Monday, April 23, 2012

What's the Matter with the Vaucluse?

What's the matter with Kansas? asked Thomas Frank. I ask, What's the matter with the Vaucluse? That's where Marine Le Pen obtained her highest score (27%). Such a beautiful part of France, yet so perverse in its political choices. MLP did worst in Paris, which the Socialist won for the first time with over 30% of the vote.
La candidate du Front nationale obtient plus de 20 % des suffrages dans onze régions métropolitaines sur vingt-deux (Alsace, Bourgogne, Champagne-Ardenne, Corse, Franche-Comté, Languedoc-Roussillon, Lorraine, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Haute-Normandie, Picardie, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur). Elle obtient son meilleur résultat dans le Vaucluse, avec 27,03 % des voix. Au total, elle franchit la barre des 20 % dans quarante-trois départements. C'est à Paris, avec 6,20 % des suffrages, qu'elle recueille son plus mauvais score en métropole.


Massilian said...

I lived in Carpentras for almost two years (7 years ago), I had to leave because the bad vibes of the city were unbearable. The city was strictly divided like by apartheid. Unthinkable to see a retired maghrebin jouer aux boules with the local white indigènes. My wife and I were the only one in town to go and sit at the nice terrasse of an "arab café". There is a large population of immmigrés in Carpentras who came for picking fruits or work for the wineries and similar agricultural work when it was needed in the sixties and seventies, but now they are not needed anymore, neither their children, unemployment is the rule and the grandchildren are "holding the walls", lined in the streets watching women go by. Most of the villages around depend on foreign residents (mostly from Netherlands, Belgium, Scandinavia). There is a rather strong xenophobic atmosphere. Our children invited their school friends many times at home, but the friends were never allowed to come by their parents : we were "strangers" (meaning bizarre people - my wife is a painter, and I worked at home as a consultant - coming from Paris). It was stiffling, after 18 monthes, we decided to move to Marseille.

FrédéricLN said...

To the post: yes, Paris vs countryside is more and more the "clivage" on the political opinions stage. It was already clear at the 2005 referendum on Europe. It seems to be increasing. All media broadcast the Parisian point of view on what happens in the rest of France. This is true of political and economic topics, possibly cultural events, not the other topics, where money is to be made, and where the golden rule of audience makes the countryside ten times more powerful than Paris.

bernard said...

Well, I have known the Vaucluse since the early 1970s and, boy, I am not surprised. I have known it ever since that time as a place of high density of concentration of rapatriated colons from Algeria, of large importation of cheap labor from Algeria to pick the fruits in Summer, of farming caracterised by tiny holdings which have strictly no chance of surviving without support from the EU agricultural budget (ever heard about biting the hand that feeds you), or without selling pretty ruins at insane prices to upper midddle class parisians for their "playing at being rural" games in summer (same hand biting), and naturally for high incidence of racist criminal activity already by the mid-seventies. Alabama 1950s is what Vaucluse has been ever since. Maybe it's the future of much of France too.