Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Expat Vote

After last night’s big debate, the hot topic for today has to be Sarko vs. Ségo. While I didn’t get to watch the whole thing, given that I had a 7:30AM date with the German Foreigner’s Office (that’s a whole other story), I still caught a little bit of the showdown.

So who came out on top? In my un-Sciences-Po educated opinion (keep in mind that Pépé’s little toe has more political knowledge than me!), M. Sarkozy still came out looking a little shinier than Mme. Royal last night. Regardless, it would be interesting to see a female at the head of male-dominated France.

Given that most of the people stopping by here aren’t French, and therefore are not invited to the big election party this weekend, who do you think would make your expat life better in France? Who would you vote for if you were French?


IslandGirl4Ever2 said...

Hi Fi-

Yes... it is that coulin- so cool and very peaceful... It is pretty out that way!!
As for the elections.. would be nice to see a female as Mme. Prez... but I don't feel she is very competent... as for the Sarkonator (like Terminator)- I think he would really be AWFUL for us expats... I don't think he likes les etrangers very much anyway... AND, he wants to bring back the longer work week without compensation... YUCCCKK!! Je pense que je resterai avec les socialistes!!! I am more to the moderate left, anyways... NEVER in favor of a conservative gov't!!
Take care and ON VERA CE DIMANCHE!!!
Ciao, Leesa

IslandGirl4Ever2 said...

PS how did you put that survey on your page? I would like to add that, too.. What is the website to download it?? Merci et bj!

The Late Bloomer said...

You know, I've been on the fence about this for weeks, and I'm STILL unsure about how I would really vote if I could this year. I actually acquired French citizenship not so long ago, but I was in the U.S. when I needed to register to vote, and I didn't get back in time (I know, shame on me!). In a way, I'm regretting it, because I would have liked to participate, but at the same time it's somewhat of a relief, because I'm just so unsure.

My boyfriend is behind Sarkozy, always has been, in spite of the fact that we're far from well-off or anything... A lot of people say he's more for the upper classes in some ways, but at the same time, I just feel he's more clear and concrete in expressing his ideas. I know he can be aggressive, and I definitely don't always agree with his tactics, but I just have more confidence in his plans for reform and change in the future... I'm not so certain that Ségolène is truly competent enough at this point. And to be honest, something about her just makes me uncomfortable! She seems so false...

Of course it would be nice to have a woman in office here in France, but I'm not at all for the idea of voting for a woman just because she's a woman... And after the debate last night, I honestly think she didn't display her greatest strengths. Many are saying that Sarkozy was too weak, and not his typical strong self, but I think he was wary of coming across as too aggressive -- that was sort of the point. She, on the other hand, went overboard on the emotion and the hysteria, in my humble opinion.

Near the end, I just couldn't take it anymore -- I just wanted it to be over! I still don't know who is going to come out on top this Sunday, but whoever does win, I simply hope he/she will do the best for France and the future, because this country is in great need of reform, in the labor and economy area, and elsewhere. Otherwise it is not going to move forward...

As an expat, really, I don't know if one or the other will have an enormous impact on my experience, but again, I am in a different position because I did acquire dual citizenship. I'm not entirely against the idea of regulating immigration, because I think a country cannot simply keep its doors open to all without setting some sort of restrictions. Maybe that's not a very popular thing to say, but it's not a statement against anyone -- far from it! -- I just think we need to be realistic. France is a country that has always been open to immigrants, and I'd like for that to continue to be the case, but there is also a need for restraint and attention to the system. I simply hope that Sarkozy would learn to be more levelheaded about it.

OK, that's enough for now! Sorry to be so long...

Bee Ean Tee said...

I hold the same opinion as the late bloomer. This is a game about distributing the limited resources. Mme Royal has so many good ideas, promise a very good life to the French, but I don't think it's achievable. If she wants to put more teachers to assist every individual students, then less fund going to say maybe research & development, or else increase taxes. Eventually it becomes a circle, more taxes less purchasing, people become poorer, no purchasing means business down and less employment. As for the immigration policy, I don't think Sarcozy is anti immigrant, but he is against illegal immigrants. I don't know how France can tolerate so many illegal immigrants and then give them housing and social benefits. Remember money spending on these illegal immigrants mean less money spending on other issues related to the French, or even the legal expats like us.

ColourMeCrazy said...

IslandGirl: The Sarkonator? Hehe-that's hilarious!

LB: Hehe-you weren't kidding when you said that you like to comment ;-) I think in debats like last night's, both candidates would have said anything to get ahead in the opinion polls - regardless of what their real intentions are afterwards. To me, Sarkozy seemed to be the smoother talker with the most logic.

And you know what, I totally agree with you, there is something not completely "straight" about her and I can't put my finger on what it is!

Bee: Guess it's up to the French - do they want to go with Royal and risk bankrupting the country, or go with Sarkozy and risk alienating anyone with a slight ethnic background. We'll find out soon enough!

IslandGirl4Ever2 said...

Well, now that it is all done and over now.. we will see how it goes.. As I read CNN this am, it was funny to me how one of the first things he mentioned was improving the US/France relations.. I guess after all the war stuff, he feels that France needs to somehow mend maybe some "strained" relations with the US??? I hope they don't indulge Bush now.. and do something silly... I have only ONE American friend, and he is an old guy who served in the Korean War, who thinks that France should have helped out the US by participating in the war efforts... BS!!! I DO NOT share his opinion... But, I am not really sure point Sarko is trying to make with his statment... and also that friends can be friends and "agree to disagree..." I thought that was kind of funny.. but oh well.. who am I but just another expat who doesn't even like American politics!!! I think thinks are better in Australia??? I don't know that much about the politics there... ANYHOW... let's cross our fingers that things will improve for La France!!! Ciao, Leesa