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Playing with Politics

parlerparislogo500w-vertYour taste of life in Paris and France!
A Free Twice-Weekly Nouvellettre®
Written by Adrian Leeds® and Published by the Adrian Leeds Group®

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017 • Paris, France

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North American Expat Financial Forum - Nice, FranceNorth American Expat Financial Forum – Paris
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May 30, 2017
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Chez Jenny, Paris, France

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•    Brian Dunhill, Dunhill Financial
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Dear Parler Paris Reader,

Marche pour les Sciences - Paris, France

March for Science - Paris, Fance

March for Science - Paris RouteMarch for Science – Paris Route

Franois FillonFranois Fillon

Marine Le Pen Marine Le Pen

Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Macron

Jean-Luc MélenchonJean-Luc Mélenchon

Benoît HamonBenoît Hamon

This is certainly a year where one cannot avoid politics, even if one wanted to.

First, there was the U.S. presidential election and all that followed having captured the attention of EVERYONE…Americans and just about everyone else in the world. I used to be a “voter,” but as a result of the shock that someone like Donald Trump could actually win the Electoral College vote and ultimately govern the most powerful nation in the world, I became an “activist.”

This morning I unsubscribed to the dozens of email lists to which I had subscribed consciously or unconsciously to free up my in-box from the constant barrage of messages asking to sign petitions or donate money. I signed every petition, I reposted every message on Facebook and did what I thought I could do to have a voice. It’s not that I am less interested in having that voice, but in all honesty, it was eating my in-box alive, as well as taking way too much attention.

In addition there have been and are the demonstrations. I’ve marched in a few and will continue to show solidarity. This coming Saturday, April 22nd, is the International March for Science with a contingency in Paris, also on Facebook. The march, held in 10 cities across France and hundreds of cities worldwide, is intended to “highlight the role that science plays in our lives each and the importance of respect and support research that allows us to take a look on the world that surrounds us.” I’m not a scientist, but I can only imagine what scientists and others who deal in truth are thinking and feeling as they are under attack by the “nay-sayers” who don’t want to believe that truth. We simply cannot have a better world for us and our children by denying what we know to be true, as this administration would have us believe.

I’ll be there of course. Join us all for the march by meeting at the Place Valhubert (where the Pont d’Austerlitz meets the Jardin des Plantes) with a step-off at 2 p.m. following rues Jussieu and des Ecoles towards Place Saint-Michel. The official route of the march is here.

Second, now is the French presidential election. Everyone is talking about them. “Who do you think will win?” is the big question. We were so sure Donald Trump didn’t have a chance and then look what happened! Now, we’re facing National Front candidate Marine Le Pen and asking the same thing. “Does she have a chance to win?”

Sunday, April 23rd is the first round of voting. The candidates are holding rallies. The media is openly discussing it and are making predictions. Every moment seems to make a big difference in which way the vote will swing and we won’t know till the very end…is my own prediction. I’m not making any bets, except I will bet that a lot of betting is going on among friends as to who will be France’s next leader.

If no candidate has a majority vote in this first round, then a run-off between the top two will be held on May 7th. Incumbent president François Hollande was eligible to run for a second term, but intelligently declined due to his low approval ratings — down to 4% at the moment! No French president has ever been so disliked! That’s a first for an incumbent president and another first took place when the candidates were chosen via open primaries.

Who’s up, for real?

François Fillon of the Republicans, after winning the party’s open primary and who employed family members in fictitious jobs as parliamentary assistants in what came to be known as “Penelopegate”…
Far right Marine Le Pen of the National Front, the “candidate of the people,” who wants to dump the euro, leave the European Union, ban freedom of religious expression (particularly for muslims who she sees as a threat to French nationalism) and the list goes on and on and on, and who isn’t really very different from her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, but who she has kept at bay so as not to ruin her strong new following…

Emmanuel Macron of En Marche!, a new party he created whose background as an investment banker should get him the entrepreneurial and business voters, but get this: he’s married to a woman 24 years older who was his teacher in high school!…

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a “leftie” who also created his own movement/party — Unsubmissive France — who is campaigning on a platform of “Frexit” from the European Union, withdrawal from NATO, a rewrite of the constitution, further taxing the rich (100% tax on those who earn more than €360,000 a year), increased labor rights, etc., etc., etc…sure to get the young voters who just want to live off the backs of the government. He’s rising in the polls as a result…

Benoît Hamon, who won the Socialist Party primary, and made a strong showing in the debate performances…

Polls suggest that Marine Le Pen will be a winner in the first round, but be defeated in the second round, because no matter who she’s up against, the others will rally together to out-perform her. But again, I’m not making any bets.

If you want to bone-up on the French elections, read this wonderful article.

And you haven’t already seen it, be sure to see John Oliver’s take on the story. It’s sure to crack you up…if nothing else!


A la prochaine…







Adrian Leeds - Paris, France

Adrian Leeds
Adrian Leeds Group

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