Last Sunday was the open vote for the candidate for the Republicans, the broadly right wing party which has in the past been called other things, like the UMP, etc. The name changes are very confusing for me, which explains why I have no idea what party that nice Tim Farron chappie represents in the UK.
Anyway. As you can imagine, I look at these things with a mix of feelings.
For one thing M. Juppé has served Bordeaux so well, and he represents a moderate, broadly right-wing, liberal kind of outlook. He believes that France has a lot going for it. He doesn't much care what women choose to wear on the beach. He does believe that a woman should have the fundamental right to have her unborn child surgically removed. He doesn't believe in drastic cuts or shock taxes. He's an easy-going, good-humoured kind of guy, and I think his generally benevolent, peace-seeking attitude has contibuted greatly to making Bordeaux the pleasant city it is today.
M Fillon is an admirer of Margaret Thatcher. He wants to cut 600 000 civil servants (In France this wide category includes teachers, some doctors, etc.) He wants to cut taxes on business and increase VAT to compensate. He wants to ban the burkini on beaches, apparently. He is more to the right than M. Juppé. Sometimes he sounds like an American right-winger - he talks about small government, though not in those terms, of course. His position on abortion is not very clear. But he has a Welsh wife, Penelope.
M. Juppe was the favourite for a long time, but suddenly M. Fillon is ahead of M. Juppé. So who knows. One wag has coined the verb "filloner" - to come up unexpectedly. If M. Fillon wins the presidency then at least we can keep M Juppé as Mayor. So in Bordeaux we can't really lose too much.
Someone in the UK has suggested that to combat the trend towards post-truth, kids should learn philosophy in school, we should teach them how to think. Well all French sixth-formers do an examination course in philosophy, so I suggest we wait and see whether our dear French people can resist the force of post-truth, with its propaganda, hyperbole, exaggeration and empty promises. If France can conduct a sensible election campaign, then maybe courses of philosophy might help - or perhaps at least of logic.
If not. If not.