Saturday, March 8, 2008

I Wanna Be ELECTED!!

George and I are ensconced in concentrated study of our Candidate Lists for the Local Elections. As it's our first time voting in France, we feel it deserves particular effort.

One of the Village Elders contacted us (twice) just before the New Year deadline to urge us to get onto the Electoral Register. This could be because he thought we'd be on his side. Nevertheless it was kind of him to take the trouble, so we joined the ranks of voters. And we're PROUD!

France goes about its elections in unusual ways... our village has less than 1000 inhabitants and we have received two "Lists" of candidates. Each List equals a "Team", consisting of a Head Person (the current Mayor is Head of one Team), and fourteen other members.

What we do on voting day tomorrow, is go to the Mayor's Office brandishing several thousand Proofs of Identity, Eligibility and Worthiness, and pick up a copy of each List which will be decoratively displayed on a table. (I won't even mention the simultaneous District Elections - it's just too fiddly).

We then plunge into a dark and curtained cupboard, and are not allowed to come out until we have finished voting correctly. We do this not by putting a friendly cross next to our favourite(s), but by scoring in heavy black ink through everyone else. It seems very impolite - they all look so... deserving!

When we received the first List - beaming Team photo, reminders of previous achievements and impressive reports of future plans, I was hugely enthused. Then we received the second List - equally appealing photo, reports and plans. How to decide? Specially as we don't know them all - it's one thing not to vote for a person you don't know, but scratching them out is somehow quite venomous.

Apparently we can mix and match from each Team to choose our own Supergroup of anything up to, but no more than, fifteen finalists. What's more, you can even add a name - why not your own? And I'm sure this eventual melange will be able to work harmoniously and productively together, no matter what they've said about each other during the campaign.

Counting is done at the place of voting, and results will be known tomorrow evening. Then we find out who's going through to the crucial Round Two, next Sunday - MORE decisions!

Being Politically Active is such a responsibility.

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