While the presidential election continues to dominate the news cycle and the republican and democratic conventions are coming up I know many people are already tired of the race. So I thought I would give you all a break by sharing one of my favorite parts of Malagasy politics: the clothing.
Since most people in Madagascar don’t have a TV or even electricity and material used in yard signs would be scrapped for parts in about two days the politicians need another way to get their name out there. They do this through clothing. Everyday I see multiple people a day wearing shirts from various political campaigns. The shirts almost always have a large picture of the candidate’s face with a few words about who they are and what they are running for. Political clothing is practical as it’s something people actually use and it allows the candidate to get his face out there in villages that can be difficult to travel to. I say his because I have yet to see a shirt with a woman’s face, but it’s possible they exist.
In my town the less common, but in my opinion more entertaining, is the political lamba. A lamba is a piece of cloth wrapped around the waist and is worn by most women and some men in my town. Below is pictured my favorite political lamba featuring the candidate’s face surrounded by peace signs. The current president’s lamba is a purple blue with his face and a few words. I think that they put Trump’s hats to shame.
“it’s not my place to decide who our nominee will be. That decision is yours and yours awe all live lives of imperfection and yet we cling to this fantasy that’s there’s a perfect life and that our leaders should embody it. If we expect our leader to live on some higher moral plane than the rest of us then we are just asking to be deceived…. It’s been suggested to me that party unity is more important that your democratic right as delegates. That’s right it’s not and you have a decision to make. Don’t vote for us because you think we’re perfect. Don’t vote for us because of what we might be able to do for you only. Vote for the person who shares your ideals. your hopes your dreams. Vote for the person who most embodies what you believe we need to keep our nation strong and free.” -The West Wing
“Think that the government isn’t about you? How many of you have student loans to pay? How many of you have credit card debit? How many of you want clean air and clear water and civil liberties? How many want jobs? How many want kids? How many want those kids to go to good schools and walk on safe streets? Decisions are made by those you show up!”- The West Wing
Remember that the presidential campaign isn’t the only one occurring in November and your ideal candidate might be found in a state or local election.