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France parliamentary elections: Low turnout may be good for French Pirate candidates

Are you a French citizen voting for 1st and 8th District outside France? Well if you are voting for the pirates there is a chance to give your support in the elections to candidates interested in more than getting a warm seat in the Assemblée Nationale.

Due to the cancellation of 2 MP seats in the French Parliament by the Constitutional Council of France, in the 1st District (Canada and the USA) and in the 8th District (Italy, Malta, Vatican, San Marino, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Israel), French outside France are thus voting again for these two seats this Sunday.

In this battle, political apathy may well be one of the strongest ally of the French Pirates. The candidates believe that abstention will top records and participation may not exceed 20% and say all French from abroad who are tired of this political circus are welcome to join the Pirate Party to make their voices heard. as in the last parliamentary elections in June 2012, the Pirate candidates did low-budget “0€ campaign”, with limited physical communication, focusing on real issues instead of political games.

The Pirate candidate for the first District (Canada and the USA) is Véronique Vermorel, a student at ESSEC. She lives in Boston.
The Pirate Candidate for the 8th district (Italy, Malta, Vatican, San Marino, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Israel) is Alix Guillard, a webmaster living in Prague. He has answered a few questions for us.

Pirate Times: Why did the Constitutional Council of France made these two cancellations? Because of corruption issues?
Alix: French law is very strict about campaign funding: money can only be spent and received by a single person, a financial proxy that makes it easy to check the accounting. Also it has to transit by only one account, opened in France and in Euros and held by this financial proxy. In big districts like USA+Canada or Italy+Malta+Greece+Cyprus+Turkey+Israel+Palestine+Vatican+San-Marino, this is not easy to manage. The first election was cancelled because the winner opened an account in dollar in the US. The second because the candidate paid herself some of the spendings. Many other candidates were also declared non electable because they didn’t respect the rules.

Alix Guillard campaign poster

CC-BY Parti Pirate

Pirate Times: How many French citizens outside France will vote?
Alix: The total French population in USA and Canada is not known but there are 203 818 French registered at their consulate. Among them, 156 883 are registered as voters (some vote in France, others don’t vote). The 8th electoral district has 111 387 people registered to vote.

Pirate Times: How will they vote? By mail? Electronically? Using physical polls?
Alix: Because of long distances, many voting solutions are allowed: on the web (criticised by the Pirate Party for not being secure), by mail post (double envelope), by proxy (up to 3 proxy per person) and physically at the polling station

Pirate Times: How many candidates are there from PP-FR, 2 or 4?
Alix: two candidates and two substitutes, one of each for each district.

Pirate Times: PP-FR’s press release states that the candidates are Vermorel Véronique, alternate Mathieu Chambefort for the first District and Alix Guillard, alternate Carole Fabre for the 8th District. What is an alternate candidate?
Alix: The alternate is the substitute, he replaces the MP when the MP dies or becomes a Minister. In all other cases (resignation, dismissal…), new elections must be held.

Pirate Times: At what date will these elections be held? In the 1st District it is supposed to be on Saturday and on Sunday in the 8th District?
Alix: Oh I don’t follow this but I think that this has changed in 2003 so that in a general election, the results in the main metropolitan area (France), are not known when people still vote in their time zone further west. Even French West Indies vote one day in advance now. In France we think that knowing the result can influence the choice of people and therefore we forbid all publication of estimation or pollings from Saturday till Sunday 20:00

Pirate Times: Are there any polls on the performance of parties/candidates?
Alix: Nope, the population is too scattered to be polled.

Pirate Times: Thank you for you time, Alix, and good luck in these elections!

All pictures CC-BY Parti Pirate.

Stathis Leivaditis

About Stathis Leivaditis

The English “pirate” is derived from the Greek word “πειρατής” (peiratēs) and this in turn from the verb “πειράομαι” (peiráomai), “I attempt”, which is a derivative of the noun “πείρα” (peîra), “experience”. Coming from the depths of the centuries, the word “pirate” took on another dimension in our days. The ruling classes saw pirates as rebels and hated them. Rebels without a state, they were not submissive to any law, except from the laws they instituted themselves, improvising together. This is the feeling of a Pirate: when something doesn’t work, you have to attempt to bring a new concept. Sometimes it goes beyond a certain point and perhaps exceeds certain limits, because it is an expression of challenge; the challenge to change the system. I’m a member of the Board (and former chairman) of Pirate Party of Greece, also a member of press team of PPGR, former journalist, now a free lancer. I'm in the team of Pirate Times from the start, I joined voluntarily and consciously because I am interested to meet pirates from around the world, to exchange views and spread the pirate spirit.

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