Sex, Violence, and Cinnamon Regulations: The Brief Life of Voteman


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Kids don't vote much and politicians don't like that. In an effort to persuade youngsters that voting is cool and getting your head ripped off by a roaring shirtless man is not, the Parliament of Denmark yesterday launched the most memorable youth vote campaign in memory. Unfortunately, their sex-and-violence fueled cartoon was pulled in under 24 hours.

The animation shows Voteman, a leather-clad hulk, participating in an orgy at the moment that duty calls. He tosses off three women fellating him and two others moaning, presumably just from being in his presence. Voteman penetrates the blowholes of two BDSM dolphins with his feet, rides to the European Union, and punches people into the ballot box for the European Parliament election on May 25.

The one-minute adrenaline rush crams in a back-story:

As a young man, Voteman forgot to vote at a European Parliament election. That taught him a painful lesson. No influence on climate regulation, agricultural subsidies, chemicals in toys, and the amount of cinnamon allowed in his cinnamon buns. Horrified by this, he decided he would dedicate his life to making everybody vote.

"We are trying to inspire the very young to go out and vote. It is important we get a higher turnout, especially among the young. You have to use all sorts of methods," said Morgen Lykketoft, speaker of the Danish Parliament. "I think [Voteman is] rather innocent. You can find much worse."

According to Financial Times, "a social media storm that had derided the sexist and violent nature of the video" caused the parliament to remove the video from its Youtube account and Lykketoft to backpedal on his endorsement.

The Voteman campaign is deliberately over-the-top, so it's not worth critiquing all aspects of its cheekiness, though the message at its core is troublesome. The video is aware of the ridiculousness of voting on and regulating everything. Yet, it embraces the notion that all things, down to dessert toppings, are within in the scope of government fiddling and that the only legitimate form of expression is one that validates the existence of this political authority to keep regulating.

Despite the European Parliament nearly tripling the number of member states since 1979, voter turnout has steadily dropped from over 60 percent to 43 percent. Lykketoft and others lament the political apathy of European youths, but is disillusionment with a system that treats them like children and barely represents them really a bad thing?

Here's what you've been waiting for. It's probably not safe for work: