This Sunday, France will hold the first round of its federal election. "And if you're thinking, 'Why should I care about that?' The truth is, it is way more important than you may realize," John Oliver said on the latest episode of Last Week Tonight. That's because the result of the election could dictate the fate of the European Union and, by extension, the political as well as economic landscape of the world.
"That's right: the fate of Europe rests in the hands of a country that looks at snails and says, 'I have got to get you in my mouth,'" Oliver quipped. "But it is not an exaggeration to say that - post-Brexit and with a wave of far-right populism sweeping Europe - the fate of the E.U. may hang on this election. Multiple candidates support a French Brexit. And the consequences of that would be steep." Because the loss of France could be the end of the E.U. according to European policymakers.
So to catch you up on the French election, Oliver put together a primer on a selection of presidential candidates - from the guy who believes that France needs to move beyond the outdated space policies of Larry Skywalker. (Yes, he actually got Luke's name wrong), to the candidate who allegedly took a bribe in the form of two suits that cost over 6,000 Euros each.
But the scariest candidate by far is arguably Marine Le Pen, a Trump-like populist who holds divisive views of ethnic minorities and immigrants. And in some ways she has outdone Trump's rancour toward outsiders. After all, The Donald never accused immigrants of stealing wallpaper from French homes like Le Pen has.
Oliver also exposes the strange French tradition of expressing disapproval of candidates by throwing fistfuls of flour at them. (Seriously.)