French presidential elections, and my first vote in France

Sunday April 10th is a special day for me. For the first time ever, I can actually vote! I’m excited. For those new to this blog, I received French citizenship in November 2020. I recently received my carte électorale from the town hall and will go to the bureau de vote (a school) on Sunday for the first round of voting. The second round, should no candidate win a majority of the vote, will be on April 24.

Last week I walked past the political posters that had just been put up in my neighborhood, all clean and crisp. “I’ll wait a few days before I take photos,” I said to myself.

So, who will I vote for on Sunday? Mélenchon? A good man, but far too left for my liking.

Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris? No. no. no.

Marine Le Pen? Not unless we want a bunch of inept, racist thugs running the country. Le Pen and her people have always rubbed shoulders with individuals like Putin, Viktor Orbán (prime minister of Hungary) and the extreme right-wing party of Austria. Like an adolescent groupie, she flew to New York and hung out at Trump Tower in the hopes of meeting Donald Trump who she admired.

Pécresse, extremely competent and pragmatic, runs the entire region of Ile de France, the district of Paris and its outlying regions made up of eight administrative departments. Despite her talents and her efficacy, she’s too right-wing for my liking. Playing the race card in an election campaign is cheap and off-putting for me.

Zemmour? I don’t know what rock this person crawled out from under, but he needs to return to that dark, sinister space and leave us alone. In my opinion, he is utterly unqualified to run for office, not to mention dangerous.

Arthaud is spokesperson for the Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle) party. A self-proclaimed communist, she focused her campaigns on workers’ and economic issues; her platform included positions such as increasing minimum wage, ending evictions and mass layoffs, and nationalizing French financial institutions. 

I’ll be voting for Emmanuel Macron, which is not to say that I’m entirely pleased with his actions, or rather, non-actions in two specific domains: the environment (last year France was fined ten million euros for failing to reduce air pollution to acceptable levels) and domestic violence/violence against women. He needs to do more.

Macron is accused of diminishing the welfare state. I believe it needs to be diminished (but not abolished.) France is generous, too generous in my opinion and, frankly, I’m tired of paying for others through high taxes and salary contributions. Those who work contribute fractionally to those who don’t. The CAF (Caisse d’allocations familiales) (family benefits) is financed partly by employer-employees’ contributions and partly by taxes. We all know entire families who live in subsidized housing, have numerous children and depend entirely on their CAF benefits. Receiving generous benefits, in my opinion, is a disincentive to seeking work.

I do, on the other hand, support UBI (Universal Basic Income) in which no-strings-attached cash transfers (financed by governments and/or private donors) are offered to struggling families for a limited time period.

There are other candidates for the presidential election, but for reasons of brevity I have not included them.

2 thoughts on “French presidential elections, and my first vote in France

    • A major reason why Hidalgo is unpopular (after the first round of voting) is because she and other candidates siphoned off few but precious votes that could’ve gone to Macron or to Melenchon. There are a lot of furious people in France because of that. Melenchon came very very close to coming in second; that would’ve been much more preferable than Le Pen being second.

      Another reason for Hidalgo’s unpopularity is this –

      the uglification of Paris

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