ROTHENBURGER – Time for Armchair Mayor’s campaign sign report card

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

PAY ATTENTION, CLASS, it’s time for the Armchair Mayor’s election campaign signs report card, which I’ve been providing each election since 2008.

I probably pay more attention to campaign signs than most. That’s because I like testing myself to see if I can read the darn things as I drive by.

As is the case with every other driver, I have literally one second or less to a) notice the sign and b) read it while not driving off the road.

The average human can absorb 5.91 words per second in silent normal reading. If we really boot it, we can hit 8.21 words.

Victoria candidate’s sign.

This is a fact many candidates don’t pay attention to. As they’re sitting around with their campaign teams brain storming their signs, they focus on what looks great sitting on a kitchen table instead of what it will look like on a lawn or on the side of a busy road.

As a result, they end up with signs that simply don’t work and are, frankly, a waste of valuable campaign dollars. Those who understand what campaign signs are for, and what they’re asking of passersby, give themselves an advantage over their competitors, at least in standing out on a crowded hillside or roadside.

So let’s look at the criteria and how the current crop of signs measures up.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9510 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on ROTHENBURGER – Time for Armchair Mayor’s campaign sign report card

  1. I find them littering and the ones you have pointed out to be less than legible also generally corresponding to a less than a noticeable campaign, in my way of thinking at least. Furthermore I don’t need any signs to guide me through the voting of choice, also in my way of thinking. Should they be banned? Yes…in my way of thinking (x2)!

  2. Once again you are so wrong. If name recognition is important, which it is, signs provide that opportunity to candidates, is less