About this blog
A blog dedicated to the examination of communications in election campaigns, with a focus on posters
Tagged as “Immigration”
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.
Monday, June 8, 2009
There are anti-immigrant parties in many European countries, including Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, and Switzerland (see previous blog entries from March 7, 2009 and December 14, 2008).
The elections to determine members of the European Union (EU) Parliament were just held in 27 nations, with the center-right European People's Party coalition emerging with the most seats.
One party that did particularly well was the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV). The PVV's platform calls for an end to immigration from non-European countries and opposes the admission of Turkey to the EU. In the 2006 elections for the Dutch House of Representatives, the PVV garnered only about 6% of the vote, but in this year's EU elections, it gained 17% (second only to the ruling Christian Democratic Alliance), giving the party its first four seats. In his "victory" speech, PVV leader, Geert Wilders stated: "The Netherlands is waking up from a long leftist nightmare. A nightmare of crazy high taxes, crime, lousy care, headscarves and burkas, of pauperizing, of mass immigration and Islamization...."
Other anti-immigrant parties also did well: the Italian Northern League won 10% of the vote (an increase from it's 8% in the 2008 general elections); the British National Party won its first two seats, with about 8% of the vote; Austria's Freedom Party won 13% of the vote (more than doubling its share); Hungary's Jobbik (For a Better Hungary) Party won 3 of 22 seats, with 15%—doing better than the Socialists; the Danish People's Party also won about 15%. British National Party Chairman Nick Griffin (who was elected to the EU Parliament over a Labourite) said: "We do say this country is full up. The key thing is to shut the door."
The biggest winners, according to the Financial Times of London, were the center-right parties, led by Angela Merkel of Germany, Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Donald Tusk of Poland, and Viktor Orban of Hungary, all of whose forces did much better than their Socialist (and other) opponents at the polls.
The EU Parliament is elected every five years. The body has power of legislation that affects environmental, consumer, and transportation matters, as well as joint control (with the countries' legislatures) over the $182 billion EU budget. The turnout in the elections, however, has also been going down, from a high of 62% in 1979 to 43% in this year's elections.
Other sources: Coming Vote on Assembly Elicits Shrugs in Europe/NY Times; Dutch Anti-Immigrant Party Emerges as Big Winner in EU Elections/TimesOnLine; Election Results Across Europe/BBC News; Results of the 2009 European Elections; View from the Right
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Last month, the Swiss electorate voted for a referendum allowing the free movement of workers in 27 European Union (EU) countries. Almost 60% favored the referendum.
The opposition to the referendum was led by the Swiss People's Party (SVP), the top vote-getting party in parliamentary elections in Switzerland, and producer of the infamous "black sheep" poster of 2007 (see previous blog entry).
This time around, the SVP disseminated a poster that showed several black crows pecking at a map of Switzerland. The crows probably symbolize Romania and Bulgaria (the newest, but poorer countries in the EU), which the SVP believes will flood wealthier Switzerland with workers, taking jobs away from Swiss citizens and increasing costs for
Sunday, December 14, 2008
The 2008 U.S. Republican Party Platform supported border security and English as the official national language, and opposed any amnesty for illegal immigrants. These stands—emphasized by most GOP presidential candidates during the primary campaign and continuing into the general election, particularly by state and local candidates, hurt many Republicans who ran: For example, in 2004, an estimated 39 percent of Latinos voted for George W. Bush; in 2008, only 31 percent voted for John McCain. But at least the U.S. does not have a party whose main purpose is to oppose immigration and immigrants. In other parts of the world, such parties abound.
In France, the increase in the number of immigrants and Arabs with French citizenship helped resurrect Jean-Marie Le Pen’s party, the Front National (FN), which had received little support since Le Pen helped found it in 1972. By 1988, however, Le Pen garnered 14 percent of the vote in the presidential election. The message of protecting white French citizens against the waves of immigrants was summed up on a Le Pen poster with the slogan “Defend our colors.” In 1995, he achieved 15 percent, with a blatant anti-immigrant campaign, marked by an FN poster that stated, “Three million unemployed, that is three million immigrants too many!” Another FN poster included a silhouette of an airplane in front of the setting sun, with the slogan “When we come in … They go out!” And in 2002, Le Pen (with his slogan of “France and the French First”) received almost 17 percent, getting him into a runoff against Jacques Chirac (who defeated him soundly 82 percent to 18 percent). But in the latest French presidential election, last year, Le Pen's share of the vote was down to 10 percent.
Unfortunately, anti-immigrant appeals have been evident in other countries, too. A poster distributed by the Danish People’s Party during the 2001 election showed a young blond girl with the statement, “When she retires, Denmark will be a majority-Muslim nation.” In the same campaign, Venstre (the Liberal Party) erected a billboard that showed three Asian men, who had been tried for group rape, leaving the court after having been acquitted, with the caption “this will not be tolerated once Venstre gets in.” In that election, Venstre won the most seats in the parliament (a gain of 34 percent) and the People’s Party came in third in seats (a 70-percent increase). The Swiss People’s Party (SVP) achieved even more than its Danish counterpart, winning the most votes in the parliamentary elections of 1999, 2003, and 2007, possibly helped by posters that depicted foreigners as criminals shredding the nation’s flag. In the last elections, the SVP achieved its best result (29 percent), despite (or because of) issuing a subsequently banned poster that depicted three white cartoon sheep kicking a black one off the Swiss flag, as well as the slogan “Creating security” (see the illustration to the right). Anti-immigrant poster campaigns by political parties have also been conducted recently in other European countries, including Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, and The Netherlands, as well as in New Zealand.