Well, if I’ve been complaining that I feel a certain lack of energy in France, a close presidential election serves at least as temporary cure.
Tonight the French elected Socialist candidate Francois Hollande to the presidency, ousting incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.
Crowds congregated in celebration across the country; I headed to Bastille where the mood was boisterous.
At one point I was nearly crushed against a wall as a pack of people surged against me. Well, I wanted excitement, didn’t I?
I won’t go into a political analysis here. I’ll only say it’s a privilege watching another country’s democracy in action. With a voter turnout of 80% (compare that to the US!), this is still an incredibly engaged populace.
52% is far from a commanding win for Hollande, but the shouts, cheers, and honking horns around me belied that fact. Jubilation reigned in the streets.
We’ll see what the next 5 years bring…Vive la France.