“Voting in the West Indies, Difference and Paradox”… Anna

After the referendum of the radical left in the Antilles during the first round of the 2022 presidential election and the tidal wave of the far right in the second round, André Locres sees it as a “false rebellion by the ballot box” on Monday. carrots. The Martinique sociologist explains some of the “real problems” in his latest column.

Voting results for the 2022 presidential election left no one unmoved, particularly in Guadeloupe and Martinique, where the far right took the lead in the second round. Fifteen days ago, the extreme left won on the two islands.

In light of this extremism in the polls, reactions multiplied. For Martinique sociologist André Lucres, it is at the same time “Desperate plea to the state (…) and refusal of guardianship”.

Comprehensively below you find the last forum of the sociologist:

Voting in the West Indies, the difference and the paradox

The great lesson of sociology, which some are still far from, is to distance oneself from oneself, allowing one to move away from ideological speculation. With this in mind, our goal here is to analyze the vote of the people of the Antilles in relation to the presidential election that brought together, in the second round, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen which reveals to us as a unique one. Regarding the choices made in the hexagon.

But precisely, the question of the Other is at the heart of this election: Where else is the other in France in the twenty-first century? By preferential voting for a representative of the far-right whose platform is xenophobic, – rejecting the other – with scores of nearly 60% of the vote in Martinique and 70% in Guadeloupe, the Martinicans and Guadeloupe surprised everyone and stunned part of the political class.

It should be remembered that in December 1987, to be exact, on December 6, an employee at Orly Airport reported the presence of Jean-Marie Le Pen (who, apparently, was traveling under an assumed name), who was preparing to join Martinique for a conference with a group Right-wing deputies from the European Parliament. The staff of the hotel, where this conference was to be held, immediately filed a strike notice in protest of this attendance. Two anti-Le Pen committees were created.

And on December 7, thousands of Martinique residents will invade the runway, today Aime Césaire airport, very symbolically, in order to prevent the landing of the plane that will finally be diverted to Guadeloupe where Jean-Marie Le Pen will refuse to leave the plane. It will already resume on the same day in the direction of Paris. Ten years later, as he transits in Martinique to reach Puerto Rico, Jean-Marie Le Pen will face the same protests, at the same airport, from protesters scolding him for his remarks about “racial inequality.”

Jean-Marie Le Pen, the former leader of the National Front, has been a candidate several times for the presidential elections.

© Christophe Archambault/AFP

How, then, do we explain this paradoxical reflection that is reflected in the ballot box? Neither the change of the party’s name, nor the personality of his daughter, who throughout her political career contributed to the racialization of France, despite her attempt to demonize the matter, which had only an impact on the margins. What explains this bold and contradictory vote are uncontrolled processes that turn societies into mass victims of anarchy, turning to the state whose assistance is considered insufficient and unjust.

Three notorious examples of circumstances that occurred during the election period.

First, Chlordecone

This pesticide that has often turned our lives into disease and which affects first of all those who planted it without protection. On April 8, 2022, a statement from the Contaminated Farm Workers’ Group read: “The Court quietly declares that in the massive poisoning of chlordecone that first struck farm workers and their families, there will be no culprit: neither the French state, nor the French state. Manufacturers of the poison, nor importers, Nor the great farmers (…) A gathering of agricultural workers who have been poisoned with pesticides could not accept such a denial of justice and would make it intelligible to these apprentice magicians. One man…”, signed by the head of the gathering, Yvonne Sirinus. This press release illustrates the degree of outrage of this rally that is fighting for recognition of agricultural workers poisoned with pesticides as victims, compensation, and disclosure of responsibilities.

Banana Plant / Insecticides / Chlordecone

A banana plant sprayed with pesticides (illustration).

© Cap / FB / Lyannaj Pou Dépoyé Matinik / DR

“Second, Sargassum”

German philosopher Sloterdjik asserts in a recent interview with Le Point newspaper that one also votes “with one’s guts”. Without a doubt, but we also vote with our lungs. Because sargassum, this Antillean-infested algae, which flocks to beaches near homes and rots by releasing hydrogen sulfide, attacks the lungs. The West Indies have been living with this poison for more than ten years, and it is so harmful that it destroys all your household appliances. All those who discovered this mode of responsibility made empty promises, including Nicolas Hulot when he was part of the government. At this very moment, sargassum invades the Atlantic coasts of the West Indies in abundance.

Third, the water problem

Most dangerous in Guadeloupe, where delusional dealers are unable to guarantee water to families on a daily basis, this problem constitutes a real scandal that has been going on for thirty years. Of the total volume of water available, only 40% of the water is usable in homes. Various losses and interruptions in a dilapidated network caused the taps to run dry. An April 2020 report noted that “it is estimated that more than 5,000 leaks will be detected and repaired to ensure the reliability of the water towers before they begin to be removed.” In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, families have been suffering from power outages for several weeks.


Completion of delivery works at Séguineau in Lorrain in Martinique (April 01, 2022).

© Manuel Larrad

To these real problems, we must add that during the election period, anti-vaccinators developed very aggressive propaganda against Emmanuel Macron. Some did not hesitate to develop the worst conspiracy theories and praise Marine Le Pen’s watered-down programme, particularly on the topic of purchasing power and wage increases. They used social networks with efficiency that clearly reflects a violent hatred of candidate Macron, a distaste and exaggeration that could indicate what happened.

Vaccination / Vaccine / Covid

An elderly person receiving a coronavirus vaccine (illustration).

© Guy Etienne

All these elements show that there is a desperate appeal to the state, and thus recognition of its tragic subordination, and at the same time the refusal of a guardianship that is not afraid to show its anger. Pact with Satan. This turmoil takes on the appearance of false rebellion through the ballot box.

André Lucretia – April 26, 2022

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