Election shirts – or, lack thereof
August 18, 2010 2 Comments
I started thinking about the election, and how u.s. shirt sites were flooded with election shirts in the lead-up to their last election. Donkeys and elephants, the gazillions of variations of the Obama shirts (“yes we can”, “hope”, the now famous red and blue portrait and so on into eternity), and I started wondering “are there no Swedish shirts inspired by the election”. I sure haven’t seen any so far.
So I cranked up Google and went to work. And the results are sad my friends, sad. Basically, if you want to wear something that will show people where you stand, what you’ll vote for or just something that provokes discussion – you’ll have to make it yourself, because the parties are apparently not interested in providing it for you.
Ok, so there are a few parties and a few youth organizations that actually sell shirts. Socialdemokraterna sell some stuff online but it’s all extremely discrete and disgustingly ugly – typical run of the mill conference giveaway crap. Who the hell would buy this? “I’m a supporter”. Ok? We’re not exactly setting the world on fire here, are we?
On the other hand, when you look at the alternative… The womens organization of the Social democrats have printed their own shirt and… I think I’ll let the result speak for itself. No, I changed my mind, I won’t. What. The. Hell? Who designed this monstrosity? The same person that makes shirts with dogs heads and unicorns to sell at carnivals? Some blind person? Someone who was in one hell of a hurry?
Anyway, it’s sad. This is the biggest party in Sweden. They desperately want to get back in power and they still don’t do better than this? Maybe it’s me who is wrong – maybe us swedes just don’t want to wear political shirts? In Sweden, you don’t tell people how much money you make and you don’t tell them what party you vote for, taboo! My guess is that this comes down to the fact that most people don’t have a very solid foundation for how they vote. My grandma used to vote for Folkpartiet because Bengt Westerberg was cute, and I’m not totally convinced others are any better. Wearing a political shirt would force people to take a stand and be prepared to defend their standpoint – maybe there’s no market for them? It just seems like such a depressing contrast to the u.s. where people put up signs outside their houses, proudly announcing who they’ll vote for. Not that it’s done the u.s. politics a world of good, but still.
Miljöpartiet is another one of the few parties that actually sell anything online – no shirts though. They have badges saying “Public transport – yes please”. Ok. That’s controversial. Thought provoking. Not.
I was sure Sverigedemokraterna would have shirts. I mean, racists are usually good at propaganda, right? But I guess maybe in their aim to be accepted as a ‘real’ party, they’ve let that part go, become as boring as the others in order to blend in.
Sadly, the best political shirt I managed to find is sold in the web shop belonging to Alliansen, the Swedish take on the axis of evil. And, it’s not like they’re making great shirts, it’s just that there is no real competition. Then again – the bad guys always look the coolest (think nazis) don’t they, so I guess everything is as it should. The logo still looks ridiculously stolen from Animal Planet, but hey… maybe it’s cheaper that way – gotta save money when you lower the taxes, remember?
And then, finally, there are a couple of youth organizations that sell shirts and while KDU’s merch is actually made at Spreadshirts, the sub standard designs make you think of CaféPress. MUF also have shirts, but they just seem confused to me. And their web shop must be the most irritating solution I’ve ever come across.
You’d think regular people would print their own shirts, but the only one I managed to find is this one, which seems to be from the last election, making the “I want a new goverment” shirts work all backwards, which is funny.
So what the hell is the problem? All parties seem to be tying themselves into knots, coming up with new “fresh” ideas – making iPhone apps, Facebook apps and let’s not forget the must-have campaign songs (yuck! If you’re Swedish and haven’t seen the MUF song, prepare for the worst and watch this). I thought every politician in this country had spent at least a couple of weeks in the states, learing about the Obama campaign. They’re knocking on doors now, riding the social media but still no shirts.
Maybe they HAVE shirts but only give it to people that work for them. That would be stupid, wouldn’t it? Isn’t it all about spreading the word?
Ok, if you’re still with me (sorry, another endless rant), I would love to be proven wrong. If you know of good, political Swedish shirts – link to them in the comments. I have a feeling nobody will, there just aren’t any, are there?