21 October, 2011

Angers city promotes (unintentionally?) the voter-consumer

Angers city started a campaign urging young inhabitants to get themselves put on the electoral roll. In order to increase Angers youth to the awareness of that issue, the townhall began a poster campaign all over the city. The next elections on France agenda will take place on april 22nd of 2012 and they will be the most important political event in France : the presidential elections.

But the pictures of these posters are ambiguous, so the message delivered is ambiguous too. The posters show a young woman hesitating between a pair of shoes and a young man choosing in a lot of ties. Both of them are pouting in front of the objects they are comparing. It seems the products do not  satisfy none of them. Probably unintentionaly, Angers townhall makes understand that a elector is just a consumer and the political plans are nothing more than a product.There is no difference between voting or buying something and an political plan is nothing more than ads. 

The Angers city website is much more classical and even conventional : "To vote is a right, it's also a civic duty", it says, making the people who don't vote feel guilty.  But in France, as in many other countries, if to vote is a right, it's possible, as for every right, not to exercise it. Moreover, if the vote were a duty, the refusal to vote could be fined but it's not the case so... And finally, to force people to vote may lead to destabilizing consequences (blank votes, spoiled votes...). So may the posters are only a Freudian slip : are the politicians ties sellers?

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