Friday, September 16, 2011

"I'm An Obama"

It reads "I'm an Obama."
I saw this political poster today and it caught my eye. I'm not sure what it's trying to say. It shows a man in black face mimicking President Obama. Is it ironic or just stupid? Nevertheless, it wins the "Most Bizarre" award this election season in Berlin.

The poster comes from "Die Partei." Die Partei is a satirical political party in Germany founded in 2004. Partei is an acronym for Partei für Arbeit, Rechtsstaat, Tierschutz, Elitenförderung und basisdemokratische Initiative (Party for Work, Rule-of Law, Protection of Animals, Advancement of Elites, and Grassroot-Democratic Initiative). At the same time, "Partei" is the German word for party. Usage of the article "die" is also evocative of totalitarian parties.

Die Partei refers to itself as the party for voters disappointed with the other political parties. Its goals include: a reduction in working hours; rebuilding the Berlin Wall; the abolition of public assistance; and, reform of the health insurance system. Die Partei's goals are clearly tongue-in-cheek; however, in recent elections, it garnered close to one percent of the vote. It's not expected to do that well in Berlin.

On a side note, the Pirate Party is getting nine percent of the vote according to a recent poll. If the Pirate Party does that well, it will be the first time it gets representation in government. In Germany, a political party needs 5 percent of the vote for seats in government.

In a newspaper article today, it was noted that the Pirate Party may be a victim of its own success. The party put only 15 candidates on its election list and if it wins 10 percent of the vote, it will get 16 seats. That means one seat will remain unfilled. In past elections, the Pirate Party got around three to four percent. According to the Pirate Party, it never expected its message of a "free and open" Internet to resonate with the voters to this extent. They should have asked me. The Internet has become such a critical part of living that any impediments placed on it will likely result in voter anger. 

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