dictionary!

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  2. lol it wouldn't have occurred to me to take a photo in there! good shot. You look handsome, Eric...........:)
    Yay Katie! GF Girl!

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  3. Katie, it should not be too hard, there are not many French words in this photo!!

    Lynn ;) You're sweet! But this is the worst photo of me ever. And I have to keep it for 10 [f...] years until my ID expires!

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  4. Sorry to beat you to the punch Lynn, but I figured I had to get GF status 2 days in a row to establish my groupie cred! I doubt that will ever happen again though.

    I wish we had snazzy election "cartes" like this in the US Eric. How very formal!

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  5. Actually Katie, the carte Electorale is not compulsory to vote, it's just useful to know where to vote and on which list you are registered.

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  6. Well Eric even if the carte isn't compulsory, as least it's cool!

    And what's the first part of the phrase that ends "un droit, c'est aussi un devoir civique"? I assume that means a right and also a civic duty?

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  7. Ha! That is funny! I should try that one... LOL.

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  8. Oh, la belle carte d'identité, electronique, et tout!! :) T'as une carte electorale en plus?

    It's the same way here in California. You have to be pre-registered, then you go a specific voting place in your neighborhood, with just your ID.

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  9. Nice picture Eric! It's cool to imagine you in the booth, hesitating (or not) between the different lists. PS seems to be in a good place and I'm ready to bet that Delanoe will win without any problem. I saw that the PS won the first tour in the 9th.
    In the village where I vote (I have my official home at my parent's), there was only one list! Vive la démocratie...

    I didn't know that the Carte Electorale was not compulsory, I thought it was for the communes-districts over 4000 inhabitants.

    Good night!

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  10. Katie, the entire sentence is "voter est un droit, c'est aussi un devoir civique". The vote is a right, it's also a civic duty.

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  11. On the contrary, Eris, this photo shows us a great deal about Paris! It's virtually a Parisian's-eye-view of a thoroughly Parisian experience - voting in an election to decide who will be the next mayor of your city. (The highlighting of red, white and blue - the colours of a certain flag - is a nice touch. BTW: Tweaking, or serendipity?) True, it may be quotidian, but it is exactly the kind of visual tidbit that we, who do not live in Paris, love to see.

    Also, because I have, of late, been reading about the period in French history from the 1789 Revolution to the end of the Napoleonic Wars, I am acutely aware of what went into securing your right to be in that little booth.

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  12. Lucio: "Eric", not "Eris". Please try and remember that, as I find it very embarrassing to have to correct you on it.

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  13. Only one list, Guille? Is that legal?

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  14. Guille -- thanks for the rest of the sentence! I was frustrated that it was cut off in Eric's photo. I guess I won't have any problems remembering the verb "to vote" in French! And now I know un devoir doesn't mean just homework!

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  15. Lynn, one list because the village where I used to live has only 2000 inhabitants, so the voluntaries are few... Yes it's legal but I find it silly and was blasé to vote!!
    Katie, you're welcome!

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  16. ah i see. Katie i too thought it was just homework!

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  17. Your photo today is more Paris than you take credit for! I missed your ealier post about Bertrand Delanoe and enjoyed learning more about him as well as the reading other links (new tramway, Nuit blanche, Paris Plage, Velib, car chasing). When in Paris (this January) we were wondering about the bikes...if we had only known. Thank you for all your photos and useful information (you so deserve the blog award).

    btw, is that really you on the ID card? ;)

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  18. I'm happy you were featured on the dashboard! What a delightful discovery, and consider me a frequent visitor now that I've dicovered your blog.

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  19. Great Eric! I was hoping for some news about the election, did not think you'd give us such an inside look. I have to say though that you look a little startled in the photo.

    Is there no eletronic vote in France? Here the voting system is electronic, very practical and secure. We also have a Carte Électorale.
    The joke is that voting here is compulsory, if you don't vote, the govern can, for instance, cancel your passport.

    Yes, that is what our "democracy" is like.

