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Thursday, 16 February 2012

French presidential candidates - a quick trivia quiz

Now that Nicolas Sarkozy, has declared himself a candidate in this year's French presidential elections, the real campaigning is officially underway.

Nicolas Sarkozy - candidate (screenshot from TTF1 news)


In honour of the most humble and definitely unexpected confirmations of his candidacy and the equally surprising (all right, enough with the irony already) withdrawal of former defence minister Hervé Morin from the race, perhaps it's time to lighten things up a little before the debate gets too serious.

So here's a simple quiz - not to be taken too seriously.

The questions are the kind that provide answers of seemingly useless bits of information which might - or might not - come in handy.

The format used is multiple choice, so the chances are you'll get at least one of them right.

And if you don't, it either means you've not been paying attention or you have had far better things to occupy your time and mind!

So here goes.

No cheating.

The answers are at the end, after the video of Sarkozy declaring his candidacy.


1. Marriage

An easy one to begin with.


Who, in his capacity as mayor, officiated at the wedding of his second wife to her first husband?

a) François Bayrou
b) François Hollande
c) Nicolas Sarkozy


2. ENA

Which two candidates completed the French graduate school École Nationale d'Administration in the same year?


a) Marine Le Pen and François Bayrou
b) Nathalie Arthaud and Philippe Poutou
c) François Hollande and Dominique de Villepin


3. Miss

Now here's a tricky one - maybe. Who was a former beauty pageant contestant, finishing third in the national "Miss" competition?


a) Nathalie Arthaud
b) Eva Joly
c) Marine Le Pen


4. Government

Which of these candidates has never held a government ministerial position?


a) François Bayrou
b) François Hollande
c) Jean-Luc Mélenchon


5. Candidate

Who has never run for elected political office before?


a) Marine Le Pen
b) Jean-Luc Mélenchon
c) Dominique de Villepin


6. Childhood stutter and Irish roots

Which candidate used to stutter as a child and is related to the Irish poet Theo Dorgan?


a) François Bayrou
b) François Hollande
c) Marine Le Pen


7. "Capitaine de pedalo"

Just to show how fickle French political loyalties can be, which candidate who used to be in the same party as another one compared his now rival to a "Captain of a pedal boat in a storm"?


a) François Bayrou about Nicolas Sarkozy
b) Jean-Luc Mélenchon about François Hollande
c) Dominique de Villepin about François Bayrou


8. Young

Which of these candidates is the youngest?


a) Nathalie Arthaud
b) Marine Le Pen
c) Philippe Poutou


9. Twins

Which candidate has three children including teenage twins?


a) François Bayrou
b) Marine Le Pen
c) Dominique de Villepin


10. Height

And finally just to introduce an "international" element into an otherwise domestic quiz, if the current president, Nicolas Sarkozy were in a room with the following leaders - past and present - who is the only one over whom he would...well not exactly tower, but at least not require high heels or shoe inserts to appear taller.


a) Silvio Berlusconi
b) Angela Merkel
c) Dmitry Medvedev



Answers

1. Marriage

The answer is c) of course, Nicolas Sarkozy. In 1996 he was mayor of the swanky Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sir-Seine and as such married (confusing verb that) his later-to-be second wife Cécilia to her first husband, radio and television presenter Jacques Martin in 1996.


2. ENA

Another easy one, c) François Hollande and Dominique de Villepin. It was the class of 1980 "Voltaire". Another alumnus is Hollande's former partner and the 2007 Socialist party presidential candidate, Ségolène Royal. But you knew that, didn't you?


3. Miss

The answer is - and it's not something you'll find on her official website - b) Eva Joly. As an 18-year-old Joly (under her maiden name of Gro Eva Farseth) who is of course Norwegian by birth, entered the Miss Norway competition "just for fun", finishing third.




4. Government

Answer b) François Hollande has never held a ministerial position in government although he was of course First Secretary of the Socialist party from 1997-2008.

François Bayrou has been a government minister twice; from 1993-1995 he was minister for education under prime minister Édouard Balladur and again under Alain Juppé from 1995-1997, the first year of which only, also included higher education and research in his portfolio.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon was the junior minister for vocational education from 2000-2002 under prime minister Lionel Jospin.


5. Candidate

The answer is c) Dominique de Villepin. Although he has been interior minister, foreign minister and prime minister, de Villepin has never run for political office.

Le Pen, currently a regional councillor, and Mélenchon, a former senator, are both members of the European parliament.


6. Childhood stutter and Irish roots

It's a) François Bayrou. No surprises here perhaps if you're familiar with Bayrou's past two bids to become president in 2002 and 2007 as the stuttering, which he "famously overcame as a child", and his being related to the Irish poet Theo Dorgan through his maternal grandmother, Amélie, both featured in profiles run in the British and Irish media.


7. "Capitaine de pedalo"

It was of course b) Mélenchon about Hollande in an interview last November for the Le Journal du dimanche. Mélenchon also accused Hollande of pandering too much to the centre and forgetting his Socialist principles when he said, "He uses witticisms and jokes like a stubborn little social-liberal."

If only there were televised first-round debates. These two should make excellent entertaining sparring partners.


8. Youth

They're all in their 40s but Arthaud at 41 (she'll turn 42 on February 23) is the youngest. Poutou is 44 (he'll turn 45 on March 14) while Le Pen is 43.


9. Twins

The answer is b) Marine Le Pen. Unlike her politics, Le Pen pretty much keeps her personal life out of the media limelight. She's the youngest of three girls and in turn has three children; her oldest daughter was born in 1998 and her twins, a boy and a girl, in 1999.

De Villepin also has three children, two daughters and a son. His eldest child, Marie, is a model actress and singer who has used the name "Marie Steiss" professionally, had a small role which never made it past the cutting room in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" and also sings in the group Pinkmist.

Bayrou is a father of six.


10 Height

Yes height is apparently a sensitive issue for Sarkozy who is said to measure in at around 1.65 metres.

That's exactly the same as the German chancellor Angela Merkel (the two do quite literally see eye to eye) and the former Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi.

So the answer is c) Dmitry Medvedev who is just 1.62 metres.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fascinating - though I have to say I shall probably not pay too much attention to the presidential campaign in the coming weeks, my garden needs a lot of attention and TLC after the bitterly cold snap we've just had. I shall just keep myself informed by reading your entertaining blog!

Debbie

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