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
Thank you for the explanation of 'old style' pannage. I've read the notice about the change on the town hall noticeboard and couldn't make head nor tail of it. It never occurred to me that in the past you were able to add random names to the ballot!!
@Susan - We were pretty astonished that you could stick any Tom, Dick or Harry onto the list even though they had never expressed an interest in being involved AND that they could end up being elected.
I suspect quite a few elderly people will be a bit confused come polling day.
We met your co-lister "Britannique" on Friday....
whilst dining at l'Image.
Seems a nice guy!
Your picture on the superbly presented list is a very nice one!
In fact, your list....
with names against faces...
is way better than the ones presented in our commune...
those have been B&W...
each with a very dodgy and unclear group photo...
so you have got to know which name goes with which face!!
Local elections for local peepilz!!
Bonne Chance, lassie....
Antoinette, I had no idea that you had political ambitions, but hereby wish you the best of luck!! I'm sure you will make a great mayor (or deputy, or council member)! I would certainly vote for you if I were living in Charnizay! Martine
I remember old style pannage...and great fun it was too!
I remember a very popular man being written in - much to the disgust of his wife!
Her view was that he spent enough time in the bar as it was without having the excuse of 'meetings'...
I take it that you are on the 'new' list'...so good luck!
@Tim - thanks :-) Although I'll eat my [non-existent]hat if I get elected!
@Martine - no political ambitions at ALL! :-)
In fact the first thing I queried when I was approached was whether or not there was a political 'slant'.
Just willing to give something back to the community [as well as improve my French and see things from the 'inside'] in the -- very unlikely event--I get elected onto the conseil.
@Fly - LOL! I can imagine. It must have been quite something to find oneself elected without even being on a ballot.
Well guessed: I'm on the 'new' list :-)
I'm sure it is an honour to be included on a list, and will keep my fingers crossed for you and the others on your 'list'. is your list one which is challenging the status quo? You have a lot to offer, and it goes without saying that you would get our vote.
I'd be careful about offering to eat that hat or we shall be demanding that Niall video you doing it!! ;o)
@Gaynor - yes it is, although we have an outgoing deputy as leader. He has thrown his hat in the ring as he feels there is "room for improvement" in the way things have been done.
I promise if it happens Niall will film me eating it ..... honest ;-)!
Oh, good luck Antoinette!
Come what may, it will be an interesting experience! Best of luck.
One of our lists did themselves no good by failing to mention the environment at all, while promising to employ a navette with ponies to take tourists to the castle museum!
@Rusty Duck - thanks :-)
@Pauline - that's exactly the way I look at it :-).
Gosh, how exciting, Antoinette. Of course I've come late to this and it will all be over by now. Even if you weren't elected it's great that you stood and showed that you want to work for the good of the village you've made your home.
In a commune just across the valley from us in Manche two out of 11 of the new councillors are British and they came first and 3rd on the list! Of course they can't be mayor or an adjoint, but I'm pleased for them, especially as the one who came top is a friend of ours. :-)
@Perpetua - it was great fun and a very interesting process to be involved in. Sadly our list didn't make it. However, I was personally really delighted to get 33% of the vote. [having lived here for less than 4 yrs]
Hopefully the new conseil will tackle some of the issues which caused our list to decide to stand in the first place.
Commiserations, but that's a super result after such a short time. Our friend has lived there for 10 years and has been on the comite des fetes for ages, so everyone knows him. His wife reckons that not being party to any of the local feuds helped too. :-)
@Perpetua - this is exactly why I was surprised--I'm not on any committee, and teaching takes me away to Tours & Poitiers most days. However, we have made an effort to attend local events so I suppose that's where it came from. :-)
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