Some of you may know I’m into politics. Democrats, Republicans, Socialists, I love it all. The US is not the only country in the process of going through a Presidential Election– France is too!
The first round of the 2012 French presidential election took place on April 22, 2012. Round two is scheduled to be held on May 6, 2012. Current French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, is running for re-election this year; if he is re-elected, this will be his second and final presidential term. If he is not, then he will be the first French president in 30 years to not win his second term.
During the first round there were a total of 10 candidates from a variety of parties. In order to qualify for the first round of voting, the hopeful candidate must collect at least 500 signatures from eligible French politicians, ranging from mayors, deputies, senators, and even members of the European Parliament in France. After the first round of voting, the top two winners will fight for the presidency on May 6, 2012. This time around it will be François Hollande of the Socialist Party with 28.68% of the country’s vote and Nicolas Sarkozy of the Union for a Popular Movement Party with 27.1% of the country’s votes. Coming in 3rd was Marine Le Pen with 17% of the country’s votes. (In fact, many in France wish to have a three-person vote for round two, as it was a huge success that a third party received 17% of popular vote.) Regardless it’s up to the country to now decide who they want as their next president. Here are the choices below:
François Hollande (right) goals’ include:
- Eliminating a large portion of France’s national debt by 2017 through cancelling tax cuts / exemptions on the rich
- Income taxes raised to 75% for incomes of 1.000.000+ euros
- Retirement age brought back to 60 (with a full pension) for those with 42 years of work under their belts
- 60,000 jobs in public education would be recreated
- Homosexual couples would have the right to marry and adopt
- Residents without European Union passports would be given the right to vote in local elections after five years of legal residency
- Mandate towns to provide of social housing
Nicolas Sarkozy started and will continue to, if elected:
- Reform universities (reduced the number of public sector employees)
- Continue with the raised retirement age of 62
- Reduce legal immigration by 50%
- Threaten to withdraw France from the Schengen Area unless stricter border controls are enabled
- Promised to compel beneficiaries of the Revenu de solidarité active to accept certain jobs, in exchange for support in finding them (Wikipedia, 2012)
- Oppose gay marriage and voting rights for foreign residents
- Promise more frequent referendum, for citizens to be consulted on major issues.
- He also instilled the ban of face coverings in public places
There are things I like about both of these candidates, but there are things I dislike about them, too. Who would you vote for, and why?
(2012). French Presidential Election. Wikipedia. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_presidential_election,_2012