mardi 16 mars 2010
I interrupt my Bretagne series (oh yawn) to talk about how the French can put a truly French spin on something as basic as voting.

Several weeks ago, all the students in my law class were informed that elections would be held to elect the students who would be the student representatives for the school (I guess for the Board of Administration or something like that).
Anyone who wanted to run had to submit their name, and then the rest of the students vote today and tomorrow for the student representatives.

Last week, we received an email with the names of all the students who were presenting themselves for election. There were two lists, List 1 with the names of eight students (only two of which I recognized) and another list, entitled "Les Coulotés". What in the world is a couloté? I looked in several French-English dictionaries and couldn't find any explanations.

Anybody? No?

Oh well. Must be a French thing. I'll find out when I get up to Strasbourg.

Today, we were given two sheets of paper (List 1 and List Les Coulotés) and an envelope to put our ballots in (after going behind the requisite curtain of course).

Each sheet had eight names on it, and it was written 4 candidates and 4 runners-up (suppleants). I couldn't figure out what was supposed to be done. I circle two on each paper? Two in total? Four in total from either paper?

It took four times to explain to me that no, we just choose one sheet of paper. That's it. You don't choose names on each paper, you just decide whether you want List 1 or List Les Coulotés, put the appropriate list in the envelope, show your student ID, sign your name, then drop the envelope in the ballot box (whereupon the person in charge says "A voté!", slides the piece of paper covering the slot so you can put in your envelope, then slides the piece of paper back over the slot.)
Good grief. Why couldn't they just have 1 list with ALL the names, and then you select the ones you want, like most normal democracies?
But instead, you have to choose which list you want, and you are stuck with all the people on that list.

Oh, and Les Coulotés?
Get this- it was a play on the name of the first person on the list- Coulot.

Oh those Funny French!
They get me every time.

Way to confuse the foreigners.

5 commentaires:

Mwa a dit…

Very democratic indeed.

meredith a dit…

culotte also means underwear, and culotté is slang for a "daring" person or action. I think they are playing with that word as well as the person's last name.

Dedene a dit…

I thought immediately of culotte as Meredith said.

Voting is amazing. I'm always knocked over by it when going to the polls here. Even for something so uninteresting as the regional elections.

Jake the ColoIowaConnectifrancilite a dit…

You should be voting for a list, and not for individuals. For exmple EE, UMP, PS, PFC, CD, MoDem etc...

Starman a dit…

If you Google Les Coulotés, you get a lot of stuff but I still don't know what it means.

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