Gormley's political poster proposals "a PR stunt" - Political Quote

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Gormley's political poster proposals "a PR stunt"

Minister John Gormley's public consultation process on the use of posters in elections and referenda has been labeled "a public relations exercise" by Labour's Cllr Keith Martin.

This week the Green Party Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government has invited comments from interested parties on the control of postering for elections and referenda.

But according to the Westport councillor "the use of a political poster during an election or referendum campaign is a matter of freedom of speech and any attempt to curb the already restricted use of political postering would be an attack on democracy.

"The idea of limiting the number of posters to a candidate is ridiculous as it does not take into account geography or situation.  For example in Mayo we have electoral wards bigger than county Louth, we have 4 seater and 7 seater areas of all sorts of different sizes.  This sounds like a Dublin 4 ideal which does not work when it is taken out of Dublin 4.

"I have no problem with using biodegradable poster materials or requiring recycling of posters or maximum sizes of posters and I would welcome local authorities in exercising their already sufficient existing powers in relation to posters and cable ties.

"I think the situation as it stands is a close to ideal and would like to stress that the right of politicians to poster is a historical and democratic right as well as an expression of freedom of speech and thought and any attempts to reign it in will be opposed vigorously by those of use who put our names on the ballot paper and our faces on posters in an effort to make a change for the better in our local area.
"I think Minister Gormely is using the issues of posters as an exercise in public relations among those people in his own constituency who think of political posters as 'litter' rather than as a freedom of expression of thoughts and ideas" concluded Cllr Martin.

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