Why I will be keeping my signs away from Neutral Zones



Guelph is embarking on a municipal election in October which has resulted in the predictable signage spree by electoral hopefuls. I understand that signage, without a doubt, can generate votes.
Strategic signage can put a name in the consciousness of voters which may make a name easy to vote for on election day. My problem is that the votes of this nature really have nothing to do with the candidate and really rely on who was the most effective at bombarding the public with visual stimuli.

Now I’m not referring to lawn signs. Lawn signs represent a personal choice that a voter is declaring to his or her neighbours. The lawn sign illustrates the connection between a candidate and community members.

However, what I’m referring to is the excessive plastering of signs in ‘neutral zones’ throughout the city.

There are numerous problems with this practice: socio-economic, environmental and otherwise. Although we live in an era of consumerism, one would hope that our elected officials obtain their seats for reasons other than who is the best at advertising. I understand this is particularly challenging for those in municipal elections that are not running for mayor.

These candidates typically don’t have the forum to communicate their platform. But the goal should be to create the conditions to get the information out to the voting public. After all, the signs don’t convey what a candidate can or plans to do in a role. It is a picture, a name, a slogan. It is in an anonymous location where no one can explain what the candidate represents or why their sign is on display. In the end they are just litter, eventually ending up in landfill.

Guelph has taken the lead on green issues in the past. It would be nice if Guelph could take the lead and keep our neutral zones clean and reduce the waste.

Create the conditions for candidates to communicate to the voting community. Make the election about people, not posters.

Aaron Blair


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