EDITORIAL: Signs of our times

Election signs shouldn’t help you decide who to vote for

Many communities have either enacted or beefed up by-laws on candidate signs but still, they pop up like plastic mushrooms whenever election time rolls around.

This is surely a profitable time for local sign-makers, and while we don’t want to deny them a business surge, it would be nice to see this holdover from a bygone era fade away.

Plastic straws are disappearing, communities are banning plastic bags, but still, plastic election signs seem to be exempt.

Many candidates do preserve their signs from election to election, but there are always some lost each election to age, wind, weather and vandals.

And even so, the sheer number posted by some candidates is excessive, to say the least. It’s not hard to find a spot, usually in a park alongside a busy road, where the line of signs stretch out, with each candidate trying to drown the others out with sheer numbers.

But does it mean anything when it comes to voting day and seducing voters? Is anyone going to contemplate the ballot and put their X next to the candidate with the prettiest or most signs?

Let’s hope not. Name branding may be a great way for big companies to keep their names in the front of your mind when shopping, but it’s a terrible way to chose some who is going to help run your country.

Why can’t the candidates get together — you know, like adults who realize that compromise and consensus are going to be part of governance if they do get elected — and choose a few high profiles spots where they each place one sign?

Or they could instead focus their signs on encouraging people to vote. That might secure more votes from the undecided than simply repeating your name 20 times every block.

Can you imagine a candidate showing up at your door and simply repeating their name, over and over?

Many voters made up their minds about who they are voting for long before the writ was dropped — some voting the same way all their life. Others are more strategic about their vote, casting it where they do the most good. Signs aren’t going to change these people’s minds.

It’s only the undecided that a candidate has a chance of swaying one way or another. They need convincing that your party is on the right path, and that you will be a worthwhile representative in Ottawa.

Signs don’t do that.

–Black Press

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