France has its fair share of crackpots and loonies going head to head with those of a more serious nature when it comes to Presidential elections. When Sarkozy was campaigning, the outsiders competing for the job really helped liven the whole thing up.
In my own corner of France we had Mimi the Clown from Lille who is a bit of a veteran at these things. He donned his war paint and went house to house as he asked people to complete one of his home-made voting slips. He’s not serious about being President – he just wants people to be able to show their unhappiness with the available candidates by voting for him. His mantra is the people already voted one clown in so why not another!
We also had the marvellous Cindy’Lee – an ex-stripper and dancer who put together a full manifesto which included some pretty serious proposals including such items as increasing VAT on imported goods by 1% and a referendum on euthansia. Of course there were a few fun ideas too to make us want to vote for her such as “well-being and sexuality for all” including courses for personal development, self-confidence and seduction. Hmmm.
Apart from the some of the more obviously weird points in her manifesto – it is surprisingly popular with my French neighbours who think it is well thought out and enlightening!
Candidate No. 3 is Abu Chihaniddine, a Rastafarian with wonderful dreadlocks who is going all out for the mayoral signatures needed to get him on the voting platform and in with a chance! In France every candidate must achieve 500 civil authority (mayors) signatures in order to become serious contenders. In order to encourage mayoral votes his way he has written an open letter on his website advising that he is the only candidate who can offer a solution for worldwide peace and equality. His manifesto includes meditation in police and political meetings, introducing a programme of sexual fulfilment (tantrism would be the official religion of the world) and world disarmament – I might actually vote for him!