As a first time candidate running for city council advice about how to run a campaign is always forthcoming.
Many people speak of campaigns past and the way things have always been, no more so than the advice I received regarding election posters. The phrase ‘necessary evil’ continued to pop up and made me ask the question, “What really makes them so necessary?”
During the 2016 general election 416,000 euros were spent on posters - most of which was reimbursed to the candidates by the taxpayer.
The reasons against are many - from the obvious negative environmental impact, to the hazard posters pose in windy weather and to visibility. In fact, it would appear that the only people who want posters are councillors and candidates. We, even today can see remnants of elections and referendums past tied around every second lampost in our city.
Democracy is not served when representation is chosen based on who is most photogenic, or who can afford the most posters - proper representation can only come when candidates listen to the community, and so instead of postering it is my intention to knock on every door, to have conversations with as many people as possible between now and May 24th, so that the public can go to polls knowing who I am, and I, if given the honour to sit on the council, can truly represent the will of the people of Galway City West.
Posters don’t listen, candidates do - or at least they should.
Candidates use posters as a substitute for face to face interactions with those whose vote they vie for.
I could not disagree more with this approach to campaigning.
The people need to be listened to
John Crowley is the Social Democrat Candidate for Galway City West and can be contacted at [email protected] or 0852345069