May 6, 2007
Today, Sunday, is election day here in France. There is excitement in the air. It has been THE topic of conversation for days...whether with friends and neighbors or around the table at meal times.
THe morning greeting this morning was "Today is the big day".......I'm thinking...big day....what is it.....what have I forgotten....where are we going???? Wrong! France is getting a NEW president! I won't pretend to know a tenth of what the average Frenchman knows but they are all animated and very excited about the change. The candidates are Segolene Royal, the Socialist illegitimate daughter of former President Mitterand...and you know the French could care less what her birth status was .....and Nicolas Sarkozy, the conservative candidate who is promoting law and order and economic reform. Now that is as far as I am going with the politics....
Our day here in Les Arcs moved from the declaration of a 'big day' to going downtown where Bernard, Madeleine and Xavier voted. It was pretty much like our USA set-up but NO computers. Each of them had a voting card that was to be stamped (see pic) when they presented their identification. Then there were 2 stacks of paper ballots....one for Royal and one for Sarkozy.....Most people pick up one of each and then go into booth and 'isoloir' (isolate themselves) to vote by placing the paper with their candidate into the box. Guess you could count the trashcan to see who loses!
Local jokes abound.....X received a text message from a friend yesterday ... Tomorrow, vote for Sarkozy so Royal remains only the name of a pizza!......
Today was only a presidential election.....the legislative election will be in June....never at the same time as we do.
It is 7PM here now. Most polls closed at 6PM except for the big cities which close at 8....Supposedly we will know at 8. Voter turnout is supposed to reach 85%. AMAZING!