Galway to make the election poster extinct?

Back in the 1980s - an era we seem destined to relive given the economic downturn - you couldn’t watch children’s daytime TV without seeing what Oink! called “grinning loonies in hideous jumpers”.

When it comes to elections I’m often reminded of that phrase. Stuck on every lamppost and telegraph pole is the (airbrushed ) face of an election candidate, grinning maniacally at you, and promising you the world in exchange for your Number One.

However the election poster may about to become extinct, or at the very least a severely quarantined species, before next June’s Local Elections - and Galway could lead the way in this radical move.

The problem with the posters is that many see them as a kind of defacement and, if they remain up after polling day, a form of litter.

Earlier this year, Environment Minister John Gormley introduced a paper which proposed that candidates should not have the right to put up election posters anywhere, and that they should be confined to certain areas such as roundabouts and crossroads. The paper also proposed that posters be of a standard size and be limited to a certain number.

In Galway, it was suggested that with the Volvo Ocean Race coming next June (at the same time as the locals ) the posters would look unsightly - especially along the Salthill Promenade - at a time when the city wants to present its best face to the world.

Nothing has since been heard of either suggestion, though with the Volvo Ocean Race coming ever closer, do not be surprised if a motion appears before the Galway City Council calling for election posters to be banned or at least kept away from the prom and the city’s main approach roads.

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