Sunday 17 December 2017

Time to ditch election posters once and for all

By Deborah Coleman - Straight Talking

Wicklow People Reporter, Deborah Coleman. Picture Garry O'Neill (No Reproduction Fee)
Wicklow People Reporter, Deborah Coleman. Picture Garry O'Neill (No Reproduction Fee)

I had hoped that General Election 2016 would see a clearer move towards poster-free campaigns but as posters are already flying up it appears this will not be the case.

I love the idea of poster-free zones and I wish more towns and villages would declare as this.

The money being spent on election campaigns is ridiculous and unnecessary and with a little bit of creative thinking, candidates could slash the cost and gain serious kudos at the same time.

In an ideal world, the budget that any one candidate could spend on a campaign would be capped, therefore giving all of them the same fighting chance.

The larger parties would still hold an advantage here anyway due to their available manpower to hit the doorsteps.

The traditional way of canvassing has changed dramatically in the past decade, and since the last general election in particular. With a push towards social media and public meetings, the door to door method is probably being phased out.

Perhaps it is just us rural dwellers who get less facetime at the front door but I could count on one hand the amount of candidates that knocked on my door for the last general and local election combined.

Honestly, this gave me relief and annoyed me in equal measures as the thoughts of the doorbell ringing at 9 p.m. isn't one I relish.

Other than late into the evening, many working parents aren't even at home to come to the door - and who wants to start discussing their woes at that time after a long day?

As an electorate it is our duty to get out and vote, but also to be informed about our candidates, whether they canvass our communities or not.

There are better ways to learn more about those running for Dáil Éireann than by looking at posters and they alone cannot outlined a candidate's ability and experience.

One thing I am sure about is that posters alone won't convince me of a candidate's worth. I think they are a waste of money and a blight on the community to be honest. Is a poster of the same face on 10 poles in a row really necessary?

The aftermath is just as bas as those awful cable ties are left behind. While the posters are removed in accordance with littering laws, the ties are left unclaimed for us all to look at for months afterwards.

Wexford People

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