Election Time

There’s a general election coming up in town, meaning that signs adorn lawns and medians everywhere you look, covered with pithy sayings like “It’s Time for a Change!” and “Vote [NAME GOES HERE] for [POSITION GOES HERE]”.

Back when I lived in residence, in my salad days at the university, there was a bylaw on the books that I rather liked. In an election, any candidate whose signs were still up by midnight on the night before the vote was disqualified. Now there was a lot about rez elections that I wouldn’t want to carry over into the realm of–shall we say–grown-up politics*, but I have always, always liked that rule.

“Hmmm, the votes are in, and the mayor-elect is John Smith. Too bad he’s still got eight hundred signs up all over the city. Oh well. Who came in second? Lord Voldemort? Are you sure? Check again. All right, all right. Well, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, democracy simply does not work.”

And I know that a lot–probably a majority–of the signs in question are not put up by the candidate. But if you really support your candidate, you can take down the signs you put up for him or her, right? Right?

I thought so.

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* Things like ballot-box stuffing and voter intimidation, for instance. Not that that sort of thing doesn’t happen in grown-up politics; I just wish it didn’t.