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John Oliver explains why painting things pink isn’t enough to attract women voters

Painting things pink is not always the answer.


Aaron Sankin


Posted on Feb 23, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 11:43 am CDT

Out-of-touch politicians, what’s a great way to prove to female voters that you care about their interests? 

One option is to drive around in a bright pink bus, because, if there’s one thing female voters respond to, it’s anything painted bright pink.

This campaign buffoonery is exactly what’s been tripping up the U.K.’s Labor Party of late, and Last Week Tonight host John Oliver, a former Brit who recently obtained American citizenship, was there to explain it all.

To be honest, the reason why the “pink van strategy” might not be the smartest idea is pretty self-evident, even for Americans so unfamiliar with the political system across the pond that they couldn’t tell a Tory from a lorry.

“It’s a bit insulting that you’re trying to appeal to adult women voters in the same way that Mattel attempts to appeal to eight-year olds,” Oliver explained. “The only way it could be more patronizing is if it’s wheels were giant Nuva rings and they refused to let women drive it.”

The bus is part of a Labor campaign, in the run-up to May’s parliamentary elections, to attract female voters by taking about issues important to women. Campaign coorindator Lucy Powell told the Guardian that the party wanted to “have a conversation about the kitchen table, and around the kitchen table [rather than having an] economy that just reaches the boardroom table.”

Yeah, Oliver caught that one too.

Screengrab via Last Week Tonight/YouTube

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*First Published: Feb 23, 2015, 6:50 am CST