…from the 1950s to today, in chronological order.
May 6 - French Presidential Election
Today, the French—about 80% of registered voters—voted to elect a president from the two second-round candidates: François Hollande (left) and Nicolas Sarkozy (right), the latter being the incumbent president.
Polls closed at 6PM local time (9AM PST), and it will take a few hours, after that, for volunteers to count the votes. I am spending the morning at home, listening to the radio and reading news, blogs about the election. Twitter provides interesting, sometimes funny or sarcastic highlights:
Elections are a good time for expatriates to capture the zeitgeist of their homeland.
At 8PM local time (11AM PST), the name of the new president will be revealed. The very last polls, on May 2, gave the following predictions:
François Hollande: 53%
Nicolas Sarkozy: 47%
If elected, François Hollande would be the second socialist president of the Fifth Republic (since 1958), after François Mitterrand. The French tend to elect right-wing candidates, yet France is perceived, in the US, as a socialist country. This is because the political spectrum is shifted, and the French Right compares to the US Left (Democrats).
At 1PM PST, when France goes to sleep, the French in San Francisco will be wide awake to discuss the results of the presidential election. I am looking forward to meeting my fellow nationals in Dolores Park for a highly animated picnic. I predict there will be wine, somewhere.