Indecision '07 French style

It's Sunday! And you know what that means... the French presidential election is here! Today's election will decide a top 2 candidates and then round two goes down in two weeks, at which point someone else will be resting his/her head at the good old Elysee.

For those of you living outside the borders of Francia, here's a quick rundown of the top four candidates (there are about 12... yes, American readers, be shocked and surprised! More than 2! This shit is exciting!):

Nicolas Sarkozy

First thing that comes to mind: isn't this the guy that my middle-school students in Clermont complained about because he was preventing them from smoking marijuana?

Reputation according to the Frenchies: Sarko's definitely the front-runner, though young people don't like him. He's said some awful things about immigrants and has a reputation as a hard-ass who, as Interior Minister, created an arrogant police force that added fuel to the cultural tensions. He'll protect rich people's taxes and is very friendly with George W. French people don't like that.

Where he stands on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being uber-liberal and 10 being ultra-conservative): 7

Segolene Royale
First thing: ooh! a woman! Maybe that's what this country needs!

Reputation: Sego has taken a nose-dive. People were optimistic and open to her as a candidate in the fall, but she's proven that she doesn't really have a vision for the future. She's got a bunch of kids and isn't married, but that's okay in this country. She's socialist and is probably going to attempt to hold up the 35-hour work week (a very stupid idea that gave people even more vacation and created a lot of stress for business people because, duh, you can't do your job in 35 hours).

Scale: 3

Francois Bayrou

First thing: Center! What a compromise!

Reputation: Center! What a loser! From what I understand, French people complain that Sarko is too conservative, Sego is too socialist, but Bayrou, well, he's just too damn much in the center. Apparently this is a problem because no one in the government will support him if he gets elected. His biggest problem seems to be a lack of homies in the government (and yet... couldn't this also be a breath of refreshing air? Seems not). The only candidate that seems to have an ok chance of beating Sarko if they face each other in the second round.

Scale: 6

Jean-Marie Le Pen

First thing: CRAZY MO-FO... and yet wait... didn't these people vote him to the second round last time?!?

Reputation: Le Pen spouts off about the "truly French" people (see: white people with "de" or "le" in their last name) and is the scariest option for basically, oh, everyone. Immigrants shudder when they think of this dude. Le Pen got to the second round in the last election, when he faced off with Jacques Chirac. People took to the streets the next day and Chirac got elected by like 80% in the end because people were so freaked out. There are apparently many closeted Le Pen voters, so who knows what could happen this time... though I will say that if Le Pen makes it to the second round again, I don't want to hear JACK SHIT about G.W. and our voters.

Scale: 17

There are eight other candidates, among which you'll find farmers, ecologists, etc. But they only make up about 5% of the votes so they're nowhere close to these top four. The general feeling is really difficult to read here. I'm pretty sure that everyone feels like things are going to get worse for foreign students and immigrants, no matter what happens. This is a shame because HEY FRANCE, GUESS WHAT, YOU HAD A LOT OF COLONIES AND NOW ALL THOSE PEOPLE WANT TO PROSPER TOO. Despite the feeling of overwhelming doom, it is a really cool time to be living in France and it all just goes to show that no one is ever truly happy with their politicians.

I'm off to ask if I can help count the votes in my district. They need volunteers, though I'm pretty sure that my passport is going to exclude me from any kind of vote-counting. At least I'm not from Florida...

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