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France: Regional Elections, Politicians And Motorcycles

  Posted at 01:00:00 PM
  File under  France Opinion
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

Despite a low public interest, next week will see the regional elections in France. It's the equivalent of state elections, where the people elect the local politicians to govern the states (=departements). Since at the national level, politics has been more-or-less against the motorcycle world, the three main motorcycle organizations in France, FFMC Open link in a new window (French Federation of Angry Bikers), FFM Open link in a new window (French Motorcycle Federation) and Codever Open link in a new window (Off-road and greenlaning lobby group) have written to all the political parties active in the regional elections, and asked them 9 simple questions.

The questions were (freely translated from French):

  1. If you are elected, will you take into account PTWPowered Two Wheel - motorcyles, scooters, mopeds as a normal and full form of transportation (e.g. for urban design, parking, etc)?
  2. If elected, will you take PTW into account when building roads and urban development?
  3. If elected, will you subsidize the education and communication for road safety?
  4. 62% of France does not want to see mechanical sports sacrificed for the ecology. Do you agree?
  5. If elected, would you vote for subsidies for mechanical sports?
  6. If elected, would you vote for the creation of circuits in your area for social, education and sport events?
  7. Do off-road trails need to stay open for all sorts of users, including PTW?
  8. If elected, would you vote against the closing down of all national parks for PTW?


France Anti Motorcycle

Not many politicians or parties were interested in filling in the form (only 25% did). Motorcycles are not a hot agenda point, since there are only about 2 million of us, and that's not a strong voting block. Despite that, politicians aren't interested in getting the few biker votes, even when 50% of French are expected to abstain from voting.

Needless to say, the green party (Europe Ecologie), are dead set against any form of mechanical sports. They deem that motorized sports need to be sacrificed for the better of the planet (probably meaning for their own good, like their career and wallets). As the Codever point out, a 747 airplane flying to the Maldives emit more CO2 that all the motorcycles in a 24 Hours of Le Mans race, but you don't see the green party stopping people from flying. And this from a party led by former anarchists, convicted criminals and foreigners.

Thankfully, the current ruling party, the socialist and the center party (all three representing about 80% of all votes) are more in favor for the motorcycle world. It's not paradise, but a lot better than the green party.

It's a sad state of affairs if politicians aren't interested in gathering interest in a vote. If only a quarter of politicians answered the questionnaire, it shows a total lack of interest in their constituents. Maybe everyone should just vote for the ultra-right party, that would send a strong message to all politicians, and they don't mind motorcycles. But it would mean that I would have to leave the country, since they don't want any foreigners....

The protest ride this coming weekend in France is becoming more and more important. At least it will show the politicians that bikers can unite, so watch out!

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