Rethinking Election Posters in County Kerry

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As a first-time candidate for the County Kerry council, It has been an interesting experience, with the latest being the design and delivery of my election posters. Postering for the election is allowed from Wednesday May 8th. However, as much as these posters are a staple of election season, their impact on our scenic vistas, especially during the peak tourist season, cannot be ignored. 

Historically, the success of candidates in local elections has been closely linked to the visibility afforded by these posters. This has created a somewhat reluctant acceptance of them as a necessary tool for campaigning. Every election season, candidates, driven by the fear of invisibility, blanket the county with their posters. But at what cost?

The truth is, while these posters serve an informational purpose, they also create visual pollution, detracting from the natural beauty of Kerry—a beauty that attracts thousands of tourists each year. Moreover, the current system inherently disadvantages candidates from smaller parties or independent backgrounds who might not have the resources to mount extensive poster campaigns, further skewing the playing field.

Recognising these issues, I would propose a new approach that Kerry County Council should consider: establishing designated poster display locations across the county. This strategy would have several benefits:

1. Preserving Scenic Beauty: By limiting posters to specific areas, we can maintain the aesthetic integrity of our landscapes, making sure that the natural beauty of Kerry remains unspoiled for both locals and visitors.

2. Creating Equal Opportunities: Designated posting areas would help level the playing field for all candidates, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to be seen and recognised, regardless of their budget or party affiliation.

3. Reducing Environmental Impact: Concentrating posters in specific locations would not only reduce visual pollution but also minimise the environmental footprint associated with producing and disposing of large quantities of campaign material.

4. Enhancing Voter Engagement: By creating central hubs for election materials, we can make it easier for voters to find information about all candidates in one place, potentially increasing engagement and informed voting.

5. Encouraging Responsible Campaigning: This approach would also encourage candidates to focus on direct engagement with constituents and digital campaigning, aligning with more sustainable and modern election practices.

As we move forward, it’s crucial that we balance tradition with innovation. The proposal to establish key poster display locations across Kerry offers a sustainable solution that respects our environment, ensures fairness, and maintains the informative value of election posters. I urge the Kerry County Council and my fellow candidates to consider this approach as a new standard for future campaigns. Let’s lead by example and show that in Kerry, we value both our natural heritage and our democratic process.