Campaigning and election posters

 

A chara, – The general election campaign has begun in earnest and inevitably so too has the postering.

As has become a trend in recent campaigns, there is also significant well-intentioned push back against postering, primarily on environmental grounds – that the single-use cardboard posters are wasteful and mostly end up in landfill. That is certainly a valid concern that we need to address.

While many of us involved in campaigns would be delighted to explore some of the approaches taken in other countries – such as limits on the number of posters, or designated areas for them – there is pressure being applied for candidates unilaterally to declare themselves “poster free”.

Any common-sense consideration of this tells us that it is incumbents and those with well-established name recognition who benefit when posters are removed from a constituency, with the corollary that newcomers and smaller parties are at a disadvantage.

While posters do cost money, and so candidates with extremely small budgets may find it hard to fund them, there are diminishing returns to saturating a constituency, so better-resourced candidates do not necessarily gain an advantage commensurate with their funding.

Poster-free proponents would point to the many other options available for candidates to publicise themselves, by which they usually mean social media. Personally I believe we should be doing less rather than more outsourcing of our political campaigning to platforms like Facebook, a company with extremely dubious credentials in this area and a troubling amount of societal influence.

Furthermore, while I’m certainly keen to reduce any environmental impact, I think it’s unequivocally a good thing that the country is completely immersed in the campaign for its duration, and posters play an important role in that. – Is mise,

DAVE McGINN,

Blessington,

Co Wicklow.

A chara, – Here we go again! In these more environmentally-aware times perhaps it is not too late to ask election candidates to desist from using election posters. They should remember that most posters are made of a material, corrugated plastic, that takes centuries to biodegrade. – Yours, etc,

CORMAC Ó GRÁDA,

Baile Átha Cliath 14.