Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Who you gonna call?

In a few weeks, Sweden will be voting for a new government.

One Swedish phenomenon around election time is the 'valstuga'. The 'valstuga' is a little rustic hut placed on squares, in parks, on road junctions, outside shopping centres and erected by one of the many political parties. In these little colourful huts you can find little representatives of the respective party that built the hut. Like in a fairy tale, you can go into the hut and talk to them and ask them questions about why they should get just your vote.

This brings the politicians closer to the people. It also brings the countryside, never very far away in the Swedish pyche, into the cities.

Another phenomena is the 'valaffisch', or election poster. As in many other countries, each party has campaign posters on which they promote their main message or their main personalities. In Sweden, these posters pop up overnight. Pasted on fences, walls, lamp posts, doors, walls, they paste the towns with election propaganda. Many posters don't stay where they have been attached. The wind, or ill-willed opponents, often tear the posters down and throw them into the streets. This year, the environmental message is dominant. A greener Sweden. A more 'climate smart' industry. Reduce emissions. 'We are your green voice'.

All I can think about it is the massive environmental impact of all this printed trash all over the city. Seems like a mixed message to me.

Who do you call to report the political parties for littering?

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