Sunday, August 30, 2009

Everyone Look Busy... the Boss Is Coming!

Well, Nation... the Calgary-Glenmore by-election campaign is half over, and the signs wars are... well, underwhelming at best. Every side likes to claim they're "winning the sign war", and yet they're also quick to dismiss the significance of having a lot of signs up - or, more specifically, or seeing a lot of their OPPONENTS' signs up.

The thing I'm noticing most is the ridiculous number of signs I'm seeing on public property. Don't get me wrong - there are signs on private property. Absolutely. But I'm seeing giant printed signs for Hinman and Roberts on some of the main roads going through Calgary-Glenmore, as well as big rented signs for those 2 plus Colley-Urquhart. The legalities of what IS and ISN'T allowed in terms of signage in this city is a little foggy to me (especially after hearing about THIS embarrassment), however I know that incumbents generally tend to get in less trouble than challengers on this front. Even though Glenmore HAS no incumbent, I'd think that a sitting Alderman would be very aware of what is and isn't allowed in terms of signage, so I'm assuming any place I see a PC sign in Glenmore is probably okay for the others as well.

All that said, though... all that signs on public property (legally or not) says is "my campaign has money". It DOESN'T mean "my campaign has support from local voters" - which most educated voters realize. A giant row of Avalon Roberts signs on a median doesn't mean much. An entire boulevard of houses with Hinman signs on every single lawn? THAT would "send Ed a message".

SPEAKING of the Premier... he'll be attending a rally at Colley-Urquhart HQ this coming Thursday. No word on whether any of daveberta's posters are up at Diane's office, but I suspect that the Premier's focus is going to be on Diane's record as an Alderman, the legacy that Ron Stevens leaves, the "free-flow 14th" band-aid for the ring road, and on getting out the vote to avoid another Calgary-Elbow fiasco.

At least, that would be his focus if *I* were advising him.

The Enlightened Savage will likely be in the house on Thursday - come say hi to me.

Well, and the Premier. He's a pretty big deal also. ;)


Josh said...

See you there Joey!!

Kirk Schmidt said...

well, as the old adage says, "Boulevards can't vote"

If you're looking for the city's sign bylaws, they are here:
Calgary Sign Bylaws

Derrick Jacobson said...

Personally I am not sold on the sign war idea (ironically I am on the sign crew). I think it makes the neighborhood cluttered, and the residentail area messy. All that being said it seems to be a necessity to arouse the voters, and play a part in the view of support from the neighbors. In the end it doesn't matter how many signs you have, you still need to get out the vote.

Kirk Schmidt said...

@Alberta Altruist
I think the sign war is a psychological game. For example, let's say everyone gets their signs out but you don't - as ES said, signs show you're well funded, so if you're the odd-politician out, is it because you're not getting the funding? Now people ask questions.

I remember in Calgary NorthWest last Provincial, the grit was late getting signs out. Not something you want someone to "notice".

Conversely, being one of the first with signs out can be advantageous from the psychological standpoint. Let's say, theoretically, you're an independent running against a Tory incumbent. It might be worth your while to get signs up early to *show* you've got funding.

But once all the signs are up and they're visible to everyone, if a person has more signs on a boulevard than others, do voters notice? I think that's when the sign war becomes moot.

It's basically the Prisoner's Dilemma in sign war form.

Anonymous said...

Diane may have some lawn signs on the main roads such as Elbow Drive, but just take a drive into any community and see who is winning the sign war.

CS said...

Do you have any T- Shirts?

Anonymous said...

Personally I'm not sold on anything the Alberta Altruist says. He's nothing more than an anonymous Wild Rose Alliance plant.

Unknown said...

Any more than one sign for a candidate in a particular place turns me off. Most candidates claim to be fiscal conservatives, then waste money posting the same message 50 times in one place? All you need to see is one sign.

On lawns, it's another matter. Thanks for the perspective of their value, Joey, because I agree with you. They show solidarity and support for the candidate. It's not easy to make a political statement, so it shows that the candidate really means something to the owner of the property.