Friday, October 12, 2007

Silly Signs of the Season

Just in case you haven’t noticed, elections are coming up in just over a month. The signs are everywhere – and I don’t mean signs as in “symbolic evidence,” but real signs. Those irritating cardboard “Vote for Me” miniature billboards that spring up everywhere and reproduce faster than cockroaches.

In the last few years they have become so intrusive and numerous that they are irritating the voters – not the effect the candidates want.

What is this proliferation of signs saying to the voters?

* This candidate has way too much money to spend.
* This candidate has no regard for the appearance of my town.
* This candidate is not discriminating.
* This candidate is wasting his own money and, therefore, will have no problem wasting mine.
* This candidate is very insecure.
* This candidate feels the voters are incredibly stupid and will forget his name if they don’t see it every ten feet.

Well, this voter will remember that candidate’s name when pulling the levers (or pressing the lights) in the voting booth. And that candidate won’t like the results.


Another thing guaranteed to annoy the voters is the automated “Vote For Me” telephone calls or, even worse, the “Don’t vote for my opponent” calls or “Don’t vote for the other party” calls. Unfortunately those “Do Not Call” lists don’t apply to political advertising.

I did receive one call asking for my vote several years ago that I liked so much that I actually voted for the candidate based only on that call. It was a lady running for the Board of Education who made an in-person call asking for my vote. Her pitch went something like this:

“Hi, my name is [Jane Doe] and I am running for the Board of Education and I would really appreciate your vote. I hope that I am not disturbing you and thank you for your time. Do you have any questions that you would like to ask me?”

Despite being stunned by the politeness and personal touch of the entire call, I recovered enough to ask a question about her stand on one item, which she politely answered. But her answer didn’t even matter at that point. She already had my vote.