Apr 26th, 2017, 03:46 PM

Ready to Rally

By Katie Angel
Donald Trump Rally, 2016 United States. Image Credit: Michael Vadon via Creative Commons
How the French candidates utilize their crowds to reach the Élysée Palace.

Lights and lines, cameras and crowds, action and activism. Rallies are an increasingly important weapon in a presidential candidate's arsenal. Political hopefuls engage the public by holding rallies, which have started to resemble an angry mob or a pop concert, depending on the candidate. Through social media, what happens at a rally permeates smartphone and laptop screens across the world. The United States 2016 presidential election was intense and shocking. Leading up to the unsuspected results, hundreds of rallies were held by both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. France is no exception.

Image Credit: Michael Casey via CreativeCommons

 On Monday, the 17th of April, Emmanuel Macron held a rally in the Bercy district of Paris at the AccorHotels Arena. One of Paris's largest venues, the stadium holds a capacity of 20,000 people. All spaces were filled as Macron supporters filed in. Long lines wrapped around the arena: both impatience and energy were palpable in the brisk air. Macron's campaign slogan, "En Marche!", was everywhere to be found. His face plastered onto signs, his slogan painted onto boards, passages on democracy printed onto shirts: Macron's base was energized and passionate.

Image Credit: Katie Angel

On 23 April 2017, Macron was announced as one of the two presidential candidates moving forward to the run-off election. Voters can expect to see Macron making appearances on news shows, visiting workers of important industries, and holding more rallies. Macron's campaign strategy seems to be targeting the youth base, in addition to educated French voters.

Image Credit: Official Leweb Photos via CreativeCommons

Next up, Marine Le Pen. She is best known for her harsh stances on immigration, anti-Muslim rhetoric, and pro-"Frexit" promises. Le Pen targets potential voters by promising to bring back French jobs and to crack down on terrorism. Unlike Macron, Le Pen's events are not held in Paris. Le Pen's voter base is not in Paris. She is most popular in more rural regions of France, appealing to citizens who are tired of the negative effects globalization has on them. Her events, following a similar thread, are held near her hometown in the countryside. 

Image Credit: Rémi Nyon/Flickr via CreativeCommons

Candidates have used rallies, quite literally, to rally their potential voters to get to the voting booths and cast their ballots. This upcoming week will be the most exciting week France has seen in arguably decades. Keep up to date with what's going on by keeping your eyes out and your ears open. French news is covered in-depth by news sources such as France 24. For more information on Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron, click here for future events. And for more information on Far-Right candidate Marine Le Pen, click here for her future events.

And if you are a French citizen—do not forget to vote!