Opinion: Are "the French and their penchant for scandal" fed up?

April 18, 2017


The 2017 Présidentielles: A Foreign National’s Guide

She has a lot of electoral homework to do these days. On the back of the Dutch parliamentary elections, freelance journalist Lisa Dupuy, a graduate of University College Maastricht, is now looking south – to France. Thanks to her dual French nationality, she is eligible to vote in the upcoming elections on 23 April. Who are the candidates, which one will get her vote and why? And what’s the hardest part about the decision? 


The alinea above is taken from the opinion piece I wrote for the Observer, the university newspaper I  wrote for years ago. The piece continues into a comparison between the Dutch and French elections, in which I'm allowed to vote. As Western European countries both seemingly up for grabs for populism and an anti-EU rhetoric that I'm not in favor of, I cannot escape the impression that these social divisions are starker in France. It is strange to think that the country I know well - but to be honest, which politics have only ever touched me in an intellectual sense and never in my financial or social reality - might be facing such pressures.


Of course, France is not the only modern society dealing with these issues, and Trump and Brexit highlighted the inability of such different groups to even communicate beyond the walls of their respective social media silos. But while Dutch politics must inevitably accommodate a coalition, in France these divisions challenge the very notion of the Republic. The same fears surrounding identity, financial and political sovereignty (the issue of Europe) and security that flared up in the Dutch electoral race pose a bigger problem in France, threatening its egalitarian and united nature. And if these issues hit France hard, the outcome of the elections could be a blow to the European Union.


Read full piece here.


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