Chile: #LosQueSobran Campaign to Pull Youth to Polls

A group of Chilean NGOs has come together to encourage young Chileans to vote in the Municipal elections which will be held this Sunday, October 28, 2012.

The organisations involved – Ciudadano Inteligente, Un Techo para Chile, Educación 2020 [es], Chao Pescao [es], and Iguales [es] – are taking the action because for the first time in Chile, voter registration is automatic and voting is voluntary.

The campaign website [es] explains:

Hoy nos enfrentamos como país a la incertidumbre del nuevo sistema electoral, en el que votar es un acto voluntario. Es por eso que nos hemos asociado para en conjunto hacer un llamado a votar: a manifestarse en las urnas y a no sobrar.

Hay algunos que quieren que no votes. Nosotros te invitamos a votar para manifestar tu contento o descontento. Existen buenas y nuevas alternativas en las comunas, y si no te sientes identificado con ninguna, vota nulo, pero vota.

Today as a country we face the uncertainty of the new electoral system, in which voting is voluntary. That's why we have partnered to make a call to vote: to appear at the polls and to not be ‘the leftovers'/'the unneeded’.

There are some who want you not to vote. We invite you to vote to express your content or discontent. There are good and new alternatives in the communes, and if you don't feel identified with any of the options, cast a null vote, but vote.

'La franja de los que sobran'. Image shared by @TECHOChile via Twitpic

‘La franja de los que sobran’. Image shared by @TECHOChile via Twitpic

The campaign in Spanish is called La franja de los que sobran, which can be roughly translated into ‘the political ad/broadcast of the leftovers/the unneeded ones’.

Los que sobran’ is a phrase used in Chile to describe those who are not important to the powerful or the elite. The phrase comes from a very popular song by Los Prisioneros called El baile de los que sobran (The Dance of the Unneeded Ones). In the song, the ‘unneeded’ or the ‘leftovers’ represent young Chileans from lower and middle classes with limited possibilities to grow and develop.

The group has been releasing several humorous videos featuring well-known Chilean actors and comedians.

The video for the ‘political ad of the unneeded’ shows a fake politician, reelected for the eighth time, thanking the youth who did not vote. The video then shows the same candidate reacting if ‘the unneeded’ vote (you can see his reaction starting at 0:45). The video ends encouraging young Chileans to vote.

The jingle for this fictitious politician is set to the tune of the popular song ‘Gangnam Style’ by Korean singer Psy. This version is called ‘Sobram Style':

Netizens are sharing the videos and the campaign's main messages on Twitter using the hashtag #LosQueSobran.

Student leader Giorgio Jackson (@GiorgioJackson) [es] tweeted:

@GiorgioJackson: ¿Crees q te rebelas x no votar? Mira el adelanto d la franja d #LosQueSobran  / Muchos candidatos alegres c tu ausencia

@GiorgioJackson: Do you think you are being rebellious by not voting? Watch the preview for the political broadcast of #LosQueSobran [the unneeded]  / Many candidates are happy with your absence

The Twitter account for Educación 2020 (@Educación2020) [es], a citizen movement that seeks to improve the equity and quality of Chilean education, wrote:

@Educación2020#LosQueSobran no son los jóvenes, son algunos alcaldes que no han hecho nada por la Educación Pública 

@Educación2020#LosQueSobran [the unneeded] are not the youth, its some mayors who have done nothing for public education 

Sebastián Valenzuela (@sebavalenzuelam) [es] encourages youth to vote with this message:

@sebavalenzuelam: La marcha más legítima y valida en democracia, es a votar. No seas parte de #LosQueSobran y se protagonista del Chile que quieres.

@sebavalenzuelam: The most legitimate and valid march in democracy is voting. Don't be part of #LosQueSobran [the unneeded] and be a protagonist of the Chile you want.

You can see images on the campaign's Flickr account.

1 comment

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.