Tuesday, April 24, 2007

French presidential election

The French have chosen the right-wing candidate Nicolas Sarkozy and the Socialist Segolene Royal to battle it out for the presidency after the first round of voting took place on Sunday. Mr Sarkozy gained 30% of the vote and Ms Royal 26%.

Unlike five years ago when the presidential run-off in France offered a choice between a centre-right incumbent, Jacques Chirac, and a far-right politician, Jean-Marie le Pen, this time voters will face a more classic choice between Right and Left.

In the coming two weeks, both Mr Sarkozy and Ms Royal will have a difficult challenge. On the one hand, they'll want to shore up their core support on the Right and Left but, on the other hand, they'll need to appeal to the nearly one-fifth of voters who opted for the centrist candidate, Francois Bayrou, in the first round. Mr Bayrou's message was one of unity and pragmatism and both the candidates are certain to be stressing those themes.

It's hard to imagine two more different personalities than Mr Sarkozy, the former hard-line Interior Minister who leads from the front, and Ms Royal who promises a new style of leadership based on inclusivity. The policy contrast is also stark. Mr Sarkozy wants the French to work harder and pay less tax, is promising to curb union powers and a crackdown on young offenders. Ms Royal would maintain and improve France's welfare state, raise the minimum wage and, as she has put it, "reform the country without breaking it". Her election would also, of course, take France into totally uncharted territory - with a woman as president for the first time in the country's history.

Paul Legg, BBC

run-off
the final round of voting in the French election

incumbent
someone who is already holding a post

to shore up
to make secure, to use to their advantage

core support
here, people who always vote for the same party

to appeal to
to become liked by, to get support from

opted for
chose, voted for

pragmatism
a practical attitude

inclusivity
not excluding any section of society

stark
sharply evident, very obvious

totally uncharted territory
an entirely new situation, something that has never happened before

10 comments:

AzureTimm said...

Hi there, do a link exchange? Mine is http://my.opera.com/AzureTimm . By the way, if you want the 1 to 17 chapters of The Prodigal Daughter, I can provide you with it...

Snowflakes said...

Hi, just saw your comment. What's a link exchange? Thanks for the offer, I still need to finish reading chapter 1.

AzureTimm said...

Hi Snowflakes, there's a paragraphed version on my blog, from chapter 1 to 10. You can see it here. Happy reading!

AzureTimm said...

And link exchange is I link to you and you link to me. It's a win-win thing... Of course, I won't force you into anything. Have a good day!

Snowflakes said...

Thanks, azuretimm. A "paragraphed" version, that's much better way to phrase what I tried to say earlier. :)

I am curious how you can link me to your blog and vice versa. We are in two separate blogging systems, aren't we? Technically how to do it?

Snowflakes said...

My goal here is to increase my vocabularies to the degree that I feel comfortable to use them, what's yours? By the way, how did you find me here? I thought nobody would read my blog, it's just my quiet reading corner.

AzureTimm said...

Hi Snowflakes,
First, I searched The Prodigal Daughter and found your post about it. I guess you copied it there, right? Please add the writer's name... He agree that I can translate it into English... By the way, what's your native language?
Second, you can goto my page and you'll find your link on my sidebar. I guess blogger has the same feature, too...
Third, I study English as a second language and a tool. I also enjoy poetry, music, and sometimes I post my little feelings of life in my blog... I found the articles you choose highly worth reading so I linked to you... You won't mind, right?
Regards, Timm.

Snowflakes said...

Hi azuretimme, I got The Prodigal Daughter from a young friend. I read it when I don't have other good materials to read because it is a novel, relatively long.

No problem, you can keep a link to my blog. I am just too busy to study the link thing for now. Maybe later...not sure yet.

Thanks for your comments and interest, I will visit your blog sometime this week. Have a nice day.

AzureTimm said...

Hi Snowflakes,
Sorry but I think you should add the author's name, Robert Whitton. He's the author anyway... Hey, did your friend get it from http://www.simplyundeniable.com ? I got it there. And I love reading the materials selected by you, they're all very good! I hope you won't mind my 'invading' your quiet reading corner?
And, is English your native language?
Regards, Timm.

Snowflakes said...

Hi azuretimm, I have corrected the author name, thanks. I don't really know who the author is, and I don't know where my friend got the novel either. As you can see I haven't put enough effort on that piece, yet.

My native language is not English so I need to read. You are welcome to read along with me and share your reading experience if you are interested. Best.