So by now I'm sure you've all heard about the French elections, Sarkosy (or as I like to call him French Berlusconi) finally got the long overdue kick in the ass that he deserved, and the new Socialist government is in place! It seems as though that Italian fatalism is internationally infectious however, and people seem to be elbowing their way to the front of the line to roll their eyes at the cheering crowds. Do you really think that this guy is going to be any better? He's just slightly more to the left than Sarkosy, but he's still just a politician. Are you really so naive as to think that he will start changing things for the better out of the goodness of his heart? He's not going to take on Germany, ridiculous! I'm not naive and I don't think that rainbows and candy are suddenly going to start raining on the streets of France, but that doesn't mean that I can't be excited about these elections.
I get that it sucks that politics often comes down to voting for the lesser of two evils. Ideally there should always be someone that truly represents you, but usually that is far from the case. However, saying "there is no real progressive here so I'm not going to vote at all" is so, so wrong. What always ends up happening is that the worst of the two (or more) gets elected, and there begins a trend towards disaster. If politicians feel that the public wants a more right wing government they will modify their positions to fit that ideology. Look at what happened in the US for example: the trend has gone so far to the right that if you were to shoot Obama back thirty years (and made him white) he would be perfectly happy in the Republican party, whereas Regan today would be decried by Fox News as a bleeding heart liberal. Every election year we see this trend worsen, and if the people do not speak through the ballot boxes it will only get worse.
I am happy because in France they are finally taking a step in the right direction towards normality. No the new government doesn't have to fix the world, tell Merkel to go fuck herself or keep all of their promises. Like evolution I expect this to be a slow and laborious process, not a quick leap to perfection. However I hope that these elections will change the shift towards a more progressive government, as politicians start modifying their behavior to appeal to what they finally understand is a more progressive people. Even a small step in the right direction is better than none at all, and I think that many need to realize that, stop moaning that they don't live in a Utopian society and do what is in their power to make it better.
So, good on you France. I hope next time around you do even better.