Tuesday 18 October 2022

Danish General Election

Outside my house election posters hang in every lamppost. Driving to work posters also hang from many bridges and a selection of trees. A general election is approaching in Denmark. The posters are a well established tradition and the posters were also a well known sight around Nystrup in the 1950's when election time was due.

On a wooden pole carrying a lamp and electrical wires a poster highlights the virtues of the Conservatives: good conditions for businesses and making Denmark a magnet for trade. In the beginning of the 1950' many goods were still rationed or very scarce in the wake of the 2. World War.

Our general election in Denmark is held 1. November and you can see the cold facts of the election proces and results (naturally only after the last wote has been counted some hours after the polling stations have closed) on the website of the Danish Parliament. If you are not interested in Danish politics, just skip the link and keep reading about the election poster modelling and a little history. 

1950's election posters found online, printed out in appropriate size and glued to thin cardboard backing. Allow time to dry and cut out with a sharp scalpel.

Posters cut out and fitted with holes for mounting on lampposts and utility poles.

In the Nystrup Gravel universe and time frame voting and party membership was closely related to your profession and class. The persons on my layout consequently exhibits classic 1950's voting patterns. The owner and manager of the gravel company Director Holm voted Conservative as most larger business owners did. We already know that the workshop manager Thorleif Petersen was a member of the Danish Communist Party and voted accordingly. Some of the higher white collar employees (e.g. the company accountant also voted for the Conservatives as did the well dressed bank employee railway enthusiast visiting Nystrup Gravel now and then. A large majority of the company's blue collar workforce would most likely vote for the Social Democrats. The results of the 1953 general election that paved the way for a Social Democratic government can be found on wikipedia here.

The finished posters were mounted on a wooden pole made from a round wooden stick that I worked quite vigorously with a rough file to obtain a slightly tapering shape. I smoothed the surface somewhat with finer modelling files before I treated the pole with dark grey wood staining fluid and an assortment of thinned acrylic colours. The pole took no more than 10 minutes to make. The posters were fitted to the pole with painted copper wire even before the post had dried fully.

'Don't make dad loose his job' two worried children says on the poster from the Social Democratic Party. Also note that only dad is mentioned as a potential victim to unemployment. Most Danish women had no regular paid job in the early 1950's. The father usually being the only provider of family income.

The posters were a quick project, but one that clearly sets the time frame on my little layout. Like real election posters my model posters will not hang around Nystrup Gravel permanently but will only be fitted on special occasions.

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