EDITORIAL; Election signs blossoming

Campaign volunteers jockey for sign positions in prominent places

For the past couple of weeks, the election sign wars on the West Shore seem to have been waged primarily by candidates for trustee with the Sooke School District.

This past weekend, however, candidates for council in the various municipalities have begun planting their roadside advertising along virtually every public boulevard and common area visible to motorists driving by.

We’ve come to expect a proliferation of election signs for any campaign, whether it be municipal, provincial or federal. Placing them in prominent places, even more so than on residents’ front lawns, is a quick and easy way for candidates to get their name out into the public eye.

For voters in Colwood, Langford and View Royal, where the largest number of candidates are running for mayor or councillor positions, the sign pollution can get to be a bit much. Volunteers for the various campaigns frequently try to outdo the others by covering up opposing signs with their own, leading to a bombardment on motorists who are supposed to be keeping their eyes on the roads.

Individual municipalities have their own rules for the placement of such signs on public property, mostly relating to hindrances to public safety. Elections BC prohibits the placement of election signs within 100 metres of a district elections office or a polling place when voting is being conducted.

Throughout the municipalities, however, mostly anything goes.

It’s debatable how much effect election signs have on the voting public, but they continue to be a mainstay of many candidates.

But any political hopeful who thinks they’re a substitute for actually getting out and talking to people where they live should give some serious thought to why they decided to run in the first place.