Poster boys (and girls)
For readers from outside Ireland, let me just point out that we are currently in the middle of a general election campaign, to culminate in the election itself on February 25. I intend to have a close look at the parties’ manifestos once we have these, but for now a different concern: election posters.
I have witnessed and followed election campaigns in at least four different countries while living there, and Ireland has one unique feature: the tendency for political parties to put up literally thousands of posters on lamp posts all over the country. Election posters on billboards are common in other countries, but not this total saturation everywhere. And it’s not pretty. Here are some views:
The recent weather has not been kind to the posters, and many of them have been blown off the lamp posts and are now littering the environment, while others have managed to cling on (such as the one on the top right) but are now no advertisement for their owners. Others are weirdly opaque. A visitor to Ireland asked me yesterday, with reference to the bottom right diamond-shaped poster, ‘Who is Lucinda Truth, and does she live up to her name?’ The offending litterer here is Fine Gael’s Lucinda Creighton, and who thought that putting up a poster with ‘Lucinda Truth’ (or ‘Lucinda Courage’, which is another one) is a good idea?
And what can I say about fresh-faced Dylan Haskins (lower left), except that his mother is probably even now out looking for him. He has the rather odd slogan ‘It starts here’ on all his posters, which one passer-by misread as ‘I[nformation] T[echnology] starts here.’ Or maybe not misread?
Overall, however, all this postering/littering is just mad, and cannot possibly persuade anyone to vote in any particular way. No wait, I’m wrong. It is persuading me, all other things being equal, to give my vote to the party that puts up the fewest posters.