Iraq Votes 2104: ‘Standing On The Titanic’ – Candidates’ Posters Become Butt of Jokes
Election campaign posters are telling cynical Iraqi voters nothing – there is barely any information on political aims or manifestos. So ordinary Iraqis are getting their own back with ridicule, sarcasm and some judicious photo shopping.
Election campaigning started in Iraq last week with literally thousands of would-be politicians trying to win around 22 million voters’ hearts and minds by election day, April 30. And the cities and towns of Iraq are now filled with campaign posters and placards, the streets are full of candidates shaking hands, kissing babies and distributing alms to the poor.
But all of this is also having an unintended effect in many quarters of Iraqi society. Outdated slogans, empty rhetoric and unnecessarily dramatic or heroic poses on placards have become fuel for ordinary Iraqis’ cynicism about the political process and fodder for jokes and mash ups. None of the information available really offers anything useful or allows voters to read a manifesto that would help them decide who to vote for and why.
A poster for Ahmad Jassim, who apparently represents the interests of the poor and unemployed, was ridiculed because the candidate was posed “like Rose, in the movie Titanic”. Some Facebook wits altered the picture to make it look as though the candidate was facing Leonardo DiCaprio.
“Candidates think that the way they stand or the way they move their hands and gesture when they talk will distinguish them,” says one 60-year-old Baghdad local who wished only to be known as Saif, a regular at cafes in Baghdad’s Hurriya neighbourhood. “Many of them distribute cards and prepaid mobile phone credit. But they don’t realize all this makes them look like a joke.”
Slogans on various posters have also been the butt of jokes.