In Denmark, nothing says EU elections like group sex and random beheadings

Screenshot from the Danish parliament's video 'Voteman,' designed to get the vote out for European Parliament elections on May 25, 2014.

And you thought the European Union was all pen-pushers, tedious trilingual debates and the occasional fruit-based controversy

How wrong you were. It turns out the EU decides way, way more important stuff, like how to deal with climate change and whether chemicals are allowed in toys and, er, how much cinnamon to sprinkle on a Brussels-approved bun.

And if those burning issues don't motivate you to vote in European Parliament elections on May 25, then goddammit some deranged Danish thug is going to come to your house, rough you up and sling you headfirst into the polling booth himself. 

This, in brief, is the strategy Denmark's parliament settled upon to encourage young Danes to vote in this month's EU election.

The civic message comes courtesy of an animated video commissioned by said parliament (watch below, but be warned, it's graphic). Titled 'Voteman,' it stars a burly EU obsessive who takes a break from his orgy (?) to strong-arm apathetic hipsters into casting their ballots, ripping the head off one who resists him. And then riding some dolphins. And then interrupting more gratuitous sex. It might not make you want to rush out and register, but it sure makes you wish you were at the meeting where this thing was pitched. 

Sure enough, the Danish parliament on Tuesday retracted the roundly criticized video, pulling it from its official Facebook and YouTube accounts. Parliamentary speaker Mogens Lykketoft, who had previously defended the video's shock tactics and urged critics to lighten up, acknowledged the offense it caused and admitted that parliament should probably be "more circumspect" about what it puts its name to in the future. 

It looks like the controversy won't end there, however. Danish MPs have vowed to ask the parliamentary committee on rules of procedure to examine how the video — which reportedly cost a cool 200,000 krone ($36,900) of taxpayer money — came to be approved. 

The irony in all this, of course, is that turnout for EU elections in Denmark has topped the Europe-wide average in each of the past three polls, and is consistently higher than in many other member states. They really needn't have tried so hard. Or with so much cartoon genitalia.

H/T: Global Voices.