Portland academics preview French presidential free-for-all

We’re hearing a lot about the Russian presidential election lately, and for good reason. It takes place today, the country is a major player on the world stage, and presumptive winner Vladimir Putin is a polarizing figure.

But Russia’s not the only foreign country holding a presidential election in 2012. Indeed, France is as well.

USM faculty members Nancy Erickson and Francesca Vassallo, who will lead a Monday presentation on the upcoming French presidential election. (www.usm.maine.edu)

On Monday night, two University of Southern Maine faculty members will lead a presentation previewing the 2012 French presidential election, held initially in April (with an early May run-off if necessary).

According to the university announcement, locals unimpressed by the discourse in United States politics will find the French soap opera downright amusing. Here’s a couple sentences from the event announcement:

Americans are often critical of the length, quality of discourse and outcomes of U.S. presidential elections but the French elections are always a spectacle of politics and drama. That’s especially true this year as French voters prepare to elect a president in a campaign featuring a spiral of scandals unprecedented in recent memory.

The free Monday night talk, titled “The 2012 French Presidential Elections: Politics and Scandals” will take place from 5:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. in the Wishcamper Center at the USM Portland campus. The primary speakers are slated to be Francesca Vassallo and Nancy Erickson, associate professors in the political science and French departments, respectively.

Running for president in France this time around will be incumbent Union for a Popular Movement party member Nicolas Sarkozy and a host of others, including the Socialist Party’s Francois Hollande, Socialist Party defector turned Left Party founder Jean-Luc Melenchon,┬áMarine Le Pen of the National Front, the Democratic Movement’s Francois Bayrou, and former prime minister Dominique de Villepin, a Union for a Popular Movement party defector turned United Republic party founder.

Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.