Comment: Tenacity of political posters

THE real period of mourning for the blue bridge is now upon us, as presidential election posters struggle to find a home in the run up to the October 27 poll.

THE real period of mourning for the blue bridge is now upon us, as presidential election posters struggle to find a home in the run up to the October 27 poll.

Gone is the edifice whose only real purpose for many years was playing host to banners and posters of every political hue and colour.

Instead, every railing, lamp post and even roundabout has being cannabilised in an effort to get posters in positions of maximum visibility.

What has often been dismissed as the scourge of the election pamphleteering is well and truly on us again.

2011 is one of those rare years in election cycles when we are assailed with two campaigns, and all their attendant paraphernalia.

Not since the similarly turbulent days of the early 80s have we been subjected to the likes of it. Manifestos, debates, name calling and an increasing predilection to mud slinging - and despite ourselves we are lapping it all up. And the good news is there are still three weeks to go.

THE real period of mourning for the blue bridge is now upon us, as presidential election posters struggle to find a home in the run up to the October 27 poll.

Gone is the edifice whose only real purpose for many years was playing host to banners and posters of every political hue and colour.

Instead, every railing, lamp post and even roundabout has being cannabilised in an effort to get posters in positions of maximum visibility.

What has often been dismissed as the scourge of the election pamphleteering is well and truly on us again.

2011 is one of those rare years in election cycles when we are assailed with two campaigns, and all their attendant paraphernalia.

Not since the similarly turbulent days of the early 80s have we been subjected to the likes of it. Manifestos, debates, name calling and an increasing predilection to mud slinging - and despite ourselves we are lapping it all up. And the good news is there are still three weeks to go. Let’s hear it though for the poster, one of the truly great surviviors of the political landscape. Its right up there with the tallymen in standing its ground in an era of technical change.

In a time when access to mass communication and social media is only a fingertip away, it has withstood its oft predicted demise, and indeed is thriving, if the rush to the lamposts and railings of the past week is anything to judge by.

So ingrained has it become in our psyche, that the art of election postering has become a subject in itself, with books and websites devoted to it.

Like a long lost friend, or foe as the circumstances may well be, the sudden recollection of a poster from yesteryear can catapult the unsuspected right back into that time. Who wakes up now in the middle of the night with sweaty visions of of ‘Lots Done, More to Do.’

And what of this current crop of candidates, as they stake their place in this venerable pantheon. What subliminal clues are there on our lamp posts as to the type of President we will have for the next seven years.

Will it be the professorial stance of Michael D. Higgins, the elder statesman expressively expounding his vision of the nation.

Or will it be the prolific Mary Davis, striding confidently into the future whilst looking for all intents and purposes as if she has just come from the set of Mad Men.

Gay Mitchell seeks to reassure all and sundry of both his urban and rural credentials. Glance quickly and you just might miss the silhouette of the tractor.

Martin McGuinness leaves very little to the imagination, draped as he is in hues of green and gold.

Sean Gallagher has denied us any postering, citing the appeals of tidy towns groups around the country. At the time of writing Dana and David Norris appear thin on the ground.

Have they any impact? The age old question seems to have its answer in their tenacity to endure. Curse them, loathe them, love them. When they are taken down in over three weeks time the world will be a duller and greyer place.