atest press release from Steven Matthews TD, issued on Monday, May 23rd 2022…
Green Party TD, Steven Matthews has supported a new bill launched by his party colleague – Senator Pauline O’Reilly that aims to reduce the waste and street clutter associated with political posters used during elections and referendums.
Launching the bill titled – the ‘Regulation of Display of Electoral and Polling Posters and Other Advertisements Bill 2022’, Deputy Matthews said: “This Bill will limit the areas where candidates or campaigns are permitted to put posters with only designated areas allowed that will be chosen by individual local authorities. It will also restrict the number of posters any individual candidate or campaign can use, creating a more level playing field for groups/ candidates that are not as well resourced.
“In every election that I have run in both for the council and the Dáil, the issue of election posters cluttering up areas is brought up with me. As a politician, I fully appreciate the need to get your name out there, particularly for new candidates, but from the perspective of residents, I totally get the frustration for someone looking out their window and having 10 smiling faces looking back at you from the nearest lamppost. This bill seeks to create a balanced approach that addresses both perspectives.
“This Bill that the Green Party launched isn’t about completely banning election posters because they do play an important role in our democracy both in letting people know that an election or referendum is upcoming but also to learn the key messages or who is running. We do however need to move away from the scattergun approach adopted by many political parties that has posters hanging from any tiny gap on a lamppost or fence that creates potential road safety issues and more than anything is extremely unsightly.
“As a Green Party representative, I try to limit my poster use as much as possible, but you still have to try and compete and get your name out there. This bill, through restricting the number of posters permitted and limiting them to designated locations, generally locations with the heaviest foot traffic,will level the playing field for smaller parties and independents who don’t have significant funding behind them.
“The benefits of this bill are very clear from an environmental perspective as so many of these posters end up in the landfill after a vote or worse, end up falling down and littering the community. Ireland is already behind many of our European neighbours with designated areas for posters during an election being common practice in many countries already.
“I look forward to supporting the passage of this bill through the Oireachtas and I hope that it receives the backing of all political parties as it seeks to make our elections both fairer and more environmentally sustainable,” concluded Deputy Matthews.
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