27 February 2007

Sensible Moves In Birmingham

Last April, I spent some time helping Birmingham Ladywood candidate Peter Smallbone put Conservative election posters up on lamp-posts. We both agreed it was a necessary evil that sucked time away from really engaging the public. Therefore, I am very happy to hear the news that Birmingham's controlling Tory-Lib Dem coalition have outlawed the use of Birmingham's lampposts for electioneering. These type of posters are an eyesore, often contribute to litter and a zero sum game politically. Anything that frees up more time for candidates to engage with the voting public in a meaningful way is a good thing in my book.

Unsurprisingly, Labour's deputy leader in Birmingham, Ian Ward has opposed the move!


PoliticalHack said...

Cobblers. Again.

I've spent hours every year doing this and I'm not spending time doing it when I could be 'engaging the public' because it is done late at night (10pm-1am, usually). A couple of evenings' work and you have a fine display of placards which remind people that there's an election on and help with candidate identification.

Getting voters to turn out is troublesome enough without even this little bit of help.

Praguetory said...

Well, that's one candidate's view. As the article mentioned, voter turnout rose in Solihull after their ban came into force.

Geoff said...

I rather liked the idea of a candidate called "All Mosquito" Rashid. Sounded like something out of a Carry On film.

Closer inspection of the photograph disappointed me. Shame.

Anonymous said...

I have been posting some interesting facts about Prague Mr PT on my blog, should you care to share your first hand impression!

Cllr Mike Flower said...

Nice to see Birmingham following Walsall's lead. We banned them last month.

We were supported by Labour and Lib Dems.

Begs the questions why Cllr Ward of Birmingham is opposing the same actions as supported by Walsall's Labour leader Cllr Tim Oliver?

Peter Smallbone said...

I agree with PT and I'm glad that the Conservative-led Council in my city has banned posters.

They don't look nice, they're a waste of effort and their contribution to local democracy is marginal at best.

Whatever time of day you put them up, it could be time better spent leafleting. What's more democratic: telling people what your policies are, or telling people what your name is?