Friday, March 25, 2011

Fined for Dog Poop, Votes FN

I opined the other day that one reason for the rising FN vote is a decline of public services as a result of Sarkozy's decision not to replace one in two retiring civil servants. This hypothesis is confirmed by various statements collected by 20 Minutes. First-time FN voters say they switched because they've had it with government failures ranging from poor snow-plowing to ill-planned bus lines. There's one source of irritation I hadn't anticipated, however: one vote canvasser observes that "people get fined for letting their dog poop where it shouldn't and they vote FN."

This of course tends to have a snowball effect: as more and more people vote FN in order to protest declining government service (or overzealous animal control officers), their neighbors look around and see that some FN voters aren't racists, xenophobes, and nostalgics for le Maréchal. The party gradually loses its toxic image. Indeed, at the moment, Marine Le Pen is sounding a good deal less toxic than any number of people around Nicolas Sarkozy. Is it any wonder that the Right is in disarray? (h/t FLN)


JimB said...

Here's another problem: isn't the FN the only major eurosceptic party? Plenty of economists think that the introduction of the euro was a mistake and that Europe would be better off - in the long run - without it. Shouldn't someone with those beliefs consider voting FN? I'm not French, but if I were, "bring back the franc" would have me at least considering voting FN, even though I don't agree with anything else they stand for.

FrédéricLN said...

Hmmm - where did I put you.

I suggested the 20minutes paper indeed (and I also suggest the Mediapart reportage by Marine Truchi around Viarmes, in my département, )

If I suggested it (even if, in the 20 minutes paper, it's unsure whether the sentence "people get fined for letting their dog poop where it shouldn't and they vote FN" is a joke or a testimony), that's because I heard quite similar things myself - for example someone who complained during minutes against "la SNCF" (State-owned train company) who hadn't paid him allowances he considered himself entitled to get - and at one moment he said "je ne suis pas raciste, mais…" and went on with complaints against "la SNCF" again. As I was campaigning (for Democrats… and myself), I understood the "je ne suis pas raciste, mais…" as meaning (as it often does): the FN will be my vote.

Moreover - in towns like Argenteuil, where FN scored around 18%, people of different ethnic groups live together in great peace. I thing I never witnessed, in 15 years, a clash that could be related to racism, foreigners, islam or nationalism in any way (oops, I did: 12-14 years ago, one of our neighbours did not reply to my wife when she said "hello". But that's not a true clash). And we don't live in community-specific neighbourhoods. People live together (well- often, it's: poors in one street, rich people in another one. But not everywhere).

I sometimes understand the FN vote as meaning: "hey you in Paris, you beautiful people living with top-models and jet-setters, please consider, at least for one second, the adaptation efforts we had to do, in order to learn to live with people from religions, countries, customs we never heard about when we were kids". I think many people who do vote FN, also do tolerate and accommodate islam and other cultures in their daily life, much more than FN-contempters at TV do for themselves…

And yes, we have a beautiful mosque in Argenteuil, and I've never seen any mark/paint against it.

But I fear it might happen some day.