[Série Images et chefs] T-shirts, caps, condoms and other political party propaganda items

The image counts enormously in politics, even more in our hypermediatized societies obsessed with the look. This series “Images and Leaders” examines how party leaders in the electoral campaign use their representations to seduce the electorate.

Tell me what you’re wearing, I’ll tell you who you are. Québec solidaire has its online store “well in its image: colorful, unifying and daring”, says self-promotion. Le petit bazaar offers clothing to “proudly carry the project of a united Quebec from head to toe”.

” Of the head ” ? No. There is no cap in the mini catalog of seven products on sale. Up to “the feet”, yes, since we come across a pair of “solidarity socks” at $20. They are white with the name of the party in orange and seem quite appropriate for the summer trend, socks + slides. The cotton swabs are made of an organic material and manufactured in Quebec “with an eco-responsible screen printing process using water-based inks in particular”.

The Liberal Party of Quebec reproduces only its distinctive large “L” with fleur-de-lys on its t-shirts and hooded sweatshirts. The Parti Québécois sells four gaminets, including two in homage to major leaders (René Lévesque and Jacques Parizeau), but also cups and flags. The Coalition avenir Québec is the most balanced in its sober shop which contains a book by François Legault, a lanyard for a convention card, a pin and a selection of retro buttons.

The Conservative Party of Quebec offers the most extensive offer, with caps, toques, an insulated mug, a pin, a car flag, stickers and even a dog collar. One of the must-have t-shirts displays the chef’s name on the back. Price, Ronaldo or Duhaime, all the same. The most expensive item of the lot (and of all parties), a sports jacket that could be worn by the adept leader of the cross fit, retails for $45. And that’s all. The parties in Quebec do not even dare to attack each other over their propaganda, as is customary elsewhere in the world. There would however be enough to make beautiful political t-shirts just with certain declarations on the third link of the candidates and CAQ ministers: “Let go of me with the GHGs” (Bernard Drainville); “If the CAQ does not do it, I will resign” (Éric Caire)…

And elsewhere in the world?

The frugality of the merchandise of Quebec political parties also contrasts with the eccentricity of certain foreign parties.

In Germany, the “Grüne Shop” for ecologists offers a recyclable sanitary mask with integrated sunflower seeds ready to be planted, soap, bags, organic honey and even a condom with the slogan “ Love sex, hate sexism “.

The Republican Party of the United States lengthens dozens of products, of which obviously many, many display slogans. The simplest simply says, “Don’t vote Democrat.” The t-shirt has served as a vehicle for political messages for decades in the United States.

Not Your Breakfast Taco refers to a supposed blunder by Democratic first lady Jill Biden, who said Latinos are as unique as Mexican lunches. ” Let’s go Brandon “, which takes up a coded message to roughly dismiss President Joe Biden, is also found on golf balls, Thermoses. An entire section of the Republican site is reserved for products marked with the slogan ” Proud to be an American “.

Ex-President Donald Trump recorded the slogan ” Make America Great Again » (MAGA). The cap MAGA, which retails for $24, was named Symbol of the Year 2016 by marketers at Stanford University. The 45e president pockets $8 per cap sold, according to an estimate by the washington post, and millions of copies have been sold. The Republican Party proposes variations circumventing copyright: “ Ultra MAGA “, for example, on a t-shirt and ” Make America Grill Again on a BBQ apron.

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