Thursday, April 7, 2011

Law and Order

I just can't seem to find a French person who will accept that the existence of a justice system is essential for a society to run smoothly. If pressed, they willl grudgingly agree that laws are neccessary, but they resent them. A lot. Take traffic regulations for example. In 2004 the government started a very aggressive campaign to crack down on drunk driving. Since then, accidents due to drunk drivers have been drastically reduced (a very good thing). But the French don't see it that way. They see speed cameras and drunk driving check points as an infringement on their liberties! While living in America, if I got a ticket for speeding I pretty much grumbled and swore but I simply paid up (what else can one do, right?) No so in France. If you get a traffic ticket for any reason you try and avoid the consequences of your actions at all costs. Standard procedure is to start calling all your friends and relatives to see if anyone knows someone at the prefet who can help you out because for a bottle of whisky your file will be lost. Really. This sort of thing disgusts me because I believe that everyone should be equal in the eyes of the law regardless of who you are, who you know or how much money you have.

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