Parti socialiste, the Stromae remix

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Alors on flippe!

This one, a parody from the Canal+ French presidential election coverage, will be a little difficult to follow for non-French speakers, but delightful for Stromae fans.

Join François Hollande, Ségolène Royal, Lionel Jospin, Martine Aubry and the whole Parti socialiste gang flip out about blowing another French election despite leading the polls.

The language may be French, but the whistle-past-the-graveyard feeling is instantly translatable to any campaign that’s watched a once-formidable lead slip away in electoral disaster, especially when the campaign is riding high and has six weeks left until voting day. See Jospin, 2002. See Royal, 2007.

Sings Hollande in the parody:

en 2012 c’est mon tour [In 2012, it’s my turn]
faut qu’je passe le premier tour [I must make it beyond the first round]
sinon comme Royal et Jospin [otherwise like Royal and Jospin]
je vais passer pour un crétin [I will be taken for a fool]

The other West African presidential election this spring

As Senegal prepares for its presidential election runoff, now scheduled for March 25, and takes the correspondingly greater number of international headlines, West Africa’s next presidential election is just next door a month later on April 29 in Mali.

When you think about Mali, start with Senegal, its very predominantly Muslim and formerly French neighbor.

Then make it 6 times larger and move it inland without any coast and fill it with mostly desert.

Add just about 2 million more people, but shrink GDP per capita until it’s just two-thirds as wealthy (not like Senegal is so wealthy to begin with, even compared to its African peers).  This makes Mali one of the world’s poorest countries, although it has steadily grown at upwards of 5% a year since the 1990s following reforms instituted by the administration of Alpha Oumar Konaré, who served as president of Mali from 1992 and 2002 — in between the stagnant dictatorship of Moussa Traoré and current president Amadou Toumani Touré.

Then replace the history of tense, but steady, democratic norms with a history of unfair elections and coups through the first 30 years of its post-independence history.

While you’re at it, also add in a nationalist movement of the Tuareg people — a nomadic Berber group that has more in common with Libya and North Africa than Senegal and West Africa — in Mali’s sparsely populated northern region of Azawad, where tensions have also, unfortunately, recently re-ignited.

Got all that? Continue reading The other West African presidential election this spring