Signs of the times

Political corflutes could be a thing of the past along most roads, under proposed laws that would strictly limit their use.

The State Government’s proposal to ban corflute electoral signs in most public areas is likely to resonate with many voters.
For decades thousands of the plastic posters have been slapped on almost every available Stobie pole in the weeks leading up to an election – with many, frustratingly, left hanging for weeks after polling day has passed.
While in some cases corflutes can be re-used, every year hundreds of damaged posters end up on rubbish heaps – not to mention the thousands which go to landfill when an unsuccessful candidate doesn’t run a second time.
Given the thousands of dollars and volunteer hours required by this method of campaigning, there must be overwhelming evidence that it works.
But with climate change posing an increasing threat and a global trend towards more sustainable practices, it’s time political parties led the way to a more eco-friendly future.
If the Government’s motive for banning the signs is – as it says – purely environmental, this is a big step in the right direction and bodes well for the future.
If those motives are genuine we can look forward to many more decisions from this Government promoting environmental causes despite any negative political ramifications which may follow.
Perhaps this is a new era … we’ll see.
The move to severely restrict the use of corflutes has divided small parties, with SA Best claiming that it will advantage larger parties which have the resources to advertise using other methods.
Meanwhile the Greens say having the same corflute limits across all parties will create a more even playing field.
And as Greens MLC Tammy Franks pointed out, SA’s Parliament is already phasing out single use plastics across other sectors – why should politicians be exempt?
Restrictions on corflute advertising may also force political hopefuls to think outside the square when it comes to connecting with their communities and fighting for their votes.
Perhaps an unintended benefit of the change will be that candidates spend more time campaigning at the grass roots level, getting out into their communities more and finding out what really matters to the average voter.