From Cuba: Twenty years ago, Libert came to France from Cuba. Both he and Alain are French citizens and must vote in the elections.
Laughing and having fun on the trampoline in the Tamayo-Dickinson family park, located in a typical French residential area. Aline blonde. Libert is dark in the skin. Children Elio (12) and Mia (15) are somewhat similar to mom and dad.
– I will say something very personal. In my family, this practically made me stop talking to my sister. It started a month ago, says Allen Tamayo Dickinson, 43.
The turning point came when the sister posted photos of her in the family group. Raising the French flag from an event with a far-right politician. It was too much for the family.
– I told her privately that please stop sending these kind of pictures. It hurts so bad. I also don’t want us to talk about politics together, neither you and me nor the rest of the family. It’s clear that the far right are deeply racist people, says Allen.
Family: Allen and Lippert try to give Mia and Elio experiences, like traveling. At Easter they were in the Belgian city of Bruges and in Amsterdam.
The smell of delicious food permeates the detached home of the Tamayo Dickinson family. Meat, potatoes and vegetables for lunch. Help Elio (12) and Mia (15) set the table. The family lives in Normandy, about a two-hour drive west of Paris.
Aline is a Spanish high school teacher. Liebert (50) from Cuba. He works as a technician in a nearby factory. He is a French citizen and both will vote in Sunday’s presidential election.
In the final match of the elections, he will meet President Emmanuel Macron and right-wing populist Marine Le Pen. The couple cannot vote for Le Pen.
I see myself in the mirror, and I realize that this is nothing to me, says Lippert with a little laugh.
The people’s wallet, purchasing power, was the main issue in the election campaign. The family is doing well financially, but notes the high prices. Libert chose to work fewer hours to be more with the children. To give Mia and Elio experiences, like vacation trips, they work overtime.
– If purchasing power increases, that’s fine, but that’s not the most important thing in this presidential election, says Lippert. The first priority is to make sure that the far-right candidate does not win.
Growing: Support for the far-right has grown in France since the last elections. For the parents of Mia and Elio, it is important to vote against extremist political forces.
Children talk enthusiastically about holiday trips to Spain, it is a favorite, but they also hope that now after the pandemic they will be able to visit family in Cuba. Elio is a member of the school’s student council and would vote green if he could choose.
– Because they are not racist and want to save the planet.
Mia doesn’t have any favourite, but she will vote when she is eighteen. Right now, there’s more talk about Tik-tok in Friends than there is talk of politics.
Women got the right to vote late, and as a woman I think it is important to vote.
Allen and Liberté are also not enthusiastic about voting for Macron. Voter turnout is expected to be low on Sunday, also because parts of France are still enjoying the Easter holiday. Allen does not think Macron has kept his promises from the previous election campaign.
As a teacher, I still don’t know if I should vote for Macron or should I vote blank.
Macron is not an obvious choice for Libert.
I think it’s the least bad option.
There is a fear that this will lead to a lower turnout. People who voted left in the first round do not have a clear candidate in the second round.
In France, there is often talk of a “republican front”. It was a kind of national charity to keep extremist politicians out of office. Voters closed their noses and voted for politicians they did not agree with. For example, the far right has been out of power for a number of years. Now this PF is on the verge of collapse. It is no longer a taboo to vote far right.
Only he can save France
While Normandy has a “Bergen climate”, the Lavrero couple can enjoy the sun near the Mediterranean. Light generously shines on the old facades of La-Valette-du-Var, in the far south of the country.
Emmanuel (46) and Lionel Laverero (63) are Marine Le Pen’s old voters. They are even members of the National Rally. In Norwegian, it means the National Assembly. The party was formerly called the National Front, and it was founded by his father, Jean-Marie Le Pen.
We meet them at a bar downtown. They are happy to see us again. We first met Emmanuel in 2016, when she was in a political meeting with Marine Le Pen. Emmanuelle runs a hair and beauty salon, while Lionel retired early after a long life as a construction worker.
Le Pen is called a racist and a fascist, but she herself believes that she speaks on behalf of the people. She supports a strict immigration policy. Le Pen wants to set a cap on 10,000 immigrants a year, and sharply tighten family reunification.
It wants to present the so-called “national priority”. She believes that France should be for the French first. French citizens must first be given priority in the allocation of welfare benefits, such as social housing, employment or other social benefits.
– Isn’t that discrimination?
– The opposite would be discrimination against the French people. Emmanuel answers if the Frenchman wants a social housing today, he probably won’t get it, because immigrants are the priority. She believes that immigrants cannot be intrinsically French like the French.
– 31 percent of all social housing is occupied by people who are not French, adds Lionel.
The couple believes that the past five years with Emmanuel Macron have been difficult. Especially how he dealt with the epidemic. They were not enthusiastic about what practically became a coercion on the Corona passport. To get the passport, you had to be vaccinated. During the election campaign, Macron was faced with a statement that he wanted to harass the unvaccinated.
– Chief says he wants to torture the French. It’s not worthy of a president, Emmanuel says excitedly.
For many years, Marine Le Pen has not “demonized” his party. Keep the room clean for larger groups of voters. Without it, she would never be president. In the only electoral duel against Macron, she did better than she did five years ago, but was described as much weaker than the president. The couple do not get along.
– It’s not the same Marines as it was five years ago. She has matured and learned from her mistakes.
And criticism directed at it because it has close relations with Russia, they reject that because it does so to protect the French people. The couple oppose cutting gas imports from Russia.
They believe that only Marine Le Pen can “save” France.
– I really hope you win and that we can finally lead a normal life, says Emmanuel.
From La Valette it is only an hour’s drive from the coastal city of Marseille, perhaps the most multicultural city in France. The city is known for its coarse accent. In the morning, the fishermen head to the port. Buckets of fish in various shades of gray and green are rolled up on the vending tables.
Fisherman Guy Longobarbo flirts with regular customers who are happy to see him.
– My wife is never happy to see me, he jokes.
The guy has roots in Italy and Spain. Many of Marseille’s residents come from North Africa.
– Can you vote for Le Pen?
There are very few people of French origin in Marseille. So vote for Marine Le Pen.. No, for me that’s impossible.
The average of recent polls gives Macron the win with around 56 percent of the vote, against Le Pen’s 44 percent.
Multicultural: Marseille is perhaps the most multicultural city in France. Only Marine Le Pen came third in the first round of the presidential election.
It is not possible to build a policy against racism. it’s not possible, Jay says.
“Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer.”