Archive for France

Douce France

Posted in G 0 with tags , , , on March 18, 2008 by Roberto Gravitazero


I already talked about the pleasures of French elections.

Well, such pleasures were confirmed after the second turn.

For one, the left had come on top almost everywhere. Not for the merits of its leaders, I fear. Like elsewhere, they seem to be more interested in their internal struggles than anything else. However, French people quite wisely wanted to give a warning to M. Sarkozy. The general understanding is that two main reasons lay behind this sanction: First, he made promises, like increasing the buying power, that he didn’t even try to appear to be keeping. Second, his not-quite-presidential behavior was apparently not universally appreciated. Quoting the Herald Tribune, The French have tired of the president’s tumultuous private life and his occasional short-tempered outbursts, and are increasingly doubtful about his habit of launching several policy initiatives at once.
I found as well these explanations by a French blogger: …many reasons: showing off all the time, his links with wealthy people, a tax gift to the very rich…

The Italian reader could maybe find some familiar trait in these descriptions, but rest assured, our chap is much, much worse.

Anyway, another good reason I have to rejoice is the fact that the local list I was supporting got 17 out of 19 places in the municipality council. I was actually offered a coffee by some of them last week (not exactly a bribe – the coffee was, how to say, sub-optimum) and had a chat about their plans for the village. They seemed reasonable to me, and the guys among them I knew beforehand are indeed quite reliable. I will keep an eye on them anyway, and possible have a few more chats in the future.

Only, next time I’ll probably make the coffee myself.

À la carte

Posted in G 0 with tags , , , on March 9, 2008 by Roberto Gravitazero


Today I had the ineffable pleasure to vote for the local elections in France. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, but it was indeed a pleasure.

I don’t know how familiar is the average reader with the French electoral rules. I thought I knew them reasonably well, but I must admit until this week I wasn’t aware of the peculiar way in which one exerts his electoral rights in a French municipality with less than 2500 inhabitants.

It works like that: You are given a few sheets of paper, each one containing a list of candidates from different coalitions (in my case there were three of them, all local coalitions, with no explicit references to national political parties). You are supposed to vote by putting one of the lists in an envelope (for secrecy), and put the envelope in a box. So far so good, nothing really special.

But you should know that you’re allowed to erase from the list any name you don’t like. Now, this start to be interesting (I can imagine some of you are already fantasizing), but that’s not the whole story. You’re allowed as well to substitute them with candidates taken from the other lists, or even with names of people outside any list. In fact, you can actually write a list of your own, if you fancy it, with the names of the fellow citizens you deem most worthy of being part of the “Counseil Municipal”.

Well, these are very local elections, and maybe is not really fair to make comparisons, but I could’t avoid to think about the differences of such a system with respect to, say, the present Italian electoral law.

Yes, as an Italian abroad, I will soon be called to vote for the next political elections. And, guess what, I fear I will not experiment exactly the same feeling of pleasure.