Sex sells manifestos in Catalan elections

28 Nov

As the Catalans go to the ballots today after an election campaign dominated by sex and distasteful content, voters are left wondering why the parties went to such lengths to win their vote, and whether it will pay off.

With over 280,000 hits on You Tube, the Socialist Party’s video ‘Votar es un plaer‘ (Voting is a Pleasure), which shows a woman voter reaching orgasm at the ballot box, looks set to scoop the popularity prize. The ad was produced by the Young Socialists of Cataluña and aimed to interest young voters with quirky sexual content throughout.

The trend was set two weeks ago by the new Catalan Solidarity for Independence Party who recruited a porn star, Maria Lapiedra, to appear at their campaign rallies. Perhaps this is what’s to be expected from a party set up by Joan Laporta, the former chairman of Barcelona football club.

In a thoroughly misguided attempt to grab headlines and present their manifesto in the most interactive form possible, the conservative Partido Popular posted a videogame which saw its local leader Alicia Sánchez-Camacho bomb illegal immigrants and Catalan nationalists. An animated version of Sánchez-Camacho was shown flying through the air on a white seagull named Pepe, or PP and the viewer was asked to “help them rescue Cataluña from the recession”. Among the images she destroys are a queue of the unemployed and a zeppelin painted with the starred flag of the independence movement. Unfortunately this bizarre game proved popular and hours after it was posted, the Partido Popular’s website crashed under the traffic. The game was later withdrawn and the party claimed it was not intended to show an attack on immigrants but on people-traffickers who smuggle them into Spain. Oh, much better.

But the most risqué of them all was the ad produced by the rather bold independent candidate Montse Nebrera whose video is a self-professed porn film. Among moans and groans the viewer is presented with statistics about corruption and government waste. At the end Nebrera addresses the voter wearing nothing more than a towel.

What is it they put in their vino tinto that makes these Catalan politicians so happy to dumb down their political message with sexual and offensive content? Perhaps the candidates find themselves without a clear manifesto and use sex to detract from it. The Socialist Party’s video is completely void of a single political idea and simply tells the viewer that voting is a pleasure, whether it’s for them or not.

And not to sound like another female with her knickers in a twist, but it is disgusting how these ads, and Joan Laporta’s porn star alliance, objectify women. Furthermore, in the case of Montse Nebrera, it is a woman choosing to objectify and degrade herself. How can she possibly expect to win votes when she is essentially telling the public “I am a great shag, check out my underwear strewn across the floor and, if you want, take a look at some statistics”?

I just hope that these campaign tactics are not set to catch on in the UK. We complain that our elections are dominated by rhetoric and empty promises. Let’s hope the next stop isn’t blatant sexual innuendo. Because no-one wants to see Ed Miliband in the nude.

Video 1: Spain2show

Video 2: funshowtube

Video 3: funshowtube

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