Anytime I hear the word elections or polls my eyes start to glaze over and my brain switches off. Elections have started to become a little bit of joke to me, with the result of every major election feeling like a bad joke. But it seems like the joke is finally over after France voted Emmanuel Macron their 25th president.
This has probably been the most anticipated election in French history. After France’s western allies England and America both had controversial elections, that led to massive social media black lash. It was France’s turn to see if they would be following the same disappointing path as their western allies or be the example of change. The decisions were between Emmanuel Macron, a pro-European Union centrist, who’s campaign message was all about openness, free trade, and a defense of globalization. His opponent Marine La Pen campaigned a different message to Macron. Le Pen was pro leaving the EU and her campaigned was based off her protectionist, nationalist and populist manifesto. Unlike Macron she is against globalisation pledging to put a stop to immigration.
Immigration is always a hot topic with every election campaign, especially refugees coming from Islamic countries. La Pen deemed Islamism as one of the biggest threats facing France. I wonder where I have heard that before?
That’s right Trump. And it’s no surprise that Trump has even approved La Pen’s strategies.
Islamophobia is at an all time high with many politicians blaming refugees and Islamic communities for terrorist attacks. France has had several terrorist attacks over the years, such as the November 2015 shooting and bombing attack that happened in several locations around Paris. I wasn’t surprised by La Pen’s comment about Muslims and thought many French people shared her view. There have been reports of women fined by the French police for wearing the hijabs and Halal supermarkets forced to sell pork and alcohol.
I know it’s not fair to blame a whole country for the actions of a few, but I have trust issues. And with the results of Brexit and Trump can you blame me. It seems like countries are closing their doors to people and saying “sorry we are full”. I wish politicians could see that the answer is not excluding different ethnics groups, but including them and making them feel that this is also their home.
The election of Emmanuel Macron broadcasted a message of unity to Europe. In his speech, he promises to not only to put France’s interest first but also defend and protect Europe. (Take notes England this is what it look like to stand by your allies).
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