I cast my first vote in France – just as the country fell for the far right’s siren song of fake nostalgia | Alexander Hurst

I cast my first vote in France – just as the country fell for the far right’s siren song of fake nostalgia | Alexander Hurst

I was proud to vote for a pro-European list. But too many young people believe a hard-right narrative of never-ending catastrophe

My first ever time voting was joyous. I was a first-year student at Amherst College in Massachusetts, and on the night of 4 November 2008 a small group gathered in a friend’s dorm room to watch the results come in. When the news networks called Ohio for Obama, we streamed out of the dorm and found that everyone else was doing the same, and that the “Freshman Quad” was an effervescent mass of cheers, dancing and drum circling.

There was a hint of that memory on Sunday when I walked into the primary school around the corner and voted for the first time as a French and European citizen. I grinned as I went to the table displaying stacks of differently coloured papers – each showing the face of the party leader on one side, and the “list” of associated candidates on the other. Inside a curtained voting booth, I carefully folded one of those papers, for Raphaël Glucksmann’s list, placed it inside a tan envelope that said “République Française” on the outside, and then dropped the envelope into a transparent box.

Alexander Hurst is a Guardian Europe columnist

Do you have an opinion on the issues raised in this article? If you would like to submit a response of up to 300 words by email to be considered for publication in our letters section, please click here.

Continue reading…