Editor: I would like to applaud Councillor Charlie Fox’s motion brought to council, about limiting the number of large signs during the campaigning period.
However, I find it disheartening that the motion was defeated under the guise of “undemocratic,” when the safety of citizens should be paramount.
I find it interesting in the discussions of council that democracy and fairness to newcomers was cited as some of the reasons for not limiting the number of these large signs. If an election was to be truly fair for newcomers, then limitations would most definitely be the way to make this happen.
It is often the newcomers who have the smallest budgets, which buy them a fraction of the number of signs as the incumbents, who have financial backers, or eager newcomers willing to go into personal debt.
The number of signs a candidate has usually plays a very large role in the amount of votes they receive. It’s sad, but true.
To take this discussion one step further, I would in fact challenge the current council to bring in bylaws to help make elections fairer for all candidates. Put limits on the number of signs per candidate, so that it is equal and fair, and so that we do not repeat the ugliness of the past election with 41 candidates.
Nobody enjoyed the overkill of signage in November’s election, and most people would agree that a total ban is not beneficial either. However, there is a happy medium between a free-for-all and nothing at all.
So let’s exercise good judgement and moderation and put in a bylaw. Mind you, if half the current council didn’t vote with the safety of citizens in mind, then I highly doubt it would bring forth a bylaw that makes sense and promotes a fairer election process either. Hmm, that’s really sad.
Editor’s note — The letter writer was a candidate for councillor in last month’s Langley Township election.