Problems with political posters

 

Madam, – The Belgian authorities erect wooden billboards before all local, regional, national and European elections. They are temporary structures, well positioned around towns and villages. At the end of the elections the hoardings are taken down by the council and can be shredded for recycling, because candidates use weatherproof paper, not plastic.

Public awareness of elections by poster use is retained. For candidates, it eliminates the need to print so many posters (as space is limited) and because billboards are at street level, ladders are not needed to erect the posters. Candidates do not even have to worry about taking down posters after the election!

There are no cable ties, no problems for cyclists or motorists, and no risk of posters blowing in the wind. – Is mise,

SEÁN de BÚRCA,

Master en Études européennes,

Université catholique de Louvain,

Louvain-la-Neuve,

Belgium.

Madam, – It is indeed refreshing to see that one political party indicates their party ideology clearly on their election posters. It looks like all parties stick up a photo of the local candidate with some inane text. But no, the Fine Gael candidates are surely making a proud political statement, as they can be seen clearly, in front of their backers, wearing Blue Shirts.

Admittedly, in this post-modern age the blue has a rather washed out look. – Yours, etc,

TOM O’CONNOR,

Sandymount, Dublin 4.

Madam, – As polling day approaches, your Letters page has provided an open forum for debating the pros and cons of political posters. In recent days the elements here in Limerick seem to have sided with the posters’ detractors, where the face of many a would-be councillor now gazes smiling up from the footpath, having been unceremoniously dumped there by unseasonably high gusts of wind.

A friend here suggested that to save our streets from litter and our candidates much expense, information booklets, along the lines of those issued by the Referendum Commission, should be sent to every household with a registered voter before the election. Each candidate would be given an equal amount of space to put forward their case for election. They could also include their contact details, should a voter wish to discuss any election issue with them.

One advantage of this system would be that it wouldn’t prejudice the candidates who don’t have the poster-placing resources of one of the larger political parties behind them.

Perhaps it would also lead to our politicians being elected on the basis of reason rather than mere recognition. – Yours, etc,

JAMES GAFFNEY,

Bracken Gardens,

North Circular Road,

Limerick.

Madam, – Roll on June 5th, when the canvassing will be over. Like everyone else in the country, I am tired of looking at the posters of candidates for the European elections. It strikes me that at a time when we are in a recession, the politicians seem to be the only people who are not. Aren’t they the lucky divils to have such enormous budgets that allow them to print off a copious amount of posters of themselves?

My daughter, who is three-and-a-half, asked me if the candidate on the poster right outside my gate was God. I told her it wasn’t God, and I asked her why she thought God was hanging around outside our house (and in my opinion this particular person is very far from God). She announced: “Because you told me God is everywhere, and that man is everywhere!”.

On driving down the N11 from the traffic lights at Cabinteely village to the next set of traffic lights at Cornelscourt, I was blinded by the sheer volume of posters on every lamp post. One particular candidate had a poster on each lamp post between the village and Cornelscourt, which is just over half a kilometre. I counted 22 posters on that stretch, and on the way home I counted 18, until I realised that the posters were on either side of the lamp posts, totalling 80 posters in a half kilometre stretch.

Considering these are on a dual carriageway, perhaps the posters on the back of the lamp posts were for the benefit of the walkers, or indeed the people on buses who are travelling backwards?

Dare I mention which councillor is bold enough to do such a thing while also being so interested in the environment? It’s Déirdre de Búrca of the Green Party. I certainly hope she has availed of the bike scheme and popped them on her back carrier and hung them herself. – Yours, etc,

MELANIE HUNTER-REID,

Cliff Road,

Windgates,

Greystones,

Co Wicklow.