The French election campaigns are gaining momentum. In essence they are are predictable and offputting for most French voters, so it may seem a blessed relief to those of us without the vote that we need not get involved. However, once it is all over and as soon as new legislation displeases even European immigrants, the accession of full voting rights to all EU citizens will no doubt become current again.
France is one of those countries with a vast store of demographic and statistical resources. I have had a brief look at some of them. They have accumulated quite comprehensive pictures of EU citizens who would be given franchise. Without breaking it down by national groups we find that the vast majority would potentially vote just to the left of centre through most shades of liberal to left and 'alternative' (plenty of rural Greens, for example). The extremes of hard right and left do not show up enough to be significant. Amongst those who have stood for and/or been elected where we may this is almost perfectly mirrored.
So, it is easy to conclude that Hollande would appear to be the best option for those of us without voting rights who want them since we would be an asset for the future. We can see why, despite quietly muttered half promises, Sarkozy does not want us at present and that unless he drifts to the left of centre should he be returned that franchise would remain wishful thinking.
If anything, campaigning for franchise should have been in full swing and ridden on Hollande's campaign as its best potential advocate. That opportunity now missed because we would be too much overshadowed by the main event, those who really want to push for it to happen should be working toward catching the 'swell' in the wake of the final round here this Spring. There are enough elligible EU citizens to make a difference and whilst we SFN users are probably a truly tiny minority we could also be the mouse that roared if enough of us had strong enough feelings.
So, I have had my say, now to sit back and wait. I am a seeker and user of information rather than any kind of leader, so I am not trying to raise any kind of movement myself. In fact, if anything this is to point out a virtual lack of such an initiative. It is one I would join and whether I would wish to get as involved as I was during 16 years in office in the UK remains an open question in my mind. What is certain, is that I share the view with many other people that because we live here and pay taxes, etc, representation should be part of the package - at least the choice whether to vote or not rather than ONLY be excluded. I shall be most interested in hearing what is in people's minds out there and whether the will to campaign for inclusion is any more that the utterances of the few of us who have had anything to say so far?