Our View: Election signs serve no purpose

Ugly, magnets for vandalism, and poor at informing – why do we need candidate signs?

After the votes are counted Oct. 20, the winning councillors and mayor might want to take a serious look at banning or restricting election signs.

If you can find a dozen residents who like having the signs, feel free to keep the bylaws as they are.

At present, driving down major roads in Langley causes drivers to be bombarded by the logos of virtually every candidate with a serious budget.

It’s obvious to say that this is ugly. It also creates a tempting target for vandalism every election cycle. For six months, signs will float up from ditches and be found flung into trees, no matter how hard the candidates and their volunteers try to retrieve them.

What’s less obvious is this – it’s not helpful.

It might be somewhat helpful to a few candidates. Yes, name recognition can work. Yes, it reminds people that an election is coming.

But how, exactly, does it inform anyone of what the candidates stand for? A roadside sign is not the ideal format for explaining a candidate’s position on property taxes, infrastructure, or parks.

It isn’t much of an invitation to further research, either. How many people see an attractive sign and go home to google a candidate?

Langley City long ago took control of this, restricting signs to two small locations and to private property only. The Township could take a page from their book.

Of course, the conflict of interest is that the candidates who win will get to vote on the new rules – and they might worry that it was all those signs that pushed them over the top.

– M.C.

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