Focuses on the Martinican votes for the French presidential elections of 2002, and compares it with earlier elections, especially the one of 1981. Author surveys in this light the societal and political transformations that occurred in and regarding Martinique between 1981 and 2002. He discusses French policy in this period, and explains that while both left-leaning and right-leaning parties wanted to keep the island's "département" status intact, Socialist governments since 1981 were more supportive of decentralization, and the cultural specificity and identity of Martinique, but later also right-leaning governments, indicative of mainstreaming of overseas French multicultural politics. Then, he discusses Martinican politics, and the importance therein of Martinique's status as département with its associated French welfare state benefits. Most Martinicans favor this status because of these benefits over independence, but political parties reflect different views on this integration within France, ranging from pro-independence, to autonomy. Author further discusses the differences of Martinican votes with general French trends in the 2002 presidential elections.
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