Thursday, March 6, 2008


The local elections take place on Sunday - the first since we arrived in 2002 - and I have received my carte électorale which makes me feel very French. As Europeans who haven't taken French citizenship, we are only eligible to vote in the municipales or village elections and not the bigger cantonales.

The incumbent mayor is retiring after 13 years and a record number of people are standing on Sunday, including BB.

As BB's campaign manager (and the woman who has to wake up smelling his breath in the morning!) all I can say is I'm glad he's not running a lengthy US presidency-style campaign since canvassing here seems to involve drinking a lot of pastis. It's rude not to accept an alcoholic beverage when offered, he tells me, which can be at any time of the day - even first thing in the morning.

In case you think BB's a political animal, the only reason he's standing is to get out of building a shed for a little old lady who doesn't have planning permission. If he's on the Council, he reasoned, he can't do anything illegal. He doesn't appear to have weighed up the long-term implications: building shed = two days; Council member = six years.

So far this week his daily (highly strategic) campaign has run something like this:

09.00 - lies in bed shouting "rosbif pour maire" and reading out bits from his imaginary manifesto such as "when I'm mayor I'm going to ban the wearing of hats in cars".

10.00 - leaves the house to canvass.

12.30 - returns home drunk and eats lunch.

13.00 - retires to bed to sleep off morning's activities.

16.00 - leaves the house to canvass.

20.00 - returns home drunk and goes to bed.

Repeat for the following day.

Someone asked him today what he proposed to do for the commune if he was elected. He was unprepared for such direct questions, thinking that drinking pastis and talking about goats would suffice, so he blurted out, "number one, eh, an airport (NB: commune population 219) and number two, a buvette (bar)". Strewth!

No comments: