There were mayoral elections all over France yesterday. Paris will have the first Madame Maire after a run off between the two leading candidates in two weeks. The Front National had a strong showing across the country, but really not that significant on a national level yet. If they continue their strong grassroots efforts however, they will end up being the deciding party at the next presidential elections in 2017. And may be part of a coalition.
Chez nous in the Charente one of the seemingly bigger upsets happened right here in Jarnac. Jerome Royer who has been in office since 2001 suffered a narrow first round defeat (no run off), handed to him by Francois Raby. Interesting to say the least. Just as I said a while ago, votes for the right wing party may just produce a surprise as they take important margins away from the more established parties.
I don't expect big changes in town, just some new faces on council. All in all, from my limited time here I can say that it is a well run place.
If you want to see though what a difference a truly great mayor can make if elected, look at Bordeaux, France's 9th largest city, 75 minutes south of here.
Alain Juppé a member of the UMP, has been mayor in that city on and off since 1995. He had to resign for a couple of years in 2004 for an investigation of mishandling public funds. He was convicted, but got reelected ever since 2006.
He completely revamped this once backwater of a city into a seriously gorgeous place with all the public transportation, redesigns of the waterfront, public spaces and much much more.
Bordeaux, when I first visited in the mid 1980's was a very grimey and not appealing place at all.
When we first went back about 2 years ago, I told Victoria that I do not recognize the place I went to when I first traveled the area.
RABY OVERTHROWS ROYER
THE NEW MAYOR OF JARNAC