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A blog dedicated to the examination of communications in election campaigns, with a focus on posters
Friday, December 4, 2009
The Ukrainian Republic will hold its presidential election on January 17, 2010. A candidate must receive at least 50% in the first round of voting, or a runoff election is held in February between the top two vote-getters.
According to World Audit, Ukraine is a "qualified democracy," with some concerns expressed about "freedom of the press" and "corruption," although "civil liberties" is rated quite good.
The presidential election of 2004 was considered to be rigged by most observers, and the Orange Revolution resulted in the opposition—led by Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko—gaining power for two years, and Tymoshenko of the "Fatherland" Party became prime minister after the September 2007 elections.
Eighteen candidates are running for president, including [Poll results in brackets]:
- Viktor Yanukovych, leader of the pro-Russian Regions Party and a former prime minister [32%]
- Yulia Tymoshenko, the present prime minister and pro-Ukrainian language [16%]. The posters in the photo state, "Yulia will win."
- Arseniy Yatseniuk, leader of the center Front for Change Party and former foreign minister [6%].
Billboards are an important medium of political propaganda in the Ukraine, with slogans encapsulating each candidate's campaign, according to Irena Chalupa of Radio Free Europe. Slogans for Tymoshenko include "They strike -- she works," "They block -- she works," "They ruin -- she works," and "She works, she will win, she is Ukraine." "They" meant the Ukrainian Parliament. Her hair is usually braided in Ukrainian style. Another candidate, Inna Bohoslovska, however, has billboard's that make fun of Tymoshenko's slogans, with two sloganing: "I will win, so she can stop working," and "I will win, so she can have a rest."
Billboards for Yanukovych aver "Your opinion has been heard. The problem has been solved" and "Ukraine for the people" (similar to the Soviet slogan "Everything for the people").
Yatsenyuk's billboards are similar to Shepard Fairey's for Barack Obama in their Photoshoped simplification and stylization (see photo to the right).
There are also lots of TV spots and parties even distributed surgical masks to voters worried about H1N1 flu!
Interestingly, there are several American political consulting firms and individual consultants advising the candidates, including Mark Penn's group (Penn advised Hillary Clinton in 2008), Paul Manafort (for John McCain last year), Tad Devine (for Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004), and AKPD, John Anzalone, and Joel Benenson (for Barack Obama in 2008). Penn's firm is working for Viktor Yushchenko (who is running far behind in the polls); Manafort and Devine are consulting for Yanukovych; AKPD and Anzalone are working for Tymoshenko; Benenson helped Yatseniuk.
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