How the French do politics

Written by on March 9, 2019 in Guest Blogs

The Palais Bourbon building, very ancient Green in style, where the French parliament meet in Paris

I live part of the year in Provence and one day I was reading Le Monde and a headline about a “sexy politician” caught my eye.

Well, those are two words you don’t see together very often,” I thought. So I read the article and found out that there had been a poll asking French women, “What politician would you like to have a summer fling with?”

Wow,” I said to myself, “they would never have a poll like that back home in the US—it’s way too sexist.” And if they did conduct such a poll, American women would take one look at our politicians, imagine a fling with them and immediately flee the country.

I showed the article to my wife Val. “Honey,” I asked sweetly, “if I was a politician and they did this poll, would you vote for me?”

She looked me up and down and said, “Don’t quit your day job.”

Another time there was an election for the European Parliament. In France, it doesn’t take much to field a slate of candidates, so there were 48 (yes, 48) different parties running. And some had very interesting names.

New Anti-Capitalist Party
Union of Struggle Against the Banks
For a Royal France at the Heart of Europe
Cannabis Without Borders
Esperanto, a Fair Common Language for All
Libertarian Program for a Europe Setting an Example Against Sexism and Precariousness

Each of these parties got equal airtime to run TV ads and they were one of the highlights of the day.

The various Green parties seemed to run the same kinds of ads, all rainbows and lollipops “We believe in a clean environment, good jobs for everyone, and puppies.”

The Regionalism Party was the opposite. Their ad was an angry guy who kept shaking his fist and railing against the Jacobins in Paris.

Do you know who the Jacobins are?” I asked Val. “A bunch of guys named Jacob?”

She didn’t know so I looked it up. It turns out that they were a group that existed way back during the French Revolution, so getting upset about Jacobins was kind of like complaining that you just can’t find a good snuffbox these days.

Then there was the New Deal Party ad that, trust me, would never be allowed in the US.

It started with a naked young couple lying in bed and energetically doing, um, what naked young couples do.  Suddenly a lady comes into the room and sits on the bed.

You’re trying to make a baby, aren’t you?” she demands.

Uh, yes.”

Well, have you thought about what kind of future that baby is going to have? Have you thought about whether that baby will have political leaders who will make sure there are good jobs, fair wages, and a clean environment?

No,” says the guy, looking miffed, “I definitely was not thinking about that just now!”

Why yes,” says the gal, “I was!

So vote New Deal in the European elections!” says the lady.

I can’t wait for the next election…

Keith Van Sickle is the author of One Sip at a Time and Keith & Vals’s Adventures in Provence: Available from Amazon. Find him at: keithvansickle.com

Related Articles

Freewheeling gastronomic adventure in Montreuil-sur-Mer

Sarah Daly hops on an electric bike and works up an appetite for a dining experience with a difference. As a resident of Montreuil-sur-Mer in Pas de Calais, I am a regular visitor to Le Touquet, just 10 miles away on the Opal coast. I love its bustling atmosphere, clean sandy beach, colourful beach huts […]

Continue Reading

Paris lover’s guide to the city…

Paris lover’s guide to the city…

Written by on September 16, 2020 in Guest Blogs

We talk to chef and author Lisa Baker Morgan who splits her life between Los Angeles and Paris. As a Paris local with a love of food, culture and history, she shares some of her top tips for visitors the the city of light… What draws you to Paris – the things that make you […]

Continue Reading

Walks in the French Riviera

Walks in the French Riviera

Written by on September 15, 2020 in Guest Blogs

Visitors to the French Riviera between Nice and the Italian border can experience many heavenly hikes. Signposted walks take you alongside the glorious blue Mediterranean sea, past some of the richest real estate in the world and through gorgeous villages. Australian Susan McDonald has enjoyed many walks in the South of France and shares some […]

Continue Reading

10 Fun Quotes About France

10 Fun Quotes About France

Written by on September 15, 2020 in Guest Blogs

Some quotes from France are beyond famous. King Louis XIV saying “I am the state” or Napoleon’s “An army travels on its stomach” are known around the world. And, if you love quotes, you’ll enjoy these fun France sayings from around the world… “How can you govern a country that has 246 varieties of cheese?”—Charles […]

Continue Reading

Visiting Villefranche-sur-Mer on the French Riviera

Located between the bustling city of Nice and the uber-opulence of Monaco, Villefranche-sur-Mer is a little corner of paradise. Pretty as a picture, in this ancient village visitors can experience history, culture and the glorious Mediterranean. Susan Macdonald from Australia says it’s the perfect place for a holiday when you’re travelling solo. Vive Villefranche Fashion […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top