Sunday, September 28, 2014

Put on your calculator: it explains the method of election … –

Put on your calculator: it explains the method of election … –

Or why the election of the Upper House is probably the most complex of France.

Six months after the municipal, four months after the EU, France will vote in again. You do not know? This is normal! Perhaps you are not a senator or deputy general counsel (county now) or regional councilor or mayor or municipal councilor or a council delegate. If you are anything like that, that is to say, “Great Elector”, then you are not directly involved: September 28, are all those people who will participate in the renewal of half Senators who sit in the Luxembourg Palace in Paris.

You have therefore included this consultation does not take place by direct universal suffrage. That is to say, it does not invite all French citizens 18 and over, enjoying their civil rights, to go to the polls to vote … without obligation to fulfill their electoral duty. Senate elections are indirect universal suffrage: it is said that this is an election in the second degree where elected themselves elect other politicians, such as the Atlantic, for example, for the election of President of the United States. And the Senate, voting is compulsory (under penalty of a fine of 100 euros), resulting in a participation that approaches 100%.

More than 87,000 “electors”

According to the excellent feature on this site consultation by the Senate, are 87,534 “electors” who will elect or re-elect the 178 senators -the 170 Series 2 Series 1 were renewed in 2011-to a term of six years. Before a 2003 reform, senators were elected for a term of nine years and the Senate was renewable every three years.

It may be noted in passing that this change in law in that a portion of appointed senators were elected in 2004 in effect for seven years including the Orne, from the departments of Ile-de-France (Paris included) and some overseas (Guadeloupe, Martinique , Mayotte, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon), which were renewed in 2011, however, another part of this batch 2004 -from Bas-Rhin (67) in the Yonne (89) – will be served for a decade, . senators of these departments were up for renewal this year

You understood also, this election is not national because it concerns only a part of the departments: 58 in France -In Ain (01) in Indre (36), Bas-Rhin (67) in the Haute-Savoie (74), the Seine-Maritime (76), and Deux-Sèvres (79) Territory Belfort (90) – and overseas (Guyana), in addition to four ultra-marine communities (St. Bartholomew, Wallis and Futuna, St. Maarten and French Polynesia) and senators representing French established outside France (they are six.)

In the end, so it is 178 senators … but in fact, on September 28, the “electors” will elect 179 because there will be a Senate partial. It is caused by the election of Jean Arthuis Parliament last May that former minister (center) of Economy and Finance (1995-1997) was a senator of Mayenne, a non-renewable department in series 2014 There will be four other candidates (PC, PS, Green, FN) against the centrist candidate, Elisabeth Doineau, which is likely to be elected on the basis of previous results obtained by Arthuis in 2011.

To be eligible, you must be at least 30 years of age, of French nationality, and enjoy their civil rights. A fourth unwritten rule is that the grantee is a little-known small electorate of the department where it occurs, whether it expects to glean votes. As the Senate “represents the local authorities of the Republic,” under Article 24 of the Constitution, the overwhelming majority of its members has a term as mayor or councilor municipal, general counsel or regional counsel. That explains it.

And to be a voter, we have seen from the beginning, you have to hold elected political office. MPs, senators, councilors and regional represent a minority of the electorate: less than 5%! In fact, the overwhelming majority of voters (more than 95% so) consists of mayors and above all councilors of municipalities with more than 9,000 inhabitants of the departments concerned and also the delegates elected by municipal councils smaller cities (1 delegate for the advice of 7 and 11 members, 3 for boards of 15 members … and so on up to 15 delegates for the advice of 27 and 29 members). And to complete the picture, there are also additional delegates (one per 800 inhabitants) appointed in municipalities with more than 30,000 souls. A 30,800 inhabitants, there is a delegate in addition to city councilors, to 31,600, there are 2, etc.

The proportional parity for more

Where it starts to get tougher seriously is when we enter the heart of the matter: the voting. Like all departments do not send the same number of senators in the Luxembourg Palace, all senators will not drop their head in the same way.

The least populated departments do not have more than two senators : the election is first past the post in two rounds. To be elected in the first round, you have to gather in his name at least half of the votes cast plus one and get at least a number of votes equal to a quarter of registered voters; if a second round is necessary, a relative majority is sufficient for election. This voting will apply in 35 districts (including the Mayenne to replace Arthuis), which will elect 60 senators.

