Alexandru Nicolaescu, Sorin Radu
Universitatea „Lucian Blaga“ din Sibiu, Facultatea de Istorie şi Patrimoniu “Lucian Blaga" University from Sibiu, Faculty for History and Patrimony
E-mail personal autor:
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2 / 2011
Electoral Caricature – Form of Electoral Discourse of the Peasant Party in the Parliamentary Elections from 1926. Study Case
Our study proposses an analysis of the way in which the Peasant Party, one of the most important political forces in Romania in the 1920s, used political caricature as a form of electoral discourse in the campaign for the legislativ elections in 1926. The study case was constructed on an analyses of the caricatures published in two important peasant newspapers that appeared in Bucharest: ,,Aurora” and ,,Ţărănismul”. In the absence of an analysis model in the special literature, we proceeded in a discription of the selected caricatures, following the semnifications, the political and electoral messages that were desired to be transmitted to the electorate.
The caricature is a representation, mainly in sketch, of a person or of a situation through the exaggeration of some features, especially the negative ones, with a satirical or a humoristic intention. This form of electoral discourse is very common in the party’s press and in the independent one from the inter-war years. In the 1920s the caricature was presented, especially in the peasant press and in the one declared independent, but which manifested a constant orientation for center-left, we refer here to ,,Adevărul” and ,,Dimineaţa”.
The authors advocate that the accessibility of this type of electoral propaganda within the electors was consistent, striking. Given that the electorate was predominantly rural (over 80%), with a low political culture, this form of speech was easier to understand. The overwhelming majority of caricatures have as purpose the compromising of the most powerful party – Peasant Party – and of its main supporter – The National Liberal Party. The caricature succeeded in transmitting to the peasant-electors, in an extremely simple manner, the anti-governmental political message of the peasants. With a special talent, the authors of the caricatures succeed to surprise the specificity of the election campaign in that period, mainly the weaknesses of the electoral system (the abuses, the illegalities, the lack of morality of the political actors, the non-compliance with the democratic principals etc.)
Keywords: electoral caricature; electoral discourse; the parliamentary elections from 1926; Peasant Party
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