04 June 2012

Securing the Youth Vote

It's election season here in Romania and all local government positions - mayors, councilman, all those other titles that you don't remember or never knew unless one of your friends' parents ran for office - are up for grabs.  In Sighişoara, this means war.  And by war I mean amateur ballroom dancing.
Up in the Citadel, at least two wedding parties were parading around town.  The bride and groom were celebrating their future.  Down below, one man was working hard to secure his own - Iulian Sirbu, Independent candidate for mayor.  Judging by the posters around town, in various states of defacement, he is both the youngest and least liked candidate.  What do you do to win people over and make yourself look old and wise?  Stage a children's talent show of course!
I followed the loud music down to a parking lot turned stage.  The crowd was notably young and two clowns plus one face painter were working their way through the audience.  The nearby ice cream stand was making a killing. Blue berets graced the heads of little children (freebies) and the volunteers (with 'I' buttons on it). 
A co-ed group of performers dressed in red polka dots and mouse accessories (ears, tails, whiskers, padded bellied on the boys) waited in the wings.  A musical trio plinked and plonked away on their keyboard, saxophone and flute.  You could tell who their parents were - the only ones not covering their ears.  Tough crowd, no wonder Iulian was working so hard to please them.
This child is carrying one of the many balloons that read "True Change."  As we were leaving, one of the parents who were attending the performance ripped a poster on their way home.  The poster was Iulian Sirbu's.  It feels heated here.  This is a place where getting the Hungarian vote may lose you the Romanian vote and vice versa.  And then there's the German vote.  Well, better go after the youth vote!
Election day is now less than a week away.  As a woman told me, "the person in office usually stays in office."  In Sighişoara, that means Ioan Dorin Dăneşan will probably prevail.  Iulian Sirbu and the Independent Party have a concert planned for this Wednesday.  Judging by the posters, it'll be playing to an older crowd.

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