It's been busy in Charnizay of late. Activity concerning the local elections has heated up recently what with the 1st round election date - 23rd March - rapidly approaching.
Although Charnizay counts only just over 500 inhabitants the Conseil Municipale elections are a topic of discussion amongst the great and the good as this time round, for the 1st time ever as far as we understand it, there are 2 lists; one preponderantly made up of outgoing councillors, the other with more 'new' faces. It has sent something of a ripple round the community. In the past the conseil has been voted in on the nod. The current maire, who is retiring, was voted onto the conseil in the 1970's and has been maire since 1986.
|Fête 2014: band announcing the parade, mini ringmaster at the head|
The local election of one's councillors is an interesting affair. In a village of our size fifteen councillors are elected. Villages who number fewer inhabitants elect a smaller council and of course towns and cities many more. Once the elections are over a maire and [usually] two adjoints [deputies] are selected from the 15 voted in. Normally the 'list leader' becomes the maire. Members of the conseil municipal serve for 6 years.
What we have found fascinating is the fact that one can, if one votes, vote for a mixture of individuals from either list. This is valid for villages of the category [500 - 1,000 inhabitants] that Charnizay falls into.
So, in Charnizay's case where there are two lists, a voter may:
- select anyone they wish from the whichever list if there is more than one list as long as the name is on the list. This is called 'pannage'.
- select up to a maximum of 15 candidates. If a voter votes for less than 15, say for example 8, then these votes are valid.
|Ostrich-type birds, large and small|
A voter may not:
- nominate/vote for anyone they think
would do a good job whether they are on a list or not, by scratching out a name and inserting their choice
on the ballot paper -- 'pannage' old style. The law was revised in May
2013 so this is new.
What this means in effect is that there are a whole range of permutations. Obviously a 'list leader' and his/her 14 fellow candidates hope that at voter will vote for the complete package. However, it is perfectly possible for a voter to "mix and match" from both lists creating a combination they prefer. If a voter reverts to the old system that was in place the last time these elections where held and adds a name which is not on either list then the ballot is nul and void.
We are following all these events rather closely as Antoinette is on one of the lists. We shall see what happens come polling day....
|Just a glimpse of a lion, a pierrot and clowns|
Last weekend our village held its annual fête
. There were brocante stalls aplenty, a small merry-go-round for the little 'uns and dodge 'em cars for the older kids. The theme was circus and many of the facades in the centre of the village had been decorated with clown faces and other circus related items. The children's parade featured all sorts of circus animals such as lions, ostriches, and a very cute baby elephant [aged about 5] who kept dropping her trunk :-) !
| Fête 2011- bleak and chilly weather kept people away|
We were lucky with the weather this year, as so often it is still cold, wet or rainy or a combination of all 3! This year the sun shone, it was warm with no hint of a chilly wind so the turnout was excellent.
As always you can click on the photos to enlarge them