Election posters are good for democracy
Sir, – The agreed programme for government will examine referendum and election posters, looking at limiting numbers or fixing locations for use.
While minor compared to more important issues, we should reflect before curtailing basic democratic tools.
Newcomers to politics, challenging high-profile incumbents, will struggle for recognition without posters. No matter if you are a Minister or a single-issue Independent, posters are a real leveller and cost effective.
Research shows half of all voters are canvassed, see an advert or watch the news. Yet a staggering 83 per cent notice election posters. Posters work and not just for candidates. They were critical to referendums that brought equality and fairness to our Constitution.
Posters have been central to Irish social and political campaigns for a century.
In all that time the seismic advances in communications technology – from loudspeakers on cars to social media – have not surpassed the “reach” of posters.
In rushing to curtail posters, we could lose a vital tool to challenge both established thinking and incumbency.
Any examination of posters should consider the opportunity cost of excluding new ideas and new people from our national debate. – Yours, etc,