Saturday 25 May 2019

Unsightly election posters should be banned

Deborah Coleman - Straight Talking

Another election, another ridiculous waste of money on campaign posters.

Every time an election comes around the amount of posters used never ceases to amaze me.

So far, I have only seen offerings from Sinn Féin's Liadh Ní Riada - the only candidate running under a political party banner - not that you would really know it to look at the posters.

In this election however, it appears that for the most part, money is not in short supply so I expect that plenty more will be flying up on a lamppost near us all pretty soon.

I know I am not alone when I say that I cannot stand posters, and I truly believe that they only serve to win over a voter who cannot be bothered to listen to any debate or do any research into the candidates themselves - the voter who goes to the polling station but really hasn't a clue who is on the ballot paper, just picks a familiar face.

Aside from this, they are just a blight on the urban and rural landscape of the country, not to mention a distraction to motorists.

Many towns and villages, in recent years, have declared themselves to be 'poster-free zones' and for the most part, this is respected.

So far, Joan Freeman is the only candidate to pledge not to use posters as part of her campaign.

In the week after this year's Tidy Towns results were announced, we have campaigners putting up posters and the dreaded cable ties all over our communities, whether we like it or not.

In times past, perhaps the posters had merit as there were not many other ways for candidates to promote a campaign.

Today, this is not the case and more than ever before, candidates can be in touch with the electorate pushing their campaigns all over the media, both social and traditional.

If an outright ban was introduced, it would level the playing field and force candidates to be more creative in their campaigns.

It would also encourage voters to make an effort to inform themselves and to seek out what each candidate has to say for themselves.

After all, we should be voting on the basis of substance, not a candidate's appearance.