Twitter debate sign of the times

Onus on the candidates to meet and greet with the voters

One of the oldest forms of political promotion was debated over one of the newest recently.

A few Oak Bay candidates had an interesting discussion via Twitter on the weekend over the ‘legality’ of their political signs.

So called ‘sign wars’ are a part of just about every political campaign, but this one has an interesting angle.

As one candidate pointed out, the Oak Bay rule of no political signs on public property is to keep the campaign fair and transparent, while rebuttal was eager to call it unconstitutional.

Municipalities across the country have the right to regulate signs on both public and private property.

However, they must do so without unreasonably infringing on residents’ freedom of expression.

Raising political campaign signs on boulevards and along busy streets is a long-standing tradition in most municipalities, yet in the municipality of Whistler BC the candidates came up with a gentleman’s agreement to do away with unsightly campaign signs altogether – a novel approach to the situation.

While we don’t advocate an entire ban on election signs, we do see the merit in keeping the lovely streets and boulevards of Oak Bay clear of clutter.

The one very positive thing the sign restriction does is put the onus on the candidates to get out and do the heavy lifting of campaigning. They must pound the pavement and meet the residents at the doorstep.