It’s easy to take for granted the freedoms we have as Americans, but would you imagine that campaign signs don’t even have the same freedoms as what we find here in America? It was to our complete surprise that in our investigation of various campaign practices across the world that we uncovered to the lengths some countries restrict their people and politicians from campaigning. Of course, the flip side of this would be the complete lack of control at all, in which you’ll find a country in which the rules are as thin as the gasping breaths you’ll be making when you see how far a politician will woo a potential voter! For today’s investigation however we’ll be looking at the benefits of a political campaign sign in the United States.
Freedom of Speech
They once stood as a terrifying force against the world, holding much of Europe hostage as the world held itself close and shuttered in disbelief; German politics in the years since have turned on themselves. Though their laws appear just, many of the German people have traded in their aggressive past for a simpler, friendlier future. While American attack ads can be fierce gladiatorial matches, in which spears and lances have been exchanged with words and red arrowed graphs- “the attacker would always turn out to be the loser, ” Stefan Liebich explains during his 2013 campaign. In fact, each German part creates just one 90-second ad for the entire election and the number of times this ad actually airs on TV is proportional to the number of votes the party garnered in the previous election. This may seem unbelievable to Americans, who would assuredly demand an equal and fair playing field for their candidates.
Freedom to Promote
A surprising name to pop up on our list would be Britain. Though the British people experience many of the same freedoms we have in America, there appears to be a astigmatism against campaigning like Americans. That is to say, American Political Campaigns are big, loud and exciting events that go on for many months. In fact the 2015 election is arguably one of the longest in the world! However, in Britain it’s a different story. Most British campaigns are much quieter affairs, smaller rallies with less advertisements to promote candidates. As mentioned in this NPR article, Steve Morgan a London Based political consultant, the last time a British political leader tried to do an American styled rally “was Sheffield in 1992, and it was Neil Kinnock.” The results of the said rally were a disaster, and the media ridiculed him for attempting to run an American styled election.
Not only this, but even local TV and Radio ads are feeling the burn of a political system turned off by the idea of Political Marketing. Unlike here in America, where politicians have the freedom to express their opinions and debate face to face with their opponents, the British rarely hold debates and strict laws set restrictions to the type of advertising allowed on Radio or Television.
The Benefits of an American Campaign Sign
The thing is, America has it pretty great- but that’s not to say that Europe or the rest of the world is wrong either. American campaigning is a loud, exciting event that goes on for many months and includes the best parts of the American spirit being promoted through signs, banners, TV ads and an assortment of political tools. While many around the world may shy away from American politics, I believe America simply views politics with the same passion as Europe views Soccer.