The forthcoming regional elections appear to be a foregone conclusion: the
left-wing, it is said, is going to preserve the majority in all the regions
it manages, except for one which will go to a dissident, and it will even
win the two that still elude them. In fact, all this is virtual and nothing
is more dangerous for democracy than this feeling of accomplished fact:
voters are sovereign, they have not voted yet, neither for the first nor the
second round; many surprises are possible; and all, from right-wing to
left-wing are wrong, it seems to me, to comment on these elections as if
they had already taken place.

In the present state of France, the French people must reflect again before
voting, and expressing themselves by taking into account, two false
evidences, two hidden truths and a double danger:

First, they should be aware, that these elections are not intended to assess
a President of the Republic mid-term mandate, but to elect for six years
managers in charge of regions, whose responsibilities have nothing to do
with that of a government and a president. A vote of sanction would be
meaningless. Moreover, we should not expect from a president of a region the
same thing as it is expected of a president of the republic, and each one
can, when the time comes, vote for a right-wing President of the republic
and a left-wing President of region. Or vice versa.

Then, the French must convince themselves that, even if these are local
elections, they have a specific political importance: regions have huge
economic, cultural, ecological and social action means, and are much more
influential than the State in many areas. And even if their ability to raise
taxes is very limited, their action may be very different depending on the
political orientation of those who lead them.

The voters will also have to take into account two hidden truths: first, the
State is no longer a place of power and is undone, because it is bankrupt,
because it is dismembered in uncountable agencies and commissions, because
Ministers spend time contradicting themselves, because between a decision
and an action there is time for a thousand contrary orders. While the
regions, not yet mired in the inevitable bureaucracy of large organizations
have become major players in the main area of interest of the French today:

Finally, the French will need next Sunday to remove a double danger: the
abstention and the extremes: in the current confusion, everything indeed
tends to give them the feeling that everything is already played, that
nobody can do anything on anything, that regions and State are also
powerless, that the programs of the diverse governments parties are
indistinguishable and that they are exchanging political ideas and staff.
The risk then is greater than we think, to see the French abstain or vote
for the extremes.

Those who do not want this then will need this week to seek to understand
better the powers of regional authorities (they do have) and the programs of
the candidates (if they have any), especially regarding employment, which
will be the recurring theme for the coming years, and deduce from there how
to vote for the best for their region. And just for it.