Democracy is more important than aesthetics.
We were pleased to hear that North Cowichan council is once again allowing political signs to be placed on municipal property.
Sure, it’s a bit of an eyesore, but it’s something we can all put up with for a few months in the service of democracy.
It won’t be long now before every intersection and traffic circle will be a forest of billboards large and small for the candidates for the upcoming provincial election in May.
They’re definitely not as pretty as the spring bulbs and other blooms we sincerely hope will have taken over from the snow by then, as by design they tend to shout rather than whisper or blend.
The idea, after all, is to get the candidates names before the public, so that when it comes time for the citizenry to head to the voting booth and mark their ‘x’ they’ll know their preferred candidate by name and party — or lack thereof, as the case may be for independents.
Signs in public places are a tried and true method of advertising for the hopefuls.
Someone can shut off the television and the radio, close the newspaper (though we hope you don’t) and ignore election fever as it spreads. But as we go about our daily lives we cannot help but be whacked over the head with a giant billboard proclaiming so and so as the candidate for the Liberals, or the NDP or the Greens. We cannot help but gain a certain familiarity with the face of so and so who is an independent, or the other guy who’s running for the Libertarians after we’ve seen it for the umpteenth time on the way to work.
This is people staking out their grassroots territory, literally.
And we don’t mind it. The reason why is simple. We want as many people to vote as possible. Voting is the cornerstone of our democratic system, the foundation on which all else rests. If making sure that people know the candidates can help that in any way, or if all the signs even just remind people that there’s an election on the horizon, the whole exercise is worth it.
Having to look at some election signs is a really small price to pay to encourage the working of our political system.
So haul out the placards in garish colours.
We’re ready for them.