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  20. I agree with Lucio and Jennifer; you've given us a peek into a corner of Paris life. I wish I'd thought of it at the California primaries! (We'll all do it in November, won't we?)

    That's fascinating about Brazil's elections, Monica. I never knew. Un droit et un devoir civique indeed. How fortunate we are.

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  21. Just a quick question here...are votes 'secret' in France? That is, are voters supposed to keep quiet about who they voted for? Can they openly declare in public, "Hey, I just voted for Mr. X!"

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  22. As a coda to yesterday's discussion about racism, I offer the following anecdote.

    This morning, while checking my bag in at the cloakroom of a major museum (the National Gallery of Victoria - Melbourne, Australia), I found myself behind a man who had obviously misplaced his manners on the way in. Actually, I wouldn't have been aware of him at all unless I'd heard him barking at the understandably startled attendant in regard to his backpack - which, unlike his hat, he was curiously unwilling to surrender: "All I've got in there is a f***ing book!" This may or may not have been true; but that's not the point, is it?

    Trying his best not inflame the situation, the attendant (a man of Asian appearance) stood firm, but did nothing (at least nothing that I could detect) to further aggravate the ungentlemanly gent. This, apparently, was a mistake, and earned him the bonus insult: "Oh, why don't you just go back to your own country!"

    Now, most of us would realise that the attendant's insistence on visitor protocol was not in any way related to, or dependent upon, his ethnicity. The man was merely trying to do his job. One has to remember that, regrettably, there have been several successful thefts and acts of vandalism at this same institution over the past few decades.

    Unfortunately, the victim of this unsavoury attack was left so rattled by the incident that he failed to assert his authority, which might have led to the would-be visitor's bag being inspected - or, better still, his summary ejection.

    On the way out, as I collected my bag from the cloakroom, the attendant asked me for my name and number, just in case the offender should, despite being in the wrong, lodge a complaint against him. To be honest, I hope he does, as I would be more than happy to give my account of what transpired.

    Which is to say, you never know where, when, or under what circumstances you are likely to encounter racist taunts and tantrums. They can even be found slithering through the hallowed vestibules of our most august repositories of culture.

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  23. I'm a sort of a photographer myself, so the concept for your blog is great! I love this voting photo. I never leave home without a camera because you never know what amazing things you see. I have found in my life that it is when you are without a camera that you see tons of photograph opportunities.

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  24. This is great blog...and I never been to Paris.
    I bookmarked it.

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  25. Hi Eric - I've just discovered your blog and I love your photography and the glimpses of Paris that you reveal.
    I'll be back!

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  26. Well i like your photo Eric, can we have an updated profile perhaps at some point too? We don't see you very often.

    D'ya hear that, girls? - I'm sweet......:)

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  27. What a wonderful blog! I went to Paris and pent two weeks walking around the city and fell in love with it. I do hope to come back one day. I will keep this blog in my favourites. Well done, a wonderful idea! And it brings joy to others. Perfect.

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  28. Guille, Lynn,
    In small villages, not only you can have only one list, but also you can change the names on the list, scratch a candidate you don't like, and even add the name of whoever you want!!!
    The result is that counting the result is bloody long:
    In my small village (Cheverny), only 995 inhabitants, 798 voters, 2 lists of 15 candidates each.. We finished counting at 2.35 am (this morning!)

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  29. I am a first time reader of your blog. I admit that I am incredibly intrigued by your photos. They are refreshing and beautiful. I have been to Paris twice and loved it both times! I hope to go back some day.

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  30. I am a first time reader of your blog. I admit that I am incredibly intrigued by your photos. They are refreshing and beautiful. I have been to Paris twice and loved it both times! I hope to go back some day.

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  31. Love the bench scene from earlier, more quaint settings, if that is how you spell it.

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  32. That's interesting, Thib, sounds very relaxed! It's all a bit strict here in the UK with voting.

