legendary_totoro’s Haven

The incredible election of the President of French Polynesia

Or why people should just shut up and let me stay out of the voting system

Saturday 23 February 2008 by legendary_totoro

About a month earlier, I had some people telling me how wrong I was for not taking the pain to go voting...

In any logical situation, I generally agree that it’s WRONG to stay silent and not going to vote. But it seems in our particular setting here in Tahiti, I actually was not so wrong to do so...

For starters, let’s meet the main characters of this story

- Gaston Flosse, founder of the autonomist party (Tahoera Huiratiraa) and the former President of French Polynesia which he directed for 20 years.
- Oscar Temaru, the leader of the independancy party (Tavini Huiratiraa) and the born rival of Gaston Flosse. The party fusionned with other little ones to create the UPLD (Union Pour La Démoncracie)
- Gaston Tong Sang, who originated from the autonomist party and ended in creating his own movement (O Porinetia To Tatou Ai’a)

Next, let’s have a small recap of the action so far

- End of January 2008 : Elections of the representatives to the Territorial Assembly. It ended with To Tatou Ai’a coming in the lead with around 45% of the votes, UPLD in 2nd place with about 30% and 3rd place going for the Tahoera (between 10 and 15%).
With such results, To Tatou Ai’a gets 27 seats at the Territorial Assemby, the UPLD gets 20 seats and the Tahoera gets 10 seats.
- Early February 2008 : Seemingly crushed, Gaston Flosse makes an oath to not side with the independancy party again. Then the negociations for an alliance starts between the 2 autonomist parties. After a lot of disagreement, To Tatou Ai’a finally concedes to the Tahoera’s demands (5 ministries, 3 internal commissions and the presidency of the Territorial Assembly) the night just before the following election.
- 21 February 2008 : Thanks to the late agreement between To Tatou Ai’a and the Tahoera, Edouard Fritch (2nd head figure of the Tahoera) is elected to be the President of the Territorial Assembly.
- 22 February 2008 : 11h30 PM, Gaston Flosse submits his name for the election of the President of French Polynesia which will take place the following morning.
- 23 February 2008 : The UPLD didn’t submit a candidate so the match opposes the 2 Gastons......and the results comes out : Gaston Flosse is elected with 29 votes against Gaston Tong Sang’s 27 votes.
After taking a quick look at the results, it’s pretty obvious the UPLD representatives voted for Gaston Flosse (and one blank vote)...

Now that your memories have all been refreshed, let’s get ready to raaaaaaaaaant !!

First thing I wanna rant about is the moralization speech that someone gave me when I announced him I wasn’t gonna vote. "It’s for your own future (...) if you don’t understand that, it’s not even worth..." he said. Back then I was like "WTF, worth what ?? finish your own sentence !! Like you have the right to judge my actions from your narrow POV..."

So, here’s for you-who-I-won’t-name-for-privacy’s-sake : I don’t vote for a reason ! I actually don’t vote for a lot of reasons, and you could see their faces during the campaign.
There’s no one I could give my trust to and they don’t deserve it for using their influences and privileges to run their own businesses.
Democracy could be read as "for the population, by the population". When abusing their positions to do whatever that doesn’t translates into wellness for the population, they couldn’t be called "people’s representatives" in my eye.

Next reason : I don’t vote because I don’t see myself represented by any candidate.
They just all talk, they don’t have a clue what common people endure to pull out a decent life out of their job. Once they ascended to political positions they completely lost track of why we, common people, elected them for.
How can I feel well represented by someone who neither have a clue nor any skill to overcome his lack of sense of reality ?

Next : Should I go vote, I would have to put a blank paper in the urn. Since blank vote doesn’t even count in the final results, why bother ?
I usually agree that blank vote could be counted as a vote in favor of the worst candidate (as shown by the 2002 French Presidencial Election). But in regards to the results of this morning’s election, who you vote for doesn’t matter anyway !!
You’re supposedly voting for your representative. Once elected, he’s supposed to speak out in your name and stuff. But, look at what happened : Gaston Flosse got elected President of French Polynesia while his list came down last at the representatives election...
Not only what the electors expressed is completely trashed and flushed out in the dustbin but it also shows that no matter what they say, you CAN’T TRUST POLITICS

I could go so much further in exposing my reasons but I guess that’s enough for the moment (maybe if you post a comment or two asking for it). In closing, I’m not saying you people out there should stop voting...if you have convictions good enough to back you up. Thing is you might just end up being completely unable to bring your voice high enough to make any difference, like what happened today.
I have my own convictions for staying out of the system and I hope you would come to understand them (not agreeing is fine)... but please, don’t try to use morals to convince me to come back in when your democratic rights have been so wonderfully ridiculized today, okay ?


  • The incredible election of the President of French Polynesia
    27 February 2008, by tidav

    Hi totoro,

    Puisque je suis le premier à commenter, je me permets de le faire en français (sinon, de toute façon ce sera incompréhensible). J’aurais bien posté ce commentaire dans la partie française correspondante, mais tu ne l’as pas encore rédigée! Efface ça si tu veux...

    "There’s no one I could give my trust to and they don’t deserve it for using their influences and privileges to run their own businesses."

    On vote souvent pour le "moins pire" des candidats... comme tu dis, il est très rare de se "reconnaître" en l’un des candidats ou d’embrasser complètement ses opinions. Par exemple entre Ségo et Sarko... je t’avoue que le choix fût difficile!

    "Should I go vote, I would have to put a blank paper in the urn. Since blank vote doesn’t even count in the final results, why bother ?

    C’est vrai que d’un point de vue strictement pratique, cela n’a aucune importance. C’est pour cela que je ne vote pas blanc... néanmoins, cela pourrait m’arriver. Je suis un fervent défenseur du "il FAUT aller voter".

    "But in regards to the results of this morning’s election, who you vote for doesn’t matter anyway !!"

    Bien sûr, si l’on regarde les résultats de cette élection, on peut se dire qu’avoir voté n’a servi à rien mais il ne faut pas généraliser. Rappelons-nous 2002 et le face-à-face Le Pen-Chirac. D’ailleurs quelques spécialistes avaient, je crois, expliqué la présence de Le Pen au second tour par l’abstention de certains! (je ne dis pas que je suis d’accord, c’est juste pour le citer :))

    Voilà amigo :) Drôle de premier commentaire je crois. Je vais m’arrêter là!

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