In the wake of Brexit and the inauguration of Trump, the world is looking towards France to provide a change in 2017 politics. Before the first round of presidential elections, INDIE spoke with creative generation Y Parisians about their fears of potential presidents, their stance on the upcoming vote and how life changed following the November 13 terrorist attacks.

 

By Cai Leplaw

Name: Emmanuel

Age: 25

Occupation: Merchandiser at Louis Vuitton

 

In your opinion who would be the ideal candidate ?

I don’t have an ideal candidate among those running this year. I would probably go for Emmanuel Macron due to a lack of better choice.

What would you say to anyone thinking about not voting at all ?

You have to stand for what you believe in, because no one will do it for you. Worse than that, you will end up letting people make decisions for you. Centuries of generations have sacrificed for us to have this right.

What would you say to anyone thinking about voting for Marine Le Pen ?

Please think critically. Do not fear or hate what you can’t comprehend and do not let fear or hate drive your decisions. Finally, try and have empathy for those you will end up discriminating with this vote.

If you were a politician what would you do differently ?

Focus on the politics, be true to my convictions, not yield to opponent shaming maneuvers and above all, not be a crowd-pleaser.

Were you effected by the November 13 terrorist attacks? How has it effect your social life?

I was in a bar 50 meters away from the Bataclan when the attacks happened and was stuck there for most of that night. It changed me in the way that there is an anxiousness sometimes that wasn’t here before, but I’m also more conscious of how important every moment is. It gave me a certain perspective on life and on what actually matters, I try my best not to forget that.

 

Name: Victor Weinsanto

Age: 23

Occupation: Assistant fashion designer

Why is it important for people to vote in this election?

It’s important for people to vote because the extreme right is becoming increasingly popular. After the election of Trump, I realized how fast everything can change and become a real nightmare.

In your opinion who would be the ideal candidate?

Honesty, I don’t see an ideal candidate for now but I can agree with the ideas of Emmanuel Macron.

What’s the one thing you wish you could change about France?

People should open up their minds and respect different religions, sexualities and ethnicities in general.

What would you say to anyone thinking about voting for Marine Le Pen?

I’d say that I can’t blame him/her but that I will never understand them.

If you were a politician what would you do differently?

I couldn’t imagine myself being a politician at all, because I hate being hypocritical.

How could the election outcome change your day-to-day life?

In so many ways. I’m scared of a huge step backwards.

Were you effected by the November 13 terrorist attacks? How has it effect your social life?

I was a bit affected at the beginning, but then you tell yourself that you don’t want to give them satisfaction, so you try to go out and enjoy life even more! We are very fortunate to live in a country where there is no war like in Syria.

 

By Cai Leplaw

Name: Eva

Age: 22

Occupation: Fashion student

Why is it important for people to vote in this election?

Democracy is based on a vote and the democracy of France depends on each of our votes. If we want a change, we have to express it.

In your opinion who would be the ideal candidate?

There is no ideal candidate, it’s just the one we prefer, but with the context now I am choosing the least worst and the most promising of providing a change.

What’s the one thing you wish you could change about France?

Economic improvement, unemployment and the decline of xenophobia, antisemitism and racism.

What would you say to anyone thinking about voting for Marine Le Pen?

It’s vote for chaos and war.

If you were a politician what would you do differently?

Guarantee a moralization of political life.

 

Name: Louise Follain

Age: 21

Occupation: Model

Why is it important for people to vote in this election?

The situation in France has never been seen before: the two parties that previously had the majority have been overtaken by what used to be called ‘minor parties.’ It is extremely important to vote in this election, because there are people not voting either because they are not really into politics or because they want to show unsatisfaction. These votes will actually go in favour of the dangerous parties. Everyone holds a considerable weight in this election.

What would you say to anyone thinking about voting for Marine Le Pen?

I would make them aware of the things they might not know about her, the things she doesn’t mention on T.V. Most of her voters are desperate people who think she will make their problems disappear because she makes them believe that by constantly lying.

How have the attacks from November 13 changed your social life? Were you affected by them?

Yes, a lot. I was living 100m away from the Bataclan. So everyday, passing in front of it, I was reminded. I don’t know anyone who got hurt personally, but the fact that it happened so close to my home, was very shocking. I had 4/5 months where I was a bit scared. But now it’s ok, life goes on. Fear is how we get manipulated and I don’t want to fall into these politics of terror that most politicians want to set up.

 

By Cai Leplaw

Name: Elise Horwitz

Age: 25

Occupation: Community Manager

In your opinion who would be the ideal candidate?

I feel like most people are voting “against” instead of being really motivated by one candidate. Emmanuel Macron, the former Economic minister, is for me the most suited for the job. I feel he can make things change without falling into extremes.

What would you say to anyone thinking about voting for Marine Le Pen?

Don’t go on this path man…

If you were a politician what would you do differently?

Pay my taxes.

How have the attacks from November 13 changed your social life?

The attacks definitely brought my friends and I closer. We did a lot of house parties for a long time, unconsciously because it changed the perspective of all our favourite places that are now memorials.

 

Name: Mike Procaccia

Age: 24

Occupation: Financial manager / co-founder Pureline Records

Why is it important for people to vote in this election?

It seems that people fail to understand the importance of the electoral process: it is about electing the person who will run our country and act as a representative to the whole world, for our country. If too many individuals fail to express their votes, they will feel regret it when they find the result unsatisfactory.

In your opinion, who would be the ideal candidate?

I am still undecided at this point, but I do have a clear idea of what a presidential candidate should be. The candidate should be listening to their citizens so that policies are aimed to serve the interest of the population, rather than their own personal interests. I want a leader that will be able to learn from past and future mistakes, so that we can finally get France back on track. I fail to find a candidate that fits this description.

What would you say to anyone thinking about voting for Marine Le Pen?

Arguing someone’s political opinion goes against what I believe in. If they want to vote Le Pen, it is their right as a citizen; nothing to add.

How could the election outcome change your day-to-day life?

Looking at the different key issues of this election: the place of France within the Euro, the social dynamics at play, and all the issues linked to the rise of radical Islam, it is clear to me that some candidates will create more positive change than others. I think that getting out of the Euro would negatively impact the image of France in a way similar to that of Great Britain after Brexit.

How have the attacks from November 13 changed your social life? Were you affected by them?

I was shocked after the November attacks in Paris. No one was ready for something like that to happen, and it really hurt me deeply as a French citizen. These sort of events tends to change the way people live their lives, but I refuse to let terrorists dictate how I should enjoy freedom. I decided not to live in fear, and to enjoy the freedom that my ancestors fought for. The threat, sadly, is permanent, but I will not let it poison my philosophy of life. Keep strong, keep living, keep fighting.