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In my interests below, I list French language, cinema, theatre, politics, art, and wine. And while French brought me to a lot of these things, I also like all of them in a more general way. I really love languages and their connections. I also have a thing about how theatre and cinema, art, politics and wine all hook up in some way. As I think of these ideas, I can hear the thwonk of the cork coming out of the neck of the bottle, and the gentle squeak as the cork is twisted off the tire-bouchon. Ah, that oakey, musty, acidic aroma wafting, wafting and people talking and talking and talking. And, oh they found out we have some sets of boules and they want to play pétanque. "Let's pick teams and play in the shade of those plane trees." The sounds of summer resonate: the crunch of the terrain under foot, the click of the iron bocce knocking in the players' hands, and the soft kiss of the wooden cochonnet as it hits the ground scuttling down to its resting point where it will await the arrival of each team's battle-worn aggies.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

French Municipal Elections: High Abstention Rate and the Advance of the National Front

The first round of the French Municipal Elections in which citizens vote for this local representatives and mayors took place on Sunday.  The results showed a great deal of dissatisfaction among French citizens with the two leading parties.  The party that holds most power including the Presidency (François Hollande) is the Parti Socialiste (the Left) the other leading party is the UMP (the Right) - Union pour un Mouvement Populaire.  But, Sunday's elections showed that support for these two major parties is eroding with many people deciding not to vote- abstention rate was around 36% - or to vote for the National Front, which runs on an anti-immigrant platform, but which has also become something of an anti-establishment party as well.  Read and listen to these two informative reports from Radio France Internationale and France 24.

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