Instead of talking about softwood lumber, or Donald Trump and NAFTA, I thought I might take you across the pond for this one and some little known facts about the two candidates who are still in the running to be President of France.
The first round of voting on April 23rd included a total of 11 candidates.
NOT on the ballot was the current President, Francois Hollande. It seems he’s about the most unpopular leader in Europe, and everyone wonders how he got the job in the first place.
So, on May 7th, French voters get to choose between Marine Le Pen, the leader of the extreme right wing National Front, and 39 year old Emmanuel Macron. Who? Going back to the days of Charles de Gaulle, the President of the Republic has most often been a senior citizen, like the wife of M. Macron.
Yes, the man who is favoured to win next Sunday is married to a 64 year old woman, Brigitte Trogneux, who was one of his teachers in high school. He must have brought more than a few apples to classroom, n’est pas?
Emmanuel is stepfather to her three adult children one of whom is older than he is.
Macron was a minister in Hollande’s government and he belonged to the Socialist Party, but he moved to the ‘centre’ when he became a candidate for President.
What about Madame Le Pen? Has she always been on the right wing, bashing Muslims and other huddled masses? No, actually she’s a lawyer who once fought on behalf of illegal immigrants who were facing deportation. European politics is very different indeed, especially right now when the EU is in deep trouble after last year’s Brexit vote in the United Kingdom.
There’s a lot fear in France right now. They’ve been under a state of emergency for almost 18 months, in the aftermath of several deadly terrorist attacks.
It should be a very interesting vote indeed.
I’m Roger Currie