Fool for France

Well. Today is the first round of the French Presidential election. I might as well tell you up front that we’re a Macron household, that being the first question I’d be asking. No point in trying to influence you, dear reader; I think my only eligible-to-vote French follower just did. Besides, we were a Clinton household and look how much good that did. But look at this poster. They are put up on government-provided boards all over the area covered by the election. I think mostly they serve as a chance for defacement in fairly predictable ways. You see Hitler mustaches,  clown noses, etc. Compared to the rest, Macron got fairly respectful treatment.


This is the polling place, a kindergarten or preschool. Jacques and I had to wait outside. I don’t know the policy on Americans but there are definitely no dogs allowed beyond that door. It’s a charming building but honestly, there is not much in the way of a playground. A little hopscotch here, a slide over there and that’s it. I used to marvel at how totally wild kids went in the park playgrounds after school. Now I understand.



I also understand how they count the ballots so quickly. This is how it works. Proving eligibility is even harder than in some States. You need an ID plus a Carte Electorale, though I guess you don’t absolutely need the Carte Electorale. You show those to the poll worker and pick up as many of those little slips as you like. You see, they vote on only one thing at a time. As far as I know they have no ballot measures, no votes for judges and the like, nothing. It’s strictly one question each time. Then it’s into the little curtained booth, very like those in the States. You put the slip of your choice into the envelope, toss the rest and head to a second table. There you sign the book, just like the States, and deposit your envelope. Then you wait and see. There is just the one item, so it doesn’t take long. About an hour after the polls close, we’ll have a result.

10 Replies to “Voting in France”

  1. Very simple, isn’t it.
    I attended numerous counts in the U.K. for the Labour Party – when it was one – so when a friend suggested I come to the count in his village – the count being public – I was delighted.
    Not only did I attend…I counted! Not being a citizen I shouldn’t have done so, but, as the maire said, she’s here, she can read and it’s another pair of hands.
    The procedure was that the list of voters was checked against the number of envelopes: the envelopes were then counted and all being in order we got down to it, opening them and calling out the name of the chosen one to our table head.
    Luckily there were no problems and we were out in under an hour to foregather in the bar.
    It was the year that Chirac faced Le Pen pere…..the village normally voted left but there wasn’t a high rate of abstention given the nature of the election.
    I’ll be looking at the results of my old area with interest because in the last elections areas which voted left solidly down the years went equally strongly FN.

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    1. Interesting. Maybe that’s why this one school had three separate voting areas. Maybe they want to get the number of ballots down to what they estimate can be counted in an hour. I’ll be looking at the vote where my house is located, too. Since I have owned the place it has voted Republicains or whoever they were, very closely followed by FN. This year? Le Pen could take it. It’s pretty Catholic out there, which could help Fillon, but I’m thinking maybe not enough. I was frosted when I found out that Mr. Ethics, the Traditional Catholic With Traditional Homebody Wife was balancing the books by slipping her 50K a year from the public purse. I can’t imagine that would go over well out in the countryside, either, where 50K is real money. I have been told that the Belgian and Swiss channels are free to speculate, release exit polls, etc., in a way that the French channels are not. Maybe I’ll take a peek at what they have to say.

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    1. I like that one. Really, the hypocrisy of that man. I have to be careful not to talk about “Catholic ethics,” that habit I see of compartmentalizing. What are they thinking? It’s okay to molest kids, to steal from the people you supposedly represent, as long as what, you go to confession? Seriously, what? I don’t get it. Not that Fillon molests kids but you get my point. If Fillon were a kid who held up a liquor store for a couple hundred, he’d be in jail now. Steal close to a million and you’re home free. The only defense I have heard is that no-show jobs and all are so common here, of course no one would be too upset. Augh! Sorry, rant over.

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    1. In general I think the government waste charge is easily leveled but hard to demonstrate. Corruption is easy to rail against but hard to actually prove. No-show jobs, however, those are a plum prize for an enterprising journalist. Easy to find, total waste, totally corrupt. I’m surprised people don’t do more to discover and publicize them.

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