Friday, 29 February 2008

Aux urnes citoyens! Ferney Voltaire needs you!

On the bus this evening two women behind me were talking about this little book which is a guide to how to work out how you might want to vote in France's municipal elections - first round on March 9th.
Local mayors have quite extraordinary powers in France (if you come from a different political culture) and are almost like mini presidents of their villages or towns.
When I got off the bus there was a heated discussion going on in front of the posters of the four different "lists" which are on the official hoardings outside the supermarket.
The commune of Ferney Voltaire has four lists of potential groups who would like to govern this very rich little town near Geneva. I am still not at all sure who I am going to vote for (Europeans can vote in local and European elections - but not general elections - if they've been resident for two years) but I know there is absolutely no way I will vote for the current mayor.
It says it all that his list is called "Une ambition partagée" - shared ambition. I refuse to put a link up to their website - what I think about Pierre-Etienne Duty is not publishable without being actionnable I fear - and he has a load of lawyers in his team one of whom is doing the papers for a house sale for us next week! We also have Ferney avenir, which has a person who was mayor of a neighbouring commune for 20 years as the main candidate, who's good but seen as being perhaps too ambitious. There are some interesting people on the list, including one of our neighbours. Then there's J'aime Ferney, which seems to claim to be mainly apolitical and made up by a group of people who have moved into the area and want to try and change things. One time local politician and journalist Alex Décotte in his brilliant Ferney Candide does quite a hatchet job on them, it's true I haven't found a website for them yet - but then we know people on this list too.
And finally there's Ferney pour tous, we've just discovered we know several people on that list too - and the person leading that used to be the deputy to the current mayor. Really this list needs to unite with the Ferney avenir list otherwise the other two will go through to the second round and we will not really have a proper choice.
Confused, yes I think that's the point - you also need ot buy "aux Urnes citoyens", it only costs a euro. Oh dear, I still find French politics terribly frustrating. It's always more about personalities than about parties and in the end I find it all rather feudal and strange. Anyway more in the days to come as the race hots up!

1 Comment:

Virginie said...

Hello, First time visiting your blog and I am very impressed with the ressources you list, the insteresting articles,... This book you mention sounds very useful. I was recently elected for Town council and I am sure this book would have helped me answer the questions my European friends had. Regarding Ferney, the Ferney Voltaire pour Tous website has an interesting article on why they did not merge with Ferney Avenir. It is worth a read and might help you decide who to vote for on sunday.