The Irish Times – Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Social media the key to election success for Dublin woman
RUADHÁN Mac CORMAIC in Paris
“SHEER JOY” is how Hélène Conway Mouret describes how she felt when the news came through, late on Sunday night, that she had just been elected to the French senate. “It’s so big, it still has to sink in,” she said.
Ms Conway, who works at Dublin Institute of Technology, was elected for the Socialist Party from a panel of voters representing the 2.5 million registered French citizens living overseas.
The 51-year-old has lived in Ireland for about 30 years, having first come to Dublin to learn English after finishing school.
Since 1997, she has been the elected representative of Ireland’s French community in an assembly of peers from around the world, and that body made up the panel of voters that has just sent her to the national parliament. “What started as a hobby has somehow turned into something bigger, but I’m not a politician,” she says.
When she walks through the doors of the Palais du Luxembourg in Paris, where France’s upper house sits once a week, it will be the culmination of an arduous 18-month campaign across a wide, global constituency.
“Skype!” she replies when asked to describe her campaign method. “You’re on the go all the time. You do your day’s work, then in the evening you start answering emails, taking part in debates, writing pieces for your blog and Facebook.”
Ms Conway describes her win as a cause for “double celebration”, as she will take her seat as part of the first left-wing majority in the senate since the current French Republic was founded in 1958.“It will be nice to be able to push one’s own ideas and maybe make a difference,” she says.
“I just felt I was ready to turn the experience I have on the ground into legislation that will benefit a bigger number of people. I say that with a lot of humility. I’m not going to change French society, but I feel I can bring little bits and pieces that will make people’s lives a little bit better.”
The Irish Times a publié un second article sur la victoire de la gauche: Shock for Sarkozy as left takes control of senate