Sunday, September 28, 2008

Signs, Signs everywhere a sign?

The Thursday Daily News editorial page featured a review of the sudden appearance of election advertising on the North coast, as the paper tasked Editorial Assistant Wendy Webb to take to the streets of the city in quest for a forest of lawn signs.

Her column which is titled the Lighter Side, suffered a case of the Daily News gremlins, as her opening sentence, (like more than a few other Daily News articles) seemed to leave out a key descriptive word at an unfortunate time. Suggesting that her editor perhaps was a bit too focused on the tasking of the photo shoot and maybe not in those annoying words that might get in the way on pages four and five.

However, as you move along with the column, and follow her around town in her quest for signs, you get the general idea as to what her mission was and how successful she was at it.

On the trail of the campaign
Editorial page column
Wendy Webb
The Lighter Side
The Daily News
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Pages four and five

I received a rather unusual photo assignment from my editor recently. “Signs!” he declared, “we need a of a cluster of election signs.”

Being a recent addition to the land of Rupertites, I had little idea where the campaign slogan congregate; but every town has an empty lot or two, so I jumped into my car to cruise the streets of Rupert.

With a sense of excitement I spotted my first potential… um… ‘candidate’ – but I was fooled by ‘For sale by Remax’… it looked political from a distance! I discovered that it isn’t so easy to negotiate traffic, streetlights and pedestrians when attempting to read every sidewalk poster that appears on the horizon (a point worthy of note to our advertisers) and squealed to a halt only to be disappointed time and again.

At last I spied my first conquest down by Rushbrook Marina. Rod Taylor was reaching out to the congregation of local seamen, inviting them to become fishers of the Christian Heritage party. The sign wasn’t too big and looked a little lost in the bush, but I took five pictures anyway… sweet success!

As the afternoon progressed, my “Easter egg’ hunt for election posters was rewarded with a kaleidoscope of colourful treasures, and I noticed some interesting associations emerge.

Brightly orange “Re-elect Nathan Cullen” dominated the downtown core and a few elegant lawns in the residential area, while Rod Taylor, in true missionary style, sought the outlying edges of town. Interestingly, Corinna Morhart was represented by a very conservative looking Liberal sign.

It took a while to locate the Green Party sign, and I was beginning to wonder if they had decided to be environmentally conscious and forego the parade of plastic placards… but no, there it was by McDonald’s, with gigantic Sharon Smith smiling from the left and a stately Corinna Morhart towering on the right. I couldn’t resist sidling up to Hondo Arendt’s inevitably green slogan for a quick feel, disappointed to find it was NOT made from re-cycled cardboard… tut… tut.

There has been some political buzz concerning Sharon Smith’s decision not to attend a Prince Rupert all candidates meeting, which may account for her choice of local election slogans. In shades of Chairman Mao, her larger than-life portrait smiles down from shop windows and groomed lawns… definitely not a conservative display by any standard. Thanks, Sharon, I guess we won’t forget your face after all!

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