Political parties have chosen slogans built around the term of “Romania”, which indicates to the analysts either the return of the patriotism as a campaign theme, or a call to the voters who are Romanian citizens to go to polls in as large as possible number, or simply a lack of imagination. Agerpres has consulted several analysts in the matter of the campaign messages of the parties.
Sociologist Barbu Mateescu thinks that the slogans with which the parties have entered the competition for the Parliament, “taken together, are monotonous”, while analyst Alfred Bulai appreciates that “the slogans designed by smart children of the 8th grade could be comparable or even better than the slogans of some of the parties”.
“Romania is not only a key word, but a key campaign theme for these elections. There is a nationalist trend which begins to rise up in our country too, using the ‘patriotism’ and the national values, maybe more than needed. I’m not sure that the reality is as worrying as it is portrayed by the great patriots of the country. ‘Romania’, as a campaign theme, is folded by each political formation, depends on whom it is addressed. For each party, Romania means a different thing: leadership, protection, intelligence, etc.” stated analyst Radu Magdin for AGERPRES.
In the circumstances in which Donald Trump has recently won the presidency of the United States of America with the formula “Make America Great Again”, the political analyst Cristian Pirvulescu believes that this slogan doesn’t have a “correspondent” in the electoral campaign for the parliamentary elections in Romania.
“Even before the American elections of November 8, the nationalist trend was already present. In 2012 there were already the same obsessive anti-European frustrations which, in time, became more and more illiberal. Since slogans are most of the times decided following the consultation of a public selected and interviewed in focus groups, the obsessions of the interviewers and of the electoral consultants, most of the time similar, turn the ambient nationalism a campaign theme. But do the slogans have such an important role anymore? However, ‘Make America Great Again’ doesn’t have a correspondent in the Romanian campaign of this year”, Cristian Pirvulescu stated.
“All of us, citizens, would like to have somebody to rely on, including in the matter of writing slogans”, said Radu Magdin.
The low interest of the parties in designing slogans was noted also by the sociologist Marius Pieleanu, who appreciates that “they are made on a corner table, hastily, in order for the parties to have something to suggest to the public”.
“Romania is a key word because they have no imagination. Slogans are not the result of some focus groups and of consistent analyses in terms of quantity. They are made on a corner table, hastily, in order for the parties to have something to suggest to the public, but without quantifying and analyzing very seriously the profound effects. We have the feeling that all of them are the same”, stated Marius Pieleanu for Agerpres.
Analyst Alfred Bulai thinks that a good slogan should have a certain musicality allowing it to be implemented into the voter’s mind as a “force idea” of what a specific political party suggests to him in the campaign. The slogan should also be a motto that provides identity to the political formation.
“A slogan should be good only for one party. Consider that you can do castling between slogans and it doesn’t bother you because they don’t have any identity. They are generic: let there be good and that’s all. They don’t suggest anything. First of all, they are not memorable. You can’t remember them because you have no reason to. A slogan’s problem is that it has to have a certain musicality, so that it can be easily remembered and consonant to the message you wish to communicate, namely to those few force ideas of your program as a party. You should really be able to use slogans, they should be mottos available in time. These formulas in which you say some words that sound well, which are besides more than general, such as we give Romania back to Romanians, Romania ahead, let there be good, don’t work. Let’s be honest now – no party wants bad things for Romania. What identity do you have with such slogans?” detailed Alfred Bulai for AGERPRES.
The analyst believes that the explanation for the poor quality of the slogans provided by the parties to the public in the parliamentary elections of December “is simple somehow”: “These parties don’t know what they want, because when you know what you want and there are some topics you have, the slogan is consonant to what you propose”.
Bulai claims that the only good slogan of the whole campaign is the one of UDMR, while for the sociologist Barbu Mateescu, the slogan of the Hungarian formation is “atypical due to its specific nature”, and Marius Pieleanu thinks that it is only “boring and redundant”.
Analyst Bogdan Ficeac sees in the slogan of the Union – “Transylvania, the future for all of us” – a reference to “the famous request for territorial autonomy, being suggested that UDMR fights for Transylvania”.
“It refers to Transylvania’s autonomy. It’s a very, very pertinent message, from the UDMR’s standpoint. It’s the only message strictly saying something about what they want to propose in this campaign. The only pertinent slogan, pertinent, I repeat, because it’s consonant exactly to the program they wish to launch. They have the world Transylvania, it’s a stake for them. It’s very ok from the UDMR’s standpoint. The rest of the slogans are phrases” stated Alfred Bulai.
For Marius Pieleanu, the slogans chosen by Social Democrats and Liberals – “Dare to believe in Romania”, respectively “Romania ahead” – “don’t trigger any feeling”.
“PSD slogan doesn’t indicate a firm stand”
Bogdan Ficeac appreciates that PSD launches itself into the campaign with a slogan that is “living, but somehow fearful”, while PNL slogan doesn’t seem to him “a very good choice”.
“PSD slogan doesn’t indicate a firm stand. Dare – means that we suggest an insecurity feeling. But it’s a slogan using, as most of the others, the name of Romania because it refers to the national identity and to the most of our fellow citizens having a Romanian citizenship, calling them to vote for that party. PNL slogan is simple, but I don’t know how penetrant it is. Perhaps ‘The right way’ or other similar things with a certain significance, were more interesting. I don’t know how much ‘Romania ahead’ can help in the electoral campaign. It doesn’t seem to me a very good choice” stated Bogdan Ficeac for AGERPRES.
