No more political signs on public property

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Congratulations to all the candidates, regardless of whether they won or lost.

For the most part all the candidates did a honourable job presenting themselves and the issues, whether it was at a forum or face-to face.

That being said, the one area we take issue with many of the candidates is their election signs.

In our opinion, election signs have no place on public property.

Public property is just that — public and as such should be non-partisan and free of political advertising.

Yes, it can be argued that as long as a candidate, or political action group adheres to the laws of the land everyone is free to put up a political sign, but in a perfect world we believe that public land should be absent of political advertising.

Luckily here in Barrhead it really hasn’t been too much of an issue in previous elections, with only a relatively small amount of signs.

However, an incident on Election Day caused us to consider the issue once again.

As one of our reporters made his way to the Agrena’s multipurpose room to cast his vote he saw many of the candidates had put up their elections signs in the parking lot. And while this might not actually be in contravention of the Election Act it does seem against the long-standing practice of not campaigning outside polling stations on Election Day.

Unfortunately, after talking with the town’s returning officer Cheryl Callihoo, having candidates put up signs near the polling station is a regular municipal election day occurrence. In fact, in some past elections, she said it has gotten to the point that the signs were in violation of the Elections Act and had to be removed.

What we would like to see is that the town, county and ideally the province enact some type of legislation or regulations to prohibit election or any type of political advertising signs on public property.

And if both the province and the various municipalities do decide to continue to allow political signage, perhaps this is a way to bring in some extra revenue. Want to put up a sign on public land, fine, but there should be a fee attached. In our opinion it is just the same as someone wanting to publicize an event or issue on the Agrena’s scoreboard or electronic bulletin board.

However, our preference would be that political signs be limited to private property only.

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