08 April, 2014

"Municipales inside" the candidates

France 3 a récemment diffusé un documentaire sur les campagnes électorales que Christophe Béchu et Frédérique Béatse ont menées depuis les derniers mois pour conquérir la mairie d'Angers. "Les campagnes" car leurs quêtes respectives de soutiens et de voix ont emprunté des rythmes et des méthodes propres à chacun d'eux. A travers le film, les candidatats révèlent également et peut être même surtout leur personnalité et, consécutivement, leurs manières de diriger la ville.

The public tv channel France 3 broadcasted on April 5th a little documentary titled (in English) "Municipales inside" in which the two main candidates to Angers mayor office show a bit of their electoral campaign and a lot of... themselves. Two very different tempers were fighting for the same office. On one side, Frédéric Béatse, the socialist candidate looked, at first glance, to be the most trained to the municipal election, but who never competed as the leader of a list. On the other side, Christophe Béchu, the conservative challenger, senator, president of the Conseil général de Maine-et-Loire who had already competed to the office in 2008 against the former Angers outgoing mayor, Jean-Claude Antonini.

Those different experiences explain partially the mood and maybe the state of mind of the two candidates when the gong rang the beginning of the hostilities. For Christophe Béchu, who missed the election in 2008 (around 600 votes were lacking), the 2014 ballot offered an opportunity and a motivation Frédéric Béatse could not experience : the revenge. That explains why the conservative candidate appears in the France 3 documentary like much more eager than his rival to get the victory. It looks to be sure that Mr. Béchu has learnt a lot from his 2008 defeat. His campaign appears to have be much more prepared that the one of his opponent.

If the winner is indebted (as the looser) of his victory to his supporters, the France 3 documentary  nevertheless demonstrates that the Angers pour vous leader really managed his staff, his supporters as well as the audiences as a businessman would do with his employees, his stakeholders and his customers while, Frédéric Béatse was rather on a cooperative atmosphere. The movies show very well that Christophe Béchu is, in the electoral competition, the equivalent of a  whiz kid in the education process. The way the campaign was managed by the new mayor indicates it will surely manage the town as the former French republic president, Nicolas Sarkozy, had run France through an omnipresence. This is maybe a strangh but also a risk for the new mayor : to disappoint his public because, more and more, electoral campaigns are personified while political representatives are displayed, or display themselves, as if they were consumers goods.

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