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France: The Twittosphere Pokes Fun at the Presidential Election Campaign

Categories: Western Europe, France, Citizen Media, Digital Activism, Elections, Politics

As can be seen on social networking sites like Twitter, the 2012 presidential campaign is well and truly underway in France.
The left wing Primaries have animated the media landscape over the last couple of weeks, and resulted in François Hollande being named the Socialist Party (PS) representative.  On Twitter, many Trending topics make reference to the up coming elections and are provoking amused reactions.
On his blog, Sarkofrance [1] (FR) tells us that after the Socialist Party primaries Nicolas Sarkozy wants us to start talking about him (again). [2] (FR)

Sarkofrance [1] goes on to say that with this in mind the UMP, current presidential party and majority holder, has decided:

To “go head to head with the Socialist Party candidate”

This Tuesday afternoon the UMP therefore held a convention [3] (FR).  Some forty representatives of the majority, including fifteen government ministers and Monsieur Sarkozy's communications advisor, met together on Tuesday evening to thrash things out in preparation for the presidency.

On Twitter, @MehdiYanis [4]of the Pudding à l’arsenic [5] (FR) (Arsenic pudding) blog decided to retaliate by launching the hashtag #UMPanique [6]which, after just a few hours was leading the francophone Twittersphere [7](FR) thanks to a succession of amusing and ironic comments. For example :

@Pierre_C_Porter [8] :

Very happy to see #UMPanique [6]ahead of #toiaussiparticipealaconventionump [9] (youalsoparticipateintheumpconvention) (launched by UMP campaigners)

Its been a long time since the French Twittersphere has had so much fun, as confirmed by @mathieulinares:

Its such a long time since I've laughed like that on Twitter!! Thank you #UMPanique [6] and #conventionUMP [10]

Here are a few of the comments:

@intox2007 [11]:

Coming to a screen near you soon #UMPanique [6]

@Isabellegachet [12]:

Hang on, these  #UMPanique [6] guys are really funny, “My name's Bond [13]Euro Bond [14]

@Romain_Pigenel [15] :

The UMP wants to “light the way”=> project for Sarko for 2012: “the shining path” #UMPanique [6]



@_brahim_ [17] :

#UMPanique [6] It was like being at a telethon with their pocket calculator

@_J_E_A_N_N_E [18]:

Huh, the meter ringing like a cash register, though I was on The Price is Right [19].  I'm stopping I can't stand it any longer. #UMPanique [6] #conventionUMP [10]

@Romain_Pigenel [15] :

I didn't follow, the meter that was on display was the amount of Valise RTL, [20]hey, [20]françafricaine [21]?

@PierreKanuty [22] :

#UMPanique [6]“we can't leave our France is this state for the socialists” .  Freudian slip

@nl_green [23]:

As intelligent as I know humankind is, how can a UMP campaigner swallow what #UMPanique [6] say

@1_rien [24]:

The UMP's only major achievement in 5 years is that everyone is now interested in the PS. #UMPanique [6] #ZéroBonneFoi [25]

@la_question [26]:

Go on, lets make it all about apprenticeships, no need for education.  The poor don't need to think. #UMPanique [6]

@ZeFML [27]:

What would make me laugh is if Carlita gave birth now :-) #UMPanique [6]

The final tweet comes from @GillesBonMaury [28]:

Now there needs to be a PS convention on the UMP convention on the PS plan so that the UMP can react to our reaction. #UMPanique [6]

But it isn't just the “gauchosphere” (leftosphere) which is so critical and mocking.  So the blogger @ZeFML [27]has written a note on her blog whose title encapsulates the mood of some on the right:  Here lies the UMP [29]… (FR)