It’s Federal election time here in Australia. How do I know this? Unfortunately not because of the stimulating debates between party leaders informing me of well thought out policies and strategies, but because my letter box is stuffed with election propaganda. As the election nears the volume proportionally increases. There’s some good reasearch in that methinks! I digress as my wont…..
Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against a letter drop; I’ve helped budding candidates in the past. What puzzles and worries me is that whoever is dropping the cards, letters & flyers into my box ( and those of my neighbours) has difficulty in reading.
Many homeowners have stickers and signs on their letter boxes these days. Mine says Australian Post Only; my neighbour’s announces No Junk Mail, and I’ve even seen one when walking the dog that always catches my attention – No Crap! I would think the message is clear.
Given our government’s concerns over the last decades with literacy levels, I would suggest that we have yet a way to go if this behaviour is evidence of the “Education Revolution”.
But let me pause and reflect a little more to why this oversight of letterbox tags is happening. Perhaps the letter droppers belong to the generation that did not learn to read phonetically and hence are unable to decipher the message on the box? I would have thought though that No Crap would be clear enough; although Australian Post might be a challenge.
I envisage that in future an appropriate literacy test be given to address this problem. I am happy to undertake study to the need and provide the training at a reasonable consultancy fee. In fact, in a gesture of goodwill I will do it for free!
Some days I am so incensed by the volume of paper in my box that I toss the whole lot straight into the recycle bin, pausing for a moment to remember another felled tree. On other days I do glance at the correspondence and find in many cases it is quite personalised, beginning with a “Dear Ilze”. Do I know these political aspirants, I ask myself, that they can be so familiar in their salutation? They are quite chatty too, as they remind me of what WE have achieved during the last term of office, and what WE will endeavor to do in the future. TOGETHER and GOING FORWARD are the catch calls of the day!
Sometimes the propaganda includes a photograph of an airbrushed candidate; and even family members and pets to add authenticity; (and I suspect they too have been airbrushed as my dog never looks that clean) smiling graciously and inviting me to proffer my vote for them on September 7. Interesting that , for whenever I have seen them at the shopping centre they seem to have an arrogant and dismissive look on their faces. Could these be the same people?
I lift the yellowed lid of the recycle bin yet again. My god, it is filling up!