“PNL slogan doesn’t say anything”
Alfred Bulai says that PSD slogan “is not an innovation”, while PNL slogan makes him think about other days. “PSD slogan is a bad one, I mean it doesn’t say anything. I mean it doesn’t say anything, and not that it could do any harm to them. As for PNL, you know that communist joke: “Straight ahead, comrades! It was better before’. It’s a slogan that doesn’t say anything. It’s a zero. We go ahead anyway, this is life. A cheap truism” commented Bulai.
“USR slogan doesn’t electrify, it doesn’t say anything”
Referring to the USR slogan – “Finally, there is somebody you can rely on” – he says that, although it doesn’t ‘electrify’ the electoral pool, somehow it’s “better than the ones of PSD and PNL”.
“It doesn’t electrify, it doesn’t say anything, but somehow it’s better than the ones of PSD and PNL. At least they tell us: we don’t have any ability, but we’re different than those guys. They are trying to suggest that they have a specific thing, namely they are different than the others because they are new. Later we’ll see that they are like the others. This is probably the only thing you could note from the USR slogan” says the analyst Alfred Bulai.
Marius Pieleanu suggests that the USR slogan could have an impact in the electoral campaign only in the extent in which the election of the Republican Donald Trump as the U.S. President will be seen as a signal of direction by Romanians.
“The contamination of the Donald Trump’s election is very important, I mean if the informed Romanian people will see that America, the most powerful state in the world, has chosen an anti-system person and that the future of the Romanian politics consists in new people, having no connection to the parties, then the USR slogan will make sense. Otherwise, it will not” stated Pieleanu.
About USR slogan, Bogdan Ficeac says that it reminds him “of a famous saying”: “When you have somebody to rely on, you don’t have something to rely on; when you have both, you don’t have the right place and so on. It’s questionable”, he claims.
“ALDE slogan is poor because it doesn’t say much”
On the other hand, according to Pieleanu, ALDE entered the electoral competition with a slogan denoting “a useless nationalism”, while Ficeac appreciates that the slogan “We give Romania back to Romanians” is only repeating other similar slogans.
“It’s a slogan that reiterates other slogans such as ‘Let’s take our country back’, ‘Let’s give the country back to Romanians’. It’s almost the same thing, and I think PM Ciolos said it better when he was calling for the renunciation of issues like ‘let’s take our country back’, saying that we’d better see what we can do for this country”, stated Bogdan Ficeac.
Alfred Bulai appreciates that ALDE doesn’t have “nationalist vectors” in its structure. “It’s a poor slogan because it doesn’t say much. ‘We give Romania back to Romanians’ is an issue that doesn’t say something, basic elements. The idea of giving Romania back t Romanians when you don’t even have nationalist vectors in your party or in the recent history of the party doesn’t make an extraordinary sense”, added the analyst.
“PMP slogan is empty of content”
The slogan “PMP fights for Romania” belonging to the party led by the former President Traian Basescu makes Alfred Bulai to ask if the other political actors “are fighting for China”.
“For whom to fight PMP? For Mr. Basescu? It fights for Romania. Now, we don’t know what exactly means Mr. Basescu’s Romania, but this is an issue for him to clarify”, stated in his turn Bogdan Ficeac.
But for Marius Pieleanu, the slogan chosen by PMP is only “empty of content”.
“PRU slogan is not a big deal”
Bulai sees a truism in the United Romania Party’s slogan, “We are Romanians”, although it comes from a an “expression that has a cultural career”
“It’s a better slogan than the others, because they really had and show a nationalist policy. But the slogan remains a truism; are the others Chinese, or what? All of them are Romanians who candidate, excepting the Hungarians. I mean it’s not a big deal, only that their slogan is more consonant”, says Bulai.
Marius Pieleanu wonders what could be the sequel to the statement in the PRU slogan: “We are Romanians, so what? What’s the big deal if we’re Romanians? We don’t want holocaust anymore… I cannot be otherwise than malicious with this thing”.
“Yes, we are also Romanians. It’s a good thing that as much Romanians as possible will go to polls. It’s a slogan in the nationalist trend, but a slogan found hastily. It doesn’t prove a special imagination” says Bogdan Ficeac.
“PRM slogan is a nonsense”
For the sociologist Barbu Mateescu, the slogan “Be smart, vote for Romania” belonging to PRM becomes notable by the desire to address to some potential new supporters.
“The slogans, taken together, are monotonous. Only the USR and PRM slogans stand out, the latter due to the fact that it uses an English word to address other public than the PRM traditional public” appreciates Mateescu.
Alfred Bulai states about PRM that it’s a “pseudo-party” which has currently nothing to say in politics, while Marius Pieleanu limits to say: “You were someone in the past”.
“’Be smart’ is a really cool thing for the PRM voters. It’s a nonsense. It’s a pseudo-party, because actually, after Vadim’s death, it isn’t a party anymore. It’s a disbanded party. It doesn’t matter anymore what they say” stated Bulai.
Ficeac is inspired by the PRM slogan and compares the party currently led by the Interim President Adrian Popescu to the “Smart” vehicle.
“I thought they refer to the Smart vehicle, since the party is smaller but lively. This party is like a Smart. This slogan is remarkable with an English word, behold, which probably addresses to the large majority of the English speakers in PRM” explained Ficeac.
“PER slogan is a joke”
As for the slogan of the Romanian Ecologist Party – “We protect Romania” -, Alfred Bulai says that it’s “a joke”, while Marius Pieleanu states that “they would better protect forests”.
“It’s a nonsense, it’s a tasteless word. If you are ecologist, you can say: life on the first place, I’ve no idea, something more appropriate” added Bulai.
On the other hand, Bogdan Ficeac appreciates that the PER slogan is a slogan “in the trend of the ecologist message”, but that doesn’t denote “too much imagination”. “It’s a slogan without too much imagination, and I don’t know how much influence it can have”, stated the analyst.