A SITTING city councillor has called for a blanket ban on election posters to be agreed by the next council.
Ken O’Flynn (FF) said he believes the proliferation of posters is causing distractions for drivers, needless litter and are an eyesore.
“In this day and age of social media, there is no real reason for election posters. The money would be better spent on online campaigns where politicians can engage with people.
“The research on the benefits of posters are inconclusive and they are being put in ridiculous places.
“They are effectively litter and I have even seen plastic fasteners being left on poles. It takes over 1000 years for plastic to decompose. We are just creating waste.
“Maybe we could have designated areas specifically for posters like they do in some European countries.
“Area such as Sallybrook and Ballincollig have declared their areas no poster zones and it’s time to stop this outdated practice.
“I will be bringing a motion to Cork City Council if I am re-elected and I will be asking party whips to look at getting rid of poster completely," he added.
Thirty-five Tidy Towns groups across the city including Douglas and periphery areas such as Ballincollig and Carrigaline declared ‘poster-free zones’.
However, Solidarity councillor Fiona Ryan believes banning posters outright would benefit the big parties and incumbent councillors and be a disadvantage for smaller parties and independent candidates.
“I am in favour of election posters in the current context. Regionalised bans don’t actually take on the unequal funding mechanisms of elections and establishment parties. I understand why people hate them - they are mostly just a face and a ‘no.1’ but the Solidarity Party use our posters to get out political message across.
“When you look at the alternative funding mechanisms that we would have in front of us, not everything is online. Older people are not online and people are divided across different social media platforms.
“If I wanted to reach everyone across all alternative election and social media platforms, I would be paying double what I would pay for posters. They are the only level playground that we have in politics and I’m not surprised the bigger parties want them banned because it gives them an advantage.
“I would be willing to look at it if there were real restrictions and equality among parties in the public money given,” she added.