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Presidential 2022: “French Politics Is Much More Aggressive Than in Canada”

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They are among those who have been heard little or not at all since the start of the presidential campaign in France. The young members of the diasporas, present in the country, nevertheless have a sharp eye on the subjects broached in the public debate and on those which they would like to see more evoked and discussed. This is why TV5MONDE has chosen to give the floor to 8 of them: they detail the subjects they consider to be priorities for the next 5 years.

Episode n°5 of our series “Voices of diasporas” with Flora.

A project management student, Flora arrived in France from Quebec at the beginning of 2022. She discovered the French way of life, punctuated by the approaching presidential election campaign. This gives him a different approach to politics from his native Canada.

“It was the first place I visited when I arrived in France” admits Flora, a 22-year-old student from Quebec, pointing to Place de la Nation in Paris with a wave of her arm. This place, it was her roommate who had taken her there, to show her around the city. That day, there was a demonstration against the health pass. “It made me laugh because in Quebec, we have this stereotype that the French do a lot of demonstrations, she describes. When I saw that, I said to myself that I had arrived in France.”

After a few days of chatting with French people and observing French society, the Quebecer saw big differences with her native country. “I think doing-nation is a bit different,” she describes. It’s linked to the fact that unlike Canada, where you vote for a party in federal elections, France votes for a person in presidential elections.

I have the impression that the French policy is much more aggressive. – Flora, Canadian

An ocean of differences

Even if the young woman cannot vote on April 10, she follows the French campaign with interest, as she does during Canadian election campaigns. After watching debates and interviews, I have the impression that French politics is much more aggressive, “assesses the student.” I’m not going to say there’s a cult of personality, but I feel like the personality of the leader has a bigger role than the party. According to her, this plays into the way politics is perceived in the country.

A politician making such comments in Canada would be considered an extremist – Flora, Canadian

The difference also lies in the attitude of the people. “In Canada, we weigh our words a lot, we are really not in the confrontation, we do not want to offend anyone.” she explains. And the same applies in politics. “I was shocked by the comments of certain politicians,” says the young woman. She refers in particular to Eric Zemmour’s remarks on unaccompanied minors, which earned him a conviction for “complicity in provoking racial hatred and racial insult” accompanied by a fine of 10,000 euros. A politician making such comments in Canada would be considered an extremist.

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