What’s FR for “Abbott & Costello”?

As you may be aware – especially if you are French – the legislative elections are coming up there, once again in two rounds, on Sunday, June 11 and then just one week later, on June 18. There might be a slight problem coming up, namely in the Normandy constituency/département known as L’Eure.

One the one hand we have the mayor of Évreux, a city within that district – or le maire of Évreux in French, addressed as Monsieur Le Maire. On the other we have his opponent – no, not another mayor within that département but rather no less than President Macron’s brand-new Economy Minister, Bruno Le Maire. Naturally, he is politely addressed as Monsieur Le Maire.

So you see the problem, right? Particularly if the two gentleman happen to arrange a pre-election debate:

The next question goes to M. Le Maire . . .
Sorry – which one?
Wait: Who’s on first?
M. Le Maire
But which one?

And so on . . .

OK, OK, I confess, if you read that L’Express piece at all closely, you’ll quickly realize that that first guy is not quite the mayor of Évreux, but rather the mayor’s assistant for children and educational affairs.

And that it’s not a he, it’s a she. So yes, if she even were a mayor in the first place, in FR she would rather be termed a mairesse. At least she does have a funny name: Coumba Dioukhané. Well . . . it’s clearly African, and that does not mean that it is funny.

But it’s also true that the real point of the L’Express piece is how both M. Le Maire and Mme. Dioukhané are both members of the right-wing party Les Républicains, except that M. Le Maire (the one with the last name Le Maire) really isn’t since he just took up a cabinet position with Macron and so, according to current party policy, he thereby yielded his party membership. So you see, in one view it’s two members of the same party opposing each other for the same seat, and that is not supposed to happen.

And whether that policy should really be party policy when, after all, the party is gaining positions of influence within the government (and M. Le Maire is hardly the only from among Les Républicains to do this, oh no, even new Prime Minister Edouard Philippe was a Républicain until a short time ago as well), and so on.

But little of any of that really interested me, when placed beside playing that “Le Maire – Le Maire” angle for all that I could play it . . . for.


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