Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Friday, June 07, 2002

Having exhausted themselves protesting their own system of political camaigning the French are apparently not interested in the upcoming parlimnetary elections.

"There's a big risk the same thing will happen. Too many people are running," said bookseller Olivier Borel, 53, in an alley of antique curios shops frequented by afternoon browsers.

A record 8,455 candidates will stand in 577 constituencies on Sunday, giving many voters 15 or 20 names to choose from. The record field of 16 presidential candidates and the record 28 percent abstention in the April 21 first round of presidential voting were cited as the main factors that let Le Pen squeak by into the run-off. To add to the confusion, some parties have more than one contender in a race because dissidents refused to step aside for the official candidate.

"I'd be horrified if my kids bickered like this -- and we are supposed to vote for these people?" said 42-year-old company director Pablo Saint-Maria, reading his newspaper at a cafe.

And this is the political thinking that the culture of do whatever feels good and screw the consequences brings:

"I'm not going to vote because I don't like any of the people standing. Normally I'm a Socialist but I wish Le Pen had won the presidency," whispered the Tunisian-born fruitseller Ali at his stand in a Paris metro station. "I know he's a racist but I'm thinking of my children. Crime is too high and five years of Le Pen might do some good." But while the taboo against seriously discussing Le Pen's hardline policies on immigration and crime has been broken, few French seem to think his Front will surprise them again.

< email | 6/07/2002 07:51:00 PM | link

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