Monday, March 30, 2015

French local elections - 50% fail to vote

France has just gone through the second round of regional elections and the only surprise after the defeat of the socialists and rise of the (far) right is the extremely low turnout among the electorate. There are a number of reasons for this, in my view including the following;

- Feelings of political/election fatigue, with too frequent elections (European, national, regional, local....) resulting in some sort of election every year
- People are weary of non-stop television coverage, political analysis, opinion polls and predictions, and both major parties already campaigning now for the next presidential elections
- No clear statements of policies and solutions for France's 'problems', with politicians more ready to attack each other than offer a credible alternative
- No local contact between politicans and their constituencies - few know who is their MEP and in the latest elections few recognised the bulk of candidates
- Too many tiers of government - local, regional etc - and few understand the various divisions of power - regional, departmental, local etc
- Other than knowing who is their local Mayor people do not know their elected representatives
- At the very lowest elevel, too many 'mairies' - in my home town of Perpignan (120 000 pop;) there is a 'mairie' for my district about 200 yards from the town 'mairie' which is virtually next door to the departmental HQ.....
- Each outlying village, many of which are virtually suburbs of the nearby, has its own 'mairie'....

This list is not exhaustive!