About this blog
A blog dedicated to the examination of communications in election campaigns, with a focus on posters
Monday, March 15, 2010
Jean-Marie Le Pen's Front National (FN) Party of France has once again issued an anti-immigration poster, titled “No to Islamism,” which borrows greatly from a recent poster distributed by another right-wing European political organization, the Swiss People's Party.
The FN poster attacks "Islamism" and shows a map of France with the Algerian flag imprinted on it, along with seven minarets. The other side of the poster has a woman wearing a veil.
According to France 24, the poster was the key piece in the campaign waged by the FN in the PACA (Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur) region, in which regional elections took place yesterday, and the plan was to plaster it all over France. However, a French court banned the poster—a decision that was appealed and protested on the FN Paca Web site.
The poster might have had an impact, as the FN did best in the Paca region, garnering 21% of the vote there in the first round of the elections, although it gained about 12% nationally. The Socialist Party did best, gaining over 29% nationally, President Nicolas Sarkozy's Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) Party was next with 26%, and the Green party also was supported by 12% of the voters. The second round is this Sunday. (See Connexion for first-round results.)
The regional elections have candidates contesting seats in France’s 26 regional councils.
Support for Le Pen and the FN, due in large part to its anti-immigration stance, has increased since he founded the party in 1972, but he and the FN typically are supported by under 15% of French voters.
To read more about anti-immigrant propaganda in election campaigns, click here.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
James Blaine (Republican candidate for U.S. president in 1884) was shown covered with tattoos in cartoons that ran during the election campaign that year (even though he didn't have any tattoos, according to Skin&Ink magazine, supplied by Joe Philips).
Bernhard Gillam attacked Blaine in a series of cartoons that were published in Puck, a weekly magazine. Each tattoo represented a scandal in which Blaine was allegedly involved. These cartoons might well have been the difference in a very close contest between Blaine and the Democratic candidate, Grover Cleveland, who won despite exposure, during the campaign, of his premarital affair that had resulted in the birth of a child, and paying a substitute to serve in his place when conscripted for military service in the Civil War.
The election results: Cleveland 48.85%; Blaine 48.28%; John St. John (Prohibition Party) 1.5%; Benjamin Butler (Greenback Party) 1.33%. The difference in New York State, in which these cartoons were widely disseminated, was only one-tenth of 1%, or about 1,100 votes out of over one million cast, according to the excellent Atlas of U.S Presidential Elections (which also supplied the national percentages).
Which politicians actually did have tattoos? Apparently, Barry Goldwater had a crescent-shaped, snake-bite pattern tattoo on his wrist, and Sarah Palin may have a Big Dipper on her ankle and a lipstick liner tattooed on her, as well, according to Celebrity Tattos.