Hello, everyone. I’m taking a break from doing full the News Roundup indefinitely, but I wanted to discuss a recent item in the news.
A few weeks ago, I shared a few notes about those leading the first round of the election. But I did not report on those results or the runoff.
Now, I haven’t been paying close attention to the French election, but I was interested in seeing who would win and talking about some surrounding issues.
What Are Some Pressing Issues in France?
On April 20, 2017, just days before the French election, a police officer was killed on the Champ Elysees. Police identified a gunman named Karin Cheurfi, 39, who was shot dead at the scene. ISIS claimed responsibility and referred to Cheurfi as Abu Yousif al-Bajiki (the Belgian).
The attack on the Champ Elysees was the fifth terrorist attack in France in the last two years, starting with the deadly Charlie Hebdo attacks on January 7, 2012, in which 12 people were murdered. During that time span, the deadliest attacks occurred in Paris on November 13, 2015.
The attacks have been tied to terrorists, namely those connected to the Islamic State. And they have fed into xenophobia across the world, including in France.
Additionally, numerous people in France are mulling over a possible exist from the European Union.
Who Are the Candidates Who Advanced to the Final Round?
Some American observers compared some of the leading French candidates to some our American politicians (or an archetype of them). And from the looks of it, some French voters were unimpressed with the two candidates in the runoff.
For my amusement, I took a, ISideWith test to see if who I matched up with, and it turns out “I side with Jean-Luc Mélenchon on most 2017 French Presidential Election issues (64%).” Sorry for not keeping notes on the others, but I believe I was furthest from Le Pen.
Speak of the devil, the top two vote getters in the first round of the election on April 23 were Emanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. Since no one got half the vote, it went to a May 7 runoff.
Marine Le Pen
Le Pen was a far-right candidate who won the support of Guess Who. That reputation was well-earned even if she kicked her hated father out of her National Front party.
Marine Le Pen was shaped by traumas and the immersion in politics in her early life. The youngest daughter of Jean Marie and Pierrette Le Pen, Marine experienced her greatest trauma when she was only 8 years old. While she and her sisters were asleep, an unnamed attacker threw a bomb into her family’s apartment in order to attack her father, the founder of the French National Front. No one died in the attack and no one was arrested for it.
Believe it or not, Marine Le Pen helped immigrants as a trial lawyer. She also helped the poor during that six-year stint.
Macron, a 39-year-old former banker, is described as a globalist. That label carries plenty of negative connotations but many feel he was preferable to a protectionist.
One aspect about him that’s been talked about lately is his marriage. When he was 15, he fell in love with his teacher, Brigette, who was 24 years his junior. The two married in 2007.
Macron’s biographer, Ann Fulda, said that was evidence of the type of character Macron has. She said, “It tells us about his determination, very big determination. And his desire to choose his life. And to be free.”
What Were the Results?
The run-off vote was this Sunday and Macron won, as expected. He became the youngest president in French history.
Here is a breakdown of the vote in France:
This is a resounding victory. However, about a third of voters (12 million) refused to choose a candidate. The number of spoiled ballots was greater than the total number of votes Le Pen received (10 million).