“urbanized” departments more than two and up to seven senators in the Rhône or eight in the Bouches-du-Rhône: the election is proportional plurinominal, or list. The lists presented are blocked, that is to say, the “electors” can not change the order or names. This voting will apply in 29 constituencies, and for the election of senators representing French outside France (they are appointed by the elected representatives of the French living abroad, by business advisors and delegates Consular): it will involve 119 senators.

It may be noted that apart from the vacancy in Mayenne, nonrenewable department, three have no incumbent currently: one is in Charente-Maritime (department renewable), the second is that of St. Martin, a Caribbean island, and the last was occupied by Flosse, French Polynesia, which was ousted by right of his term on September 16 after his final conviction in a job fictitious case .

Of the 344 senators on until September 28 (348 minus the four vacancies), 80 are senators, slightly over 23%. In 1998, the proportion of women in the Senate was only … 5.6%.

This feminization is the result of legislative changes. The first law, passed under the Jospin government in 2000 established parity on lists (alternating male / female or vice versa) in the departments of proportional; one second, adopted under the Ayrault government in 2013 extended the proportion to at least three departments electing senators, instead of four previously. This last reform, combined with the previous one, is expected to increase the number of senators in 2014.

Arm yourself with a pencil, a calculator and patience …

Arrived At this stage, you burn with envy how are appointed Senators elected by party list simple. Prior to arm himself with a pencil and a calculator, we must not forget that this is proportional to the highest average. The easiest way is to choose a -the Bouches-du-Rhone, for example-and how has made the distribution of 8 seats in 2008.

First, we must determine the quotient by dividing the number of votes cast (2,999 in this case) by the number of seats to be allocated (8). This quotient is 374.9. You must then divide the number of votes for each electoral lists by the electoral quotient. The whole figure obtained gives the number distributed to each of the first arithmetic burst seats.

With 1,686 votes, the Socialist list led by Jean-Noel Guerini (now dissident PS) had won four seats (1686: 374.9). That led by Jean-Claude Gaudin to the right (1,182 votes) had won three. Other lists with lower quotient scores, they could not be assigned a seat in the first round, after which he remained one vacancy.

For the second round, he must be matched up to an additional seat to those who already have it and just give the other to divide again the score of each list by “dummy” of seats. Thus, for the Gaudin list, this operation gave -either 295.5 1.182 (3 + 1) -, while Guerin list it, ended in 1686 337.2 (4 + 1). All other lists had marginal results. The eighth seat therefore returned to the PS, who got a total of five against three for the UMP.

In some cases, there may be a list garnering fewer votes than the electoral quotient obtained when even a seat. This was the case, for example, in the Alpes-Maritimes in 2008, where five seats were to be distributed (as in 2014). The quotient there were 357.4 -either 1787: 5. With 858 votes, the list of Senate Majority (right) was the only one to have won two seats in the first round. In the second round of calculator, the list had an average of 286 -either 858: (2 + 1) – while a list various right was 328 votes to 328 -either: 1, which allowed him to take the third seat . In the fourth, he had to start the operation, and then he returned again to the list of Senate majority, who still had an average of 286 while various right list has grown to 164 -either 328 (1: 1) . The last seat was awarded to the Socialist list, with 254 votes, had a higher average than its rival.

Do not worry. On 28 September, it is the party calculators and computers that will prefectures operations distribution of seats! And Senate will then communicate the composition of each political group. But know that 5 of the 21 senators Communists are renewable, they are 65 out of 128 to the Socialist group, there are none to renew top 10 environmentalists, 12 of 19 in the European Democratic and Social Rally (RDSE, radical), 13 of 31 among centrist UDI-UC 77 and 130 to the UMP. Added to this table a few non members to renew senators and the handful of vacant seats to be filled, and the account will be good.

There has to wait for the change of majority the Senate being promised a return to the right and the arrival of a new president -Jean-Pierre Bel (PS), the incumbent, is not standing in the Ariège-, to be elected by his peers 1 st October.


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