It's not unlikely that the average Roman gets most of his or her information about the political scene from, of all things, posters. These ephemera are everywhere in the eternal city, and unavoidable. Usually they're innocuous--along the lines of "I Love Rome" so vote for me, or "I was born in Rome, so vote for me." But in the just-concluded mayoral run-off election, won handily by the center-left candidate, Ignazio Marino, the center-right, in a last-minute attempt to get votes for the their flailing incumbent, Gianni Alemanno, issued two posters of questionable ethical content.
The one above reads "Zingaretti invita a votare Alemanno Sindaco"--Zingaretti invites you to vote for Alemano for mayor. Straightforward. Except that the poster seems to be suggesting that the well-known and widely respected governor of the province of Lazio (a sort of county executive), Nicola Zingaretti, is an Alemanno supporter. Not so. That Zingaretti is solidly center-left, a strong backer of Marino. So what gives? It seems the Zingaretti in the poster is--must be--Alessandro Zingaretti, a comparatively minor figure on the center-right and then a candidate for Rome's city council. The old Zingaretti switcheroo.
The second poster attacks the challenger by focusing on his career as a transplant surgeon. The ad contrasts Marino's supposed attitude toward animal vivisection--enriching the pharmaceutical companies, with Alemanno's humane view--he asks people to contribute to families (human families? animal families?) by adopting strays. The large letters say, "For Marino it's a guinea pig," "For Alemanno it's a life." At the bottom, the conclusion: those who love Rome--well, at least we're back to loving Rome--respect animals.
Marino took 64% of the vote.
For an earlier post on Marino's "Daje" campaign, see: