Saturday, December 9, 2006

Is anyone counting heads?

Although this blog and most media coverage has focused on the Socialist and UMP candidates along with several others, the French presidential race is as crowded an as ever. Philippe de Villiers just entered the election for the Movement for France party, making the official tally of declared presidential candidates 40. In order to be on the ballot, a candidate must first get the signatures of 500 elected officials, which should narrow the total to a more reasonable amount. Nevertheless, it is still possible that the final number of candidates will surpass last election's record of 16 candidates. Villiers should be an interesting face to watch; not only is he strongly against the growing Muslim influence in France, but a recent scandal broke in which one of his sons is accused of raping another more than a decade ago.

Most people don't know that the US presidential race is also full of candidates, although most are completely overshadowed by the Democratic and Republican campaigns. During the last election between John Kerry and George Bush, there was also Ralph Nadar as an Independent supported by the Reform party, Michael Badnarik for the Libertarian party, Michael Peroutka for the Constitution party, and David Cobb for the Green party. What does all this mean? Democracy is thriving, but if you want to be elected president, join the right party.

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