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May 08, 2012

Presidential Election 大統領選挙

It's the year of the Presidential Election in France this year. Those who are in foreign countries, like Carl, go to the embassy to vote. Our son and I also went there because it must be interesting to see the vote of another country.

The big difference is that they directly choose their leader (president) while we can't do it for our prime minister. And also they vote twice. In 2012, the vote No.1 was on April 22th and the second ballot was on May 6th.
The campaign posters of the candidates at the first vote. They look cool just because it is written in French...(not sure how French people see them).

The way of vote is different. In Japan, we write a name of your choice on a piece of paper at the polling place, fold it in half and put in a box. In France, on the other hand, the pieces of paper in which the names of candidates are already written are sent to you and you put your choice in an envelop in a compartment with a curtain at the polling place. I thought the rest of the paper would be rubbish and it may not be a good idea, but it can also avoid invalid votes by spelling wrongly.
(By the way, the sheets of paper arrived only two days before the election on Friday. Was it because there're not enough workers in the embassy or was it because c'est la France...)

決選はこうなりました。現職:ニコラ・サルコジ 対 新人:フランソワ・オランド
The second ballot turned out like this: The incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy vs. a new comer Francois Hollande.

Another difference was that Carl's colleague was in France for business and couldn't vote, so he asked Carl to do it for him. In Japan one can't vote for others except for the physically-disabled cases. We can vote beforehand at city halls or major stations instead. In addition, my sisters-in-laws were not in France on the day so they asked their parents to do it. In that case, they go to a city hall or a police station to register their parents as their representatives. In Japan... the embassy didn't look that strict about the case.

Carl also asked to help counting the votes after voting, of course, he said no because we had to come home early for our son.

It's rather ridiculous but I like the nickname "Sarko". Our son pointed (chose?) at Sarko when Carl showed him the voting papers. It's also funny that Holland in French means "Nether lands". I know there are people whose name is German, too. Hollande is called "Mr. Pudding (unsteady)" :-( Is he really alright as a president?


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