Today, I want to try a new type of format, you'll tell me if you like it. It's called "Dans la tête des Français". The concept is simple, we take a subject and I'll decipher what the French think about it.
To do this, I'll use articles, tweets, interesting comments on this subject. I will try to show you several points of view that the French may have on this subject and especially the strong thoughts and feelings that the French have on this subject.
Our topic today is: the French presidential elections 2022. What do the French think about the 2022 presidential elections? Who do the French want as the next French President? Are the French fed up with politics? We're talking about it right now!
The presidential elections in France:
How are presidential elections held in France?
Every 5 years, a new president in France is elected or re-elected. It is called the "quinquennat", which is the length of the presidential term.
In 2017, Emmanuel Macron was elected.
5 years later, French citizens must vote again to choose their new President or perhaps re-elect the same President.
In France, a president can only be re-elected twice. If Emmanuel Macron is elected again, it will be his last term. He cannot be elected again.
In order to vote in the presidential elections, you must:
be 18 years old (the majority)
have French nationality
Be able to exercise your civil and political rights.
Be registered on an electoral list.
Feelings of the French before the first round:
How did the French feel before the first round?
The link between the French and French politics is quite paradoxical. It fascinates us as much as it bores us.
The French no longer trust politicians. They are jaded by all their promises that they never keep.
These memes represent the situation well, I think:
Or this one:
“Je m’en tape” it means "I don't care" / "It doesn't matter"
And “naze”, it means "lousy".
So you have people who argue about politics because they don't agree. And others who don't care about politics because no candidate fits their values.
Moreover, the situation at the moment and in the last few years does not help the French people's feeling towards politicians.
We are coming out of a two-year pandemic that has unfortunately been very politicized.
France has been torn between several camps: those who are for the vaccine and those who are against. Those who are for the vaccine pass and those who are against.
The pandemic has created inflation and the prices of some things have increased a lot, but the incomes of the French have not followed.
On top of that, there was the crisis in Ukraine that worried all of Europe. The future was already unclear because of the pandemic, and it is even more so with this war. This war has not helped the ongoing inflation either.
Another element that influenced the first round of the presidential elections in France was the IPCC report that came out a few days before the first round. To be honest, it was more the young French who were worried by this report on the environment. In the IPCC report, the scientists alarmed the whole world about the actions to be taken quickly if we want our Earth to be livable in the future.
These parameters were very important in the choice of the French in the first round, and they are still very important for their choice in the second round.
The concerns of the French in relation to the 2022 presidential elections are :
- 57% about their purchasing power: that is, the quantity of things we can buy with our income
- 28% their health
- 24% security
- to 24% the pensions
- to 22% the ecology
- to 19% immigration
- to 16% employment
- to 15% inequalities
The first round:
Sunday, April 10, 2022, the French went to vote in the first round. They had the choice between 12 candidates.
Before the first round, we could see that the French were divided into several categories:
- Those who knew who they were going to vote for
- Those who did not know who they were going to vote for: The undecideds
- And those who knew they were not going to vote : The abstainers
There were a lot of undecideds, because most French people wanted to vote strategically and block the extreme right.
That is, to vote for a candidate who is not from the far right and who is ahead in the polls, such as Emmanuel Macron.
However, some French people were torn between voting strategically and voting from the heart.
Voting for the candidate they like and who most closely matches their values, or voting to prevent the far right from passing.
In the end, the results of the first round were not a big surprise. The two qualified candidates were Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.
The results have divided the French a bit. There is a sense of déjà vu, as the finalists in 2017 were also Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.
What emerged a lot from this second round is this divide between the young and the older generations.
Indeed, young people voted mostly for Jean-Luc Mélenchon and older people for Emmanuel Macron.
Some young people feel that the election is "stolen" by older people who have already built their future and that they should give young people the chance to choose their candidate.
So, it's true, there are more old people than young people (who are over 18) if you look at the numbers. About 10% of the French population is 75 years old and more, against about 6% of the young people who are between 20 and 24 years old.
The arguments are notably concerning ecology. If we look at these comments:
"We were almost there... and it is still the planet that will pay for it. The urgency was to vote for someone who would help us switch to renewable energy and stop erasing the middle class, there were such interesting programs to revalue and balance the opportunities. I have more hope."
Another comment, "The environment is dead...it's very sad."
Another comment: "What about ecology? What about the IPCC reports? What about this kind of stuff? Where are the people who want to change things?".
Indeed, Macron's ecological level program is weak and Marine Le Pen's, we don't even talk about it. It is non-existent.
Despite this, there was an abstention rate (the number of people who did not vote) of 26%, including 46% of 25/34 year olds who did not vote.
Young people are blamed for not voting. And young people blame each other. It is complicated.
Politics divides the French more than it unites them.
There were some controversies following the first round.
The first big controversy concerns the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, who took a private jet to go and vote.
He lives in Paris, but he is registered in the polling station of Prades, in the Pyrénées-Orientales. Instead of voting by proxy, he took a private jet to vote.
If you cannot go to vote, it is possible to vote by proxy. We will entrust someone with our vote and this person will vote for us following several regulations.
By taking this private jet, he consumed the equivalent of CO2 that an average Frenchman would consume in 6 months. Moreover, just for this trip, it is 10 000 euros.
The second controversy is not really a controversy because it makes everyone laugh. It's about Valérie Pécresse and her 5 million euro debt.
In fact, the candidates during their presidential campaign, that is to say all the publicity they do during the months just before the elections, spend a lot of money to communicate. This funding is very regulated and strict. But, if the candidates get more than 5% of the vote in the first round, their campaign will be partly reimbursed by the State.
But poor Valérie Pécresse got 4.79% of the vote and will not be reimbursed by the state. She confessed that she had gone into debt to finance her presidential campaign. She then called for donations. She asked the French people to give her money to pay off her debts.
We call that "a lot of nerve".
It caused an uproar! People laughed at her because during the whole presidential campaign, she maintained values against welfare. The fact that one should not help others, that they have to work to earn money. However, she is asking for assistance.
We have seen some very funny things in the past, like people sending checks for 0 euros to Valérie Pécresse.
Yes, the French love black humor! We are bad.
We're in the home stretch before we find out who our next President will be. The two finalist candidates will still communicate a lot. There is also a debate scheduled for tonight at 8:00 pm. E. Macron and M. Le Pen will debate and defend their ideas in front of the French.
It is a debate that is highly anticipated. Especially since in 2017 M. Le Pen had completely missed this debate and that made her lose a lot of votes. I secretly hope that the same thing will happen, but that is a secret (or not).
And Sunday April 24th is the big day!
I hope you liked this format! Don't hesitate to tell me in a comment or Instagram message. If you want me to do other topics like this one and if you want me to deal with a specific topic, let me know, I'm listening.
I'll see you soon for new adventures, in French of course! 🇫🇷