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  33. merci pour les photos de Paris... j'ete la seulement une fois, pour un jour, pendant l'hiver

    j'espere de resouvenir par tes images et un jour faire un retour!

    (please excuse my poor French!)

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  34. hi, this is my first time leaving comment here on your blog although i've been here few times before. i enjoy your paris pics very much. been to paris before but only for 1 night. i missed a lot of things. hope to return. we just had our general election too last mar 8. peace to you.

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  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  36. Eric, I just sent you an email with a message from Michael. It´s kinda an important matter so I hope you can see the email soon.

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  37. but for vote to presidential, you must have the french nationality. and the people who haven't the french nationality must vote in the city where you live only.

    excuse me for my bad english

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  38. Thib, I scratched a lot of names! LOL. And I know that my father added one name!
    I voted but it's only because I think it's an important right and duty. I didn't vote by love for the candidates. Puahh!

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  39. Remember when france and america loved each other? Remember when we both valued freedom and the artists of France would send us giant coper statues to symbolize our welcoming of those who love freedom? Remember when we were still free... before facist became the fashion. Now neither nation is free because of the slow slide into socialism.

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  40. I just browsed through your blog, and I really enjoyed the content. I'll definitely be back. Keep writing.

    -Benjamin Wey

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  41. Eric, today's photo says everything. Your voice and your choice is important. It's fun to do a secret photo, though, isn't it? Sort of like getting away with something while the teacher's not looking -:)

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  42. Simple but clever idea to illustrate yesterday's election day in France(especially for your foreign visitors) !
    And if you allow me to have a personal appreciation ...I hope you do, because otherwise it would be too late... I think your signature is elegant (simple and elegant).

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  43. "click here to notice it": I don't think that you know what you are talking about. Take a look at how the social welfare systems in Europe and the US work respectively, and compare them; then come back with an informed answer. Sorry, I couldn't help myself there. :)

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  44. Lucio "Also, because I have, of late, been reading about the period in French history from the 1789 Revolution to the end of the Napoleonic Wars, I am acutely aware of what went into securing your right to be in that little booth." You're so right that is why I could never consider not voting, even if the outcome is known. LOL on the Eris!


    Jennifer "btw, is that really you on the ID card? ;)" Alas yes. It's a terrible pic but they would not take another one because they are extremely demanding (white background, standard size, etc.)


    Monica : "Is there no electronic vote in France? Here the voting system is electronic, very practical and secure." Yes they are introducing it, but people are extremely reluctant to it. Remember France is an old country! As for the compulsory vote, I'm against it as I think it should simply remain a civic duty: if you don't vote, you should simply have no right to complain!

    Petrea wouldn't it be funny if all US CDP bloggers would take an inside voting booth photo in November??

    Photolicious. You have the right to secrecy but you can publicize your vote if you wish. Just like in all democracies I think.

    Lucio. Your story is, alas, pretty common everywhere in the world.

    Lynn "can we have an updated profile perhaps at some point too? " Yeah, well, I'll see!!

    Corinne "I think your signature is elegant (simple and elegant)." thank you ;)

    Alexandra, I think Click here to notice it is a little extreme... ;)

    And a warm welcome to all those first time visitors once more. Gee I did not think this Blogs of note thing would bring so many people around!

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  45. Never mind "blog of note" Eric, where is your corner office on the Google Campus? ;)

    http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2006/03/inside-google-campus.html

    TF

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  46. Well I hope you'll be happy with the winner. Here in the US, we don't have much to pick from this year. Basically it will be the lesser of 2 evils. Not an exciting ballot, ugh!

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  47. Eric: I figured you for a true "citoyen"!...And yes, even as I was writing the thought did cross my mind that, sadly, I was only adding a pinch of local inflection to a universal phenomenon.

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  48. "a little extreme": I don't care much for arguments, because you have your opinion and I have mine. Have nice day! ;)

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  49. Eric: haha, yes, indeed. :) I love the photo btw. :)

    and "a little extreme": it's nice if you sign with your name/nickname; less impersonal. :)

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