I know many people find signs obnoxious - as the Five Man Electric Band sang, "Signs, signs, everywhere a sign. Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind. Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?"
Not keen on them myself -- frankly it was hard to go that route. I'd much rather see more civil engagement and a eagerness for democratic renewal. For whatever reasons, not even 1/3 of eligible voters exercised their franchise last time around. I hope there are many more this time around.
Getting voter's attention, especially for a newbie, is not easy. This gives incumbents and people with high profiles the edge because they get their names and faces in the local papers a lot. It can leave some folks behind at the gate. Our local newspapers have generously offered space to candidates. More and more of us are putting up websites and using social media. Yet, people are bombarded everywhere, everyday in our commercialized culture -- public space is very crowded. It is also enormously expensive -- denying access to the financially disadvantaged.
So, we decided to go for the sign. With a picture, because my name has changed since I last held office. Strangely, they have gone walkabout from Lakes Road/Beverly Street area and from Kingsview and Maple Bay. We've replaced them 3 times.
Very disappointing to think that somebody or bodies feel free to steal them. Veteran politicians tell me its a badge of honour. Shows that I'm a threat. I find that sad.
Funny culture we live in.
I'm so grateful we live in a country and a time when the vast majority of people can access candidates' platforms online (whether from home or the public library) and find out what they stand for. Yet so very few people do.
Could it be, as many folks have said to me, they haven't found anyone with any kind of vision and have just given up?
Local politics are important. Our local representatives affect our lives everyday. From zoning to sidewalks, safe water and roads; they even have the ability to renew our local economy by actively seeking high-tech low-impact businesses, supporting low tech businesses such as local farming and encouraging green economic diversity.
Other areas have done it (check out Hamilton, Ontario) Why can't we?