We are heading up to Lautrec to do our civic duty and vote in the second round of les municipals–the local elections–to elect the mayor who will serve the village with his team for the next six years.
The first round last Sunday ended in a sensational dead heat (egalité) between the two contesting “lists“–512 votes apiece–so a second round plays out today.
According to our friend, Myriam, this was national headline news on French TV, radio and the newspapers. Only one other village in France, Dannemarie in Haute-Rhin, voted a tie.
Turnout in Lautrec was an impressive 85%!
Every vote counts in a small village–and unfortunately as we were still in the States, we weren’t able to vote in the first round.
We had tried to arrange to vote by proxy–the French system of absentee voting–but when we turned up at the gendarmerie as instructed, it was closed, with no notice posted about when it might be open or how we could proceed.
Though not French citizens, we are entitled to vote in local elections, though not in national ones–despite paying taxes here. Makes no sense to me, even less to Meredith–proud citizen of a country that fought its way to independence to escape paying taxes without representation.
There are 37,000 mayors in France and they wield real power.
They have a tendency to run and run, as there is no term limit. When we arrived here in 1990, the mayor, the local doctor, had been in place for over forty years!
The voting today ends at 6pm and we’ll go watch the count in the village hall.
A toute a l’heure, alors!