Election Sign Meyheim
Nothing is quite as tried tested and true in Canadian politics as the election sign. They are a great tool to 'get your name out' in the community to let everyone know that you exist as a candidate. But are they actually good for the community?
We've all seen how out of control election signs can get in this city. To call it visual pollution would be an understatement. Campaign teams compete for the best sign locations, major corners become so crowded that we can't even make out much information. They can be distracting and a general nuisance that by the end of an election we've all had enough of.
Last year council brought in new laws to try to limit the over abundance of election signs. Those rules included increased set-back distances from roadways for signs, preventing signs from the same candidate to be less than 10 meters apart, and signs that are too large needing to be farther back among other measures. The provincial election made three things that are abundantly clear. First, the rules are so complicated, or miss understood by campaign teams that they can't or won't follow them. Second, that our by-law officers are going to be very busy during elections. And third, that when we limit how many signs can go up in public spaces the signs just tend to get bigger and take up the same room as before.
So what are we to do? Well, I for one would be in support of allowing election signs to only be allowed on private property.
I believe that this would improve democracy in our city. The cost to run a full campaign would not need to include a $5,000 budget just for signs. Candidates could appear to be serious on a lower campaign spend, and if candidates did have the financial resources, more could be spent providing citizens information on their platform. I believe that election signs should be allowed on private property. Being willing to put an election sign on your front yard is visual endorsement that you support someone enough that you're proud to share it with your neighbours. With so many signs everywhere else though they lose some of their meaning and impact.
In this election I will run a full sign campaign, because right now, that is part of the way politics is done in this city. When elected I will bring forward a motion to make 2018 the last year our street corners get overrun with election signs.
In 2022, lets make sure the way we interact and get our names out as candidates entails more than letters on a sheet of plastic.