The eight stupidest election posters

23 May

by John Riceburg and Konrad Werner

Two more days until the European elections. Let’s be honest, though: no one really cares about the results. But another, more exciting contest has already been decided: the stupidest election posters! The parties put their least competent politicians on the European lists – and they also seem to use the slogans that got rejected for more important elections. John Riceburg and Konrad Werner survey the worst of the worst in our slideshow above.


SPD: Wohnraum statt Stillstand (Housing instead of stagnation)

Let’s do a little thought experiment here. I’m going to give you three terms and you tell me what pops into your head: airport, stagnation, SPD. What did you think of? Inevitably the BER airport – which according to latest projections should open in 2123 just in time for the Starship Enterprise to land there. But no, the SPD isn’t referring to the one empty hole of an airport they’ve given us. They want to turn another airport – which is currently Berlin’s favourite park – into a construction site for luxury apartments. We’ve written about the lies being spread by the Senat regarding Tempelhof, but this poster seems almost honest by comparison. They’ve made claims about “affordable housing”, but that means 18 percent rather expensive housing and 82 percent extremely expensive housing. Now, they’re talking about just “housing” – and they do actually intend to build 5000 apartments, even though you and your friends would never be able to afford them.


Pirates: Zwischen Mut und Angst liegt nur ein Herzschlag (There’s only a heartbeat between courage and fear!)

Man, I was just about to set up my Agency for Vapid Election Slogans. The idea was simple: a party gives me €50,000 or so, and I’ll provide them with a string of those meaningless buzzwords that German voters seem to love. I’ll even throw in a stock photo of a guy in a suit with a friendly but determined look. The trick is to cram everything into one slogan. For example: “It takes courage to be close to people and display leadership in order to strengthen democracy!” (That’s copyrighted, by the way!) But now the Pirates, Germany’s own online activist party, seem to have cornered the Vapid Election Slogan market. A European Union flag in a heart shape? Courage? Fear? Less than three years ago, the Pirates came up with the legendary poster: “Why am I even hanging here? You won’t vote anyway.” If any more proof was needed that they had run out of steam, this is it.


AfD: Die Schweiz ist für Volksentscheide. Wir auch! (Switzerland is for referendums. We are too!)

How often do they have to tell us? The Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) is not a racist, extreme right party! AfD leader Bernd “I’m not a Nazi” Lücke assures us his party is just conservative and “Euro-skeptisch”. This poster tells us they are for referendums. Would that be a reference to the recent referendum in Switzerland in favor of deporting “criminal foreigners”? Who knows? But the Nazi party NPD has a similar poster lauding “The example of Switzerland: Stop mass immigration! Referendum now!” That’s not the only coincidence: An AfD poster says: “We aren’t the world’s unemployment office!” The NPD, in contrast, says: “We aren’t the unemployment office of the world!” Totally different! See if you can spot the differences between these AfD and NPD posters. Or try this quiz.


Greens: I have a dream. I’m a refugee. I’m Europe.

We’ve reported how the Greens in Kreuzberg sent the police to evict the refugee protest camp – again and again. But for people who don’t follow the news, the Greens are presenting themselves as a pro-refugee party. As part of a series of English-language posters, this young woman presents herself as a “refugee” – a refugee with tussled hair, perfect makeup and stylish piercings. Now I think I understand the problem: The refugees at O-Platz who the Greens had violently evicted were mostly men from Africa. But the Greens totally support refugees if they are young, white models. Come to think of it, we might even convince the CDU and the AfD to support the right to asylum if we just make sure the refugees are gorgeous enough. We asked the Greens several times if the woman on the poster is, in fact, a refugee. We’re still waiting for a response.


DKP: Hände weg von der Ukraine! (“Hands off the Ukraine!”)

It’s the Great Game all over again: all the major powers are currently intervening in the Ukraine in their own interest. The most annoying part is that everyone, from Obama to Putin to Steinmeier, claims to be acting in the interest of democracy, human rights and the constitution. So it’s nice the German Communist Party has a simple slogan: “Hands off the Ukraine!” But wait. Why are there only US and EU hands? Doesn’t Russia have any “hand” in the conflict? Now the DKP is a fairly old party, but surely the comrades have noticed that the Soviet Union dissolved a while ago, right? Or do they still think Comrade General Secretary Putin is fighting for peace and democracy like back in the good old days? And why have the Eastern provinces of the Ukraine already been cut off the map, apparently reabsorbed into Soviet Russia? Even weirder: Why is the Crimean Peninsula still part of the Ukraine?


(The three by Konrad Werner are available at the Exberliner website.)

Fotos: John Riceburg


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