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In Paris on French election date -- what to expect?

In Paris on French election date -- what to expect?

May 8th, 2002, 03:35 AM
  #1  
s.fowler
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In Paris on French election date -- what to expect?

We will be in Paris on Sunday, June 16 -- the date of teh second round of the legislative election in France. I'm looking for information about what will be open? closed? etc... Our plans [fortunately] include church and a theatre performance, so most of the day is acounted for, but it would be helpful to know what the deal is
 
May 8th, 2002, 03:56 AM
  #2  
Travis
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I thought the elections were last sunday and Chirac won? I could be wrong, but that's what I thought.
 
May 8th, 2002, 04:01 AM
  #3  
s.fowler
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These are the legislative elections on June 9 & 16. The Chirac-LePen election was for the presidency of France.

 
May 8th, 2002, 04:31 AM
  #4  
Louis Parent
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Expect to see a lot of left-wing intellectuals discussing over foie gras, caviar and champagne if they should vote for the trotskist or the marxist-leninist party.
 
May 8th, 2002, 04:40 AM
  #5  
s.fowler
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Très amusant
Perhaps I should have been more precise -- in the US, for example, bars are closed until the polls are closed -- I didn't expect the French to require such a draconian measure, but I was wondering about any other closures or differences from a noraml Paris Sunday, other than the one M. Parent mentions...
 
May 8th, 2002, 04:52 AM
  #6  
Capo
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Hi Sally! Don't know about Paris for this election but we were in Nice on the 6th, when they had the final presidential election and things didn't seem any more shut down than normal for a Sunday.

I hadn't known that French elections were on Sunday. Very interesting. If the U.S. had our elections on Sunday, I wonder if we might get higher (or perhaps lower?) turnouts.

It was fun to come back to our hotel late Sunday evening and watch some footage of Chirac in the rainy streets of Paris. It was fascinating to me that his car would stop at times and people would come up and shake his hand, as I doubt we would see this in the U.S. (and I wonder if the murder of the Dutch politician may cause other European policitians to now be more cautious.)
 
May 8th, 2002, 06:18 AM
  #7  
dc
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From a curious Washingtonian unfamiliar with the French electoral process -- why are there two dates for the elections? What is being voted on June 9 & what on the 16th? And do candidates advertise extensively on television as they do in the U.S.? Are there limits on what they can spend in campaigning, and is there public funding of campaigns? Are there televised debates? Just curious about all of this. Thanks.
 
May 8th, 2002, 06:43 AM
  #8  
Louis Parent
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The French have a two-round electoral system, held one week apart. Next month's elections are for parliament (i.e. house of representatives). The party (or most likely the coalition of parties) that gets the majority of the seats will be asked by the President to form the Government. The leader of the majority will become Prime Minister. (Executive power for everything except justice, national defence and foreing affairs, which are the President's prerogative).
In the parliamentary election, only the top 3 candidates who get more than 12.5% of the vote in the first round make it to the second. In the second round, whoever has the most votes wins.
This month's election was for President. In presidential election, only the top two candidates make it to the second round.
There are limits on electoral spending. TV advertising and billboards are used a lot. Soft money is prohibited. But count on the French to have a lot of debates on TV. The state reimburses the expenses of any candidate that gets more than 5% of the vote in the first round (presidential or parliament).
 
May 8th, 2002, 08:33 AM
  #9  
Vincent
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Louis, congratulations on your knowledge of our political system. A few precisions though: it is true that you are able to maintain your candidacy if you have reached 12.5 % in the first round, but not 12.5 % of the cast ballots, 12.5 % of the registered voters. Which, with a, say 70 % turn out, actually means at least 15-16 %. Not easy, but, assuming the National Front reaches the same levels as APril 21, it would mean that its candidates would be able to remain in 237 (out of 577) constituencies, forcing the traditional left/right run off into a "triangulaire", a three-man race. This is the reason why the left could retain a majority in Parliament. Under "normal" circumstances, only the best placed candidate of the left-wing and right wing parties remain and his/her first round same camp competitors overnight become allies. That's what the French call "Republic discipline" (no, not a new kind of French kinky sex ! ).As far as paid commercials, they, as in all European countries, are not allowed. There is an "official" campaign on TV with free air space being given on State television.
 
May 8th, 2002, 08:45 AM
  #10  
Beth
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We were there for the "primary" in April, and the only thing I noticed was a large police presence. We weren't even aware of the "demonstrations" until the next day when someone at breakfast was discussing them. We spent most of that day in the Maris, and everything seemed to be open.
 
May 8th, 2002, 09:13 AM
  #11  
s.fowler
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Thanks for ther esponses.It will be interesting to observe -- where are the French polling places? It would be interesting to watch their democracy at work I just wanted to make sure that it wouldn't be without wine
 
May 8th, 2002, 09:18 AM
  #12  
Barbara
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Sally, where in the US are bars closed until the polls close? I'm in California and I'm pretty sure they're all open here.
 
May 8th, 2002, 09:21 AM
  #13  
David
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Indiana for one. No package liquor sales, no bar sales, no nothin' while the polls are open. That's from 6am until 6pm. The bars are usually open their regular hours since they serve food, but they can't sell booze.
 
May 8th, 2002, 09:34 AM
  #14  
elvira
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I believe the no alcohol is a Federal law. Dates back to the days when - er - candidates would ply their constituents with demon rum to get their vote. Also, the - er - helpers of those candidates would go into bars, drag out the inebriated, and "help" them vote.

Hey, we may not have all that history you European sorts have, but what we've got is pretty damn colorful.
 
May 8th, 2002, 09:34 AM
  #15  
Vincent
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French polling stations are within schools (normally primary schools and kindergartens). In Paris, they are easy to spot: they are the only non-monumental buildings with French flags.
Otherwise, absolutely no boozing restrictions. If there is a political suspense, the streets should be quite empty from 19h30 on (results are given at 20h00); expect some happy spontaneous demonstrations, especially if the left wins - and the weather is nice !
 
May 8th, 2002, 09:36 AM
  #16  
s.fowler
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Hmmmmmmmmm...interesting. I just did a little "googling" -- liquor laws are state by state [I learned that much] and many states have that prohibition -- including the ones where I have lived. I remember faintly that in New York at least it was designed to keep politicians from buying votes with free drinks. Or was that Boston

Here's an answer re: Pennsylvania -- <<Under Pennsylvania's liquor laws, any bar in Pennsylvania without a Sunday sales permit must be closed on election days until one hour after the polls close.>>
 
May 8th, 2002, 09:43 AM
  #17  
s.fowler
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Merci Vincent! That is helpful
 
May 8th, 2002, 10:16 AM
  #18  
Barbara
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Well, this is quite interesting. I also tried "googling" and discovered a very funny page at
www.dribbleglass.com/subpages/laws.htm. Amongst other gems, I learned that - take note Elvira! - it's illegal to hunt camels in the State of Arizona!
 
May 9th, 2002, 03:02 AM
  #19  
s.fowler
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Here's another from the same site http://dribbleglass.com/subpages/california.htm
 
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