These are not startling events, but we are now quite close to two showdowns — one political, the other somewhat cultural.
First the political: the regional elections in France, which were to take place in March 2021, but were delayed to this month because of the pandemic. Round one takes place June 20 (this coming Sunday), and round two (to tidy up any really close voting results) will be held on June 27.
What’s at stake? There are seats for 18 regional presidencies up for grabs, and almost 1,760 regional councillors. In previous postings, I have noted the “tidiness” of France’s process for putting up political posters; instead of having posters glued all over the place, candidates have to place their posters on specified boards. Here’s a look at the one in Daglan, just outside our community hall:
For several weeks, we’ve been receiving printed material that extols the virtues of the various candidates in our area; however, neither Jan nor I can vote. I’m a Canadian citizen, and Jan is a citizen of both Canada and the U.K. (In case you missed the explosion of news about Brexit, the U.K. is no longer a member of the European Union, and so British citizens can’t vote here.)
Other than the flurry of printed materials, I don’t think there has been an awful lot of fuss about these elections. But just wait until next year — that’s when French President Macron has to go to the electorate. A French political commentator that I follow is predicting a rough-and-ready presidential election. And who am I to disagree?
Seeking Number 3. The other showdown is when Daglan — the community — faces the judgment of the people behind the Villes et Villages Fleuris movement, as our village leaders are hoping to add a third flower to the signs you see as you enter our village. Here’s a look at where we stand now:
If you’re not up to speed on this program, here are some excerpts from a previous posting in the ever-educational Radio Free Daglan:
… the Villes et Villages Fleuris competition is a national program created in 1959. Over the years, the program has evolved. While the name suggests that villages like Daglan should be full of flowers — which is true — it also signifies that the village is generally trying to improve the local environment and encourage a high quality of life for residents. Places for handicapped parking; recreational facilities; general cleanliness, and so on.
Cities and villages which qualify can be awarded from one to four flowers, which are displayed on signs as you enter the community. When Daglan was first recognized, we had one flower on our signs. And now, we have two flowers on each of the signs posted at the three main entrances to the village.
Next Wednesday is your chance to boost our chances for Flower No. 3. The office of the Mayor has called for volunteers to show up at the salle des fêtes or community hall on June 23 at 9 a.m. to help give a final boost to our chances (for “notre 3ème fleur“). What to do? Just bring your gloves and gardening gear, and spend some time tidying up the planters around Daglan, pulling weeds, and trimming plants. My wife Jan will, of course, be there. I, of the bad back, will remain at home, cheering silently.