I have always resented people trying to infer whether it is through silly diagrams trying to promote how progressive they are or commentators telling me to return leaflets put through my door by a legitimate political party. My immediate reaction is, thanks, but I can really make up my own mind without you telling me who to vote for.
Likewise, I get equally annoyed when I see tweets like this issued from a political party so frustrated that their posters are being taken down.
— Alliance Party (@allianceparty) April 23, 2014
This is not just happening to Alliance, Sinn Fein and the SDLP too, have reported this
I should be flattered that vandals continue to remove my election posters at Finaghy but believe I am sharing honour with Alex A & Anna Lo — Máirtín Ó Muilleoir (@newbelfast) April 23, 2014
The removal of Sinn Fein posters in South Belfast, C/reagh & South Down is deliberate move to stop democratic process, they will not succeed
— Deirdre Hargey (@DeirdreHargey) April 22, 2014
This happens at election times, people take posters and they usually end up on some ‘expression of culture’ over the summer. But, when you remove a poster, it comes across to me at any rate, like you’re trying to silence on point of view over another. I know it’s debatable just how effective posters are in swaying votes, but let’s be clear, political parties spend a lot of money on them to promote a message to us, the electorate. I don’t want to have them hidden from me at election time, only to see them providing fuel for some bonfire two months later.
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs