My Site Meter counter hit 20,000 yesterday. That means my blog has been visited twenty thousand times since January 2006. That's a milestone.
If the Blogger software is working correctly, there are nearly 400 posts on this blog. I still have some indexing work to do to make them all easier to find by subject.
Thinking about French elections vs. American elections: One interesting thing about the voting here in France is that only one office or issue is voted on at a time. Sunday's first-round presidential balloting called on voters to make just one decision: who do you want as president?
In June, parliamentary elections will be held and voters will choose their member of the National Assembly. At other times, there will be municipal elections (mayors), and then regional elections (regional councils), and finally once in a while there will be a referendum on a specific issue — the last one was on the European constitution, which failed.
In the U.S., voting is much more complicated, I think. In presidential election years, you vote not only for president but for a member of Congress and maybe one or two U.S. Senators. You also vote for representatives and senators at the state level, maybe a mayor and governor, secretary of state, attorney general, agriculture commissioner, and lieutenant governor — and judges, school board members, and dog-catchers. In California and other states, there are also usually dozens of propositions on one issue or another on the ballot.
I know in California there were a lot of people who either had to spend days studying all the candidates and propositions, or who decided it was just too much trouble and tuned out. Or they voted for one or two offices but not the others. And all the propositions! Was it better just not to vote if you hadn't had time to study the issues? Or to vote sort of randomly for unknown candidates and propositions?
No wonder turnout is low. The process needs to be simplified.
The French process does seem simpler, and it probably encourages people to participate. The turnout in Sunday's voting in France was about 85%. People get to vote for fewer candidates and propositions, but when it comes to the big offices and question, they turn out.
Speaking of voting, we can't. We are not citizens and we are not allowed to participate in French elections. That doesn't keep us from being interested in the outcome.
Here's a description of the voting process in a small town in France. It's on Amy's Loire Valley blog. She lives in Restigné, on the other side of Tours from Saint-Aignan. I read her daily.