<and the winner is>
Let’s say the people won today. If I were to tell you over 81% of all adults actually voted … and at least 4 candidates had over 11% of the votes (and the 4 of them had about 85% of all votes) you would tend to believe the process is working.
Today in France this is what happened.
The French people were involved. And a diverse group of candidates split the votes. The incumbent, Sarkozy, is in second place with 25% of the votes. A socialist candidate received the most with 28%.
Their process is a little different than America’s. Now they have a run off <until someone receives over 50% of the votes> between the top 2.But. The battle for France has just begun. With such a vote split between some really different perspectives someone will have to do some significant political direction horse trading to win. The scariest, to me, is the fact the far right candidate <Le Pen> who called for “economic patriotism” and vowing to leave the eurozone and taking a stance against globalization <an isolationist perspective> and a strong opinion on the dangers of the “Islamisation” of France gained a significant percentage of the vote and will now have the ability to influence future policy. Oh. Interesting because France has about a 10% unemployment and interesting because we often hear the same rhetoric from some of our own American candidates.
But. Let’s stick with over 80% involved.
Some perspective. In 2008 American presidential election was a 64% turnout rate. That was the highest turnout rate since 1908 (about 66%).
Maybe America can reach a 80+% turnout in the next election.
To give at least a little glimpse to the election. Here are the last live Guardian blog entries with regard to the French elections today.
Reuters are reporting that with 79% of the vote counted Hollande is on 28%, Sarkozy on 26.9%, and Le Pen on 19%, according to the Interior Ministry.
Marine Le Pen is really letting her hair down at the Front National after party. There are some shapes being thrown to some terrible French disco.
According to an Ipsos Mori poll carried out for France 24, the Socialist candidate Hollande looks set to win the next round convincingly, with 54% of those questioned intending to vote for Hollande and 46% for Sarkozy in the second round.
Updated results for tonight’s presidential election are in – suggesting that Le Pen has not quite taken 20% of the vote.
Here are the most recent results:
Marine Le Pen: 18.5%
Ian Trayor, the Guardian’s Europe editor, sent a European perspective of this evening’s results in France.
It is, he thinks, “a very bad weekend for Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.
We have seen two triumphs for the Europhobic far right against “Brussels” and Germany’s domination of the response to the euro crisis – Marine Le Pen in France as well as the, albeit different, counterpart, in the Netherlands, Geert Wilders. The rightwing Dutch government, particularly its voluble finance minister, has been among the loudest of preachers for the past two years on what the Greeks, Irish, Portuguese etc have to do.
In addition, François Hollande’s overall victory in France spells more trouble for Merkel since he is pledged to challenge German prescriptions on the single currency’s rescue.
Le Pen’s performance – one in five French voting for the National Front – is another thumbs down to Merkel, eurozone fiscal pacts, and surrendering national sovereignty over budgets and fiscal policy.
Hollande will be a cannier navigator of the contest over European economic policy-making – the tide is turning his way. But Germany is bigger, stronger, and much more successful.
Elections are interesting.
And even more interesting given the fact that so many countries, affecting a large percentage of the world’s population are occurring here and now.
Putin is leading a rejuvenated Russian motherland patriotic focus.
France appears to be moving in a socialistic direction which means that maybe the political and the economic governance of Europe are heading in two opposed, contradictory directions.
And America? Well. We shall see.