“The election? I don’t mind that“, annoys Gérard, 76 years old. With Noé, they made, as usual, a trip to the Biffins market in the Place de la Croix de Chavaux. One comes from Vincennes, the other from Fontenay-sous-Bois. Behind the counter, Momo serves them coffee: “Here people don’t talk politics“, he assures.
“Beware of a Brexit scenario”
Quickly, however, tongues loosened. “I know who I’m going to vote for, but I won’t tell you“, loose Noah. For him, “paperwork” that is what “muffled” France. “Whatever you want to do, you’re asked to get lots of permissions. It’s a real problem if you want to start a business.” The former high school agent then denounces the disappearance of public services: “Now, the State brings together the counters and a lot of things go through the Internet. It’s not easy if you’re not equipped.”
However, he refutes any pessimism. “Things change, that’s normal. It’s true that Mitterrand was the last of the great presidents, but everyone then did good things and less good things. And we must not forget Europe: the room for maneuver is no longer the same.“
“Elections are like commerce, each candidate comes with promises”
Next door, an independent merchant, who does not want to give his first name, believes “that we talk too much about immigration and security. Do you know a western country that doesn’t have this kind of problem?, he asks. Basically, elections are like business, each candidate arrives with promises to seduce his voters. For me, the first thing we should do is ensure our independence from Russian oil and gas.” The Ukrainian crisis made him realize that we consume too much energy and useless things. He will vote for the incumbent president: “In my opinion, he is the only one who knows how to manage the economy. But people are saturated: after covid it was Ukraine, now it’s inflation… you have to be careful of a Brexit scenario. But I remain optimistic, we have no choice.“
“Democracy is flawed”
Tony and Junior settle on the bar with Jeremy, a young apprentice who pays his way. It will be a non-alcoholic cocktail. They end a working day started at 6:00 am in a construction site a few steps away. “Frankly, I do not recognize a human discourse in politicians. There is too great a gap between what they say and our daily lives. But my darling works in a community and she will force me to vote”, Tony resigns himself. I may vote Poutou but out of heart, knowing that it is useless“, he laughs. More seriously, he confides: “In construction, you know, there are many who would be tempted by the Le Pen vote, even immigrants. Maybe also because it is becoming more and more difficult to have construction sitess due to competition from foreign companies.” Junior hesitates before starting. “Me, if I’m going to vote, it will be for Mélenchon. He is right, we have to change the system.“
Jérémy is 17 years old and therefore does not yet have the right to vote. “I still feel concerned because democracy is flawed“, he believes.
Outside, a young woman finishes a cigarette on the terrace. She takes a break before returning to her studies. “The presidential campaign, I didn’t even see it pass. And I wasn’t really interested in it. What will it change to go and vote? I just see that everything is getting expensive and not much can be done about it.”