I came across this today and just had to share… read up on the Guardian article about the Danish ‘Voteman’. Also watch the video here!
It has all the diplomacy of a South Park episode. A cartoon beefcake called Voteman romps and punches his way through a video launched by the Danish parliament to encourage young people to vote in the European elections on 25 May.
But after a barrage of criticism over the cartoon’s grindhouse-style depictions of sex and violence, parliament withdrew the video from YouTube and Facebook a day after its launch.
In the video, Voteman finds himself in bed with a group of women before donning a leather waistcoat and jetting off on a pair of dolphin waterskis to assault non-voters all the way to the polling station, decapitating one while he eats breakfast.
Like most superheroes with an appetite for vengeance, Voteman’s rage is fuelled by his own failure – in this case, to vote in a previous European election and the subsequent realisation that he had no influence over climate regulations, agricultural subsidies or the amount of cinnamon in his Danish pastry.
Mogens Lykketoft, the speaker of the Danish parliament, or Folketinget, said: “Many people whose opinions I deeply respect have perceived the cartoon from the EU information centre as far more serious and offensive than it was intended, and believe it talks down to young people.
“I acknowledge that in the future Folketinget as an institution has to show more caution in terms of what we put our name to.”
The Folketinget initially defended Voteman as a humorous way to engage the young.
Anders Samuelsen, a Liberal Alliance party MP, told the news agency Ritzau: “I can’t understand that you would use violence against women, porn, severed heads and the handout of I don’t know how many slaps as an argument for people to go and vote.”
Danish turnout for the 2009 European parliament elections was close to 60%, a marked improvement on the EU average of 43%. However, the vote was held alongside a referendum on royal succession rules.
Judging by comments on the original YouTube clip of the cartoon, not everyone would have been convinced by Voteman’s rough tactics this time around anyway.
“If they think this video will make me vote for the parliament elections then they have to think again,” one commenter wrote. “I will believe in Voteman when I see him, and even then I very much doubt that he will make me vote.”