Monday, January 15, 2007

President de la Republique

Sarkozy is in. What a dizzying 100 days we have ahead of us. Sarko? Sego? Chirac? Villepin?

This got me to thinking about the differences between France and the US in terms of political campaigning.

1. There are no bumper stickers on cars here. I also don't think that there are campaign buttons so that voters can proclaim their loyalty to a candidate. Sheesh, in the states we have had Presidential campaign buttons at least as far back as Abe Lincoln. But they are not very elegant, it's true. Not very French.

2. So how do political candidates get the word out? I can't imagine long television ads, either. Political debates and newspaper coverage? This will be fun.

3. Hmm. Exactly what is the nature of French presidential campaigns and campaign financing, if they're not spending moola on bumper stickers, pins and grossly expensive TV ads like in the US? This question led me to a tidy little website that explains, from the Elysee point of view at least, all about the Presidency.

It includes links to just about everything you've ever wanted to know, including all the jaw-dropping sumptuous residences that the next lucky guy or gal will get to live in, avec ou sans spouse. Francois Hollande apparently claimed that he wouldn't reside in the Elysee Palace if Sego gets elected. Mme Sarkozy prefers New York. But something tells me that, come moving day, those domestic partners will decide that the Elysee, Rambouillet, Marigny and Bregancon are not such awful places to hang your chapeau.

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