By Thomas PARIS on Friday, March 12 2010, 14:44 - Permalink
If you know the French, you know how important politics are to us. Well, this week-end we'll have the first round of the regional elections and because I want to try and be a good citizen, yesterday evening I went through every platform. Here are a few interesting tidbits I've gathered from reading them.
- No fewer than 9 lists, of which 2 are extreme left-wing (3 if you count the Communist party but the only thing communist about them is the name) and 2 are greens.
- One of the extreme left-wing lists basically explains in its platform that winning the election is futile. Then again, people on the other far left list are known for their refusing to take part in any government.
- Most of the platforms are very similar, with a strong emphasis on fixing the broken public transit system and creating more homes, especially for students. Both problems have been known to be serious issues in Ile-de-France (Paris and its surroundings) for quite some time, so no big surprise here.
- Other than the far left (whose platforms amount to: "Capitalism is Evil, my revolutionary brothers! Let's take down the government and hang the rich bankers with the bowels of the rich CEOs!"), there's only one platform (from people who actually want to win the elections) that really differentiates itself: that of infamous extreme right-wing Front National.
- Since we're talking about them, the Front National party, as usual, is telling us all our problems are caused by foreigners. And once again, they support their xenophobic ideas with dubious claims. An example: according to them, illegal immigrants get a 75% discount on public transportation. My question to them is how do they get the discount? By showing their illegal immigrant card? (thanks to Cyprien for noticing this one)
- Funnily enough, the Front National and Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (obviously far left) parties would probably agree on one of the ideas suggested by the latter: boycotting Israeli products.
- OK, let's get back to "real" parties: it seems the success of Europe Écologie (greens, obviously) at the latest European elections has given them some ideas. It feels like each and every platform mentions ecology in one way or another.
- Talking about Europe Écologie, they have what I think must be the most original proposition: they want to support culture. And by that I don't mean agriculture, though they support that too of course. It's not clear what exactly they're going to do and much less how they're going to finance it, but hey bonus point for introducing something original in their platform.
- And last (but not least?), not a single mention of free and open source software or open formats anywhere... Either they all agree on how important openness is for a government or they all disagree with me. If I had to guess...
Well, by now you've probably understood it was an interesting read. Too bad I still don't know who I'm gonna cast my vote for. Two more days to make up my mind.