This article tells of a tiff between Canada and France over a French election. France has divided the world into 11 electoral districts, one of which is North America. This district includes both Canada and the U.S., and there is a French citizen, Julien Balkany, living here in the U.S. who is campaigning in Canada for a seat in France’s national assembly. If he wins, he will represent all the French citizens living in North America (which is about 200,000 people). But Canada is complaining. (The article doesn’t say if we are complaining, also.) They insist that they want to uphold “Canadian sovereignty” and to reduce “foreign interference in Canadian domestic affairs.”
This seems pretty harmless to me. It seems that it would allow French citizens living abroad a voice in what is happening back home. How this works out to be foreign interference in Canadian domestic affairs is beyond me. Mr. Balkany presumably has the right to free speech, so he has the right to talk to other French citizens in Canada and to solicit their votes.
I could see where it might be a problem if these French citizens had immigrated to Canada and become Canadian citizens, because presumably Canadians would want them to devote themselves to Canada, but since Canada allows for dual citizenship, that means they have no good reason for demanding that they also give up their devotion to France.
On the other hand, a lot of these French citizens are presumably in North America for business or as students. Exactly why is it Canada’s business if they want to vote in a French election? Many of the people commenting thought it was some kind of assault on Canadian sovereignty. Then why allow them in to begin with?
I’m mystified. One of the commenters expressed my thoughts by saying that French citizens in Canada can go to a consulate if they have a complaint and that this election is a somewhat more direct way for them to speak to their government. That is all that it is.