AS a civic-minded citizen, one piece of legislation I would like to see passed in the Parliament is one that regulates the conduct of political parties and their supporters during an election.

The legislation should mandate that every political party contesting the elections be charged an appropriate fee by the relevant corporation of whichever constituency they wish to erect banners, billboards and posters, so that after the election the banners and posters are responsibly removed and discarded.

The legislation should also mandate that political parties ensure their paraphernalia is biodegradable and environmentally friendly. A clause should be included in the legislation that prevents political parties from applying stickers or flags to road signage as is done by the United National Congress at the Curepe Interchange. Road signs are Government property paid for by taxpayers and should not be used by any political party for advancing their political message.

The legislation should also ensure that political parties are restricted from being excessive in affixing posters in public spaces. I visited Tobago over the weekend and Tobago is literally littered with People’s National Movement posters.

Not only does this ruin the aesthetics of our boroughs and cities, but many of the posters end up as litter on the streets and in drains. Sometimes banners become loose and become entangled in electrical wires such as that “Vote for Terrence Deyalsingh” banner in St Joseph.

In this day of digitalisation our political parties clearly have not evolved their policies or practices and they continue to collectively act irresponsibly towards our environment. In that regard, enact the necessary legislation to force change in their primitive behaviour.

Oke Zachary

via e-mail


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