Monday, February 6, 2017

The French Presidential Election

France is poised for a Presidential Election. There are five parties, each party has a candidate, a platform and supporters. If no single candidate gets a majority in the the first round of voting then the two top polling candidates are faced with a run off election. This means that the President of France is elected by a majority of votes and should there be a run off election deals can be made by the two run off candidates with the other three party leaders and supporters so as woo votes. It's a system that makes sense to me, many will disagree, they'll call it a recipe for chaos. And in the interest of full disclosure, were I Frenchman, my bones would vote for Benoit Hamon, but my head would be tempted by Emmanuel Macron, and because I'm more like a Butterfly which way one I went for would depend on something as little minded as a hand gesture from Le Pen. I don't speak French hardly at all, so it's basically down to nuance for me.

In France, as with the rest of the Western World, there's a whole thing happening around what's loosely referred to as Globalization and the economic and political policies that have encouraged Globalization. In the Western World these policies are deemed by many to have resulted in inequities of wealth and access to power and a whole lot of cheap stuff in the shops that mostly gets thrown away so that more stuff can be made. It keeps us happy apparently. And too, people who are generally aggravated by their lot in life are often prone to the kind of thinking that looks to the past for solace, which requires a redefinition of what progress is and more often than not it all ends in a mess, a patriotic war of some sort that substitutes for stuff, and for incomprehensible reasons makes people feel better about themsleves. The year might, but living things do not live in circles, the slope is more like a straight line with a brick wall at the end of it and it's the kind of brick wall that just can't be thrown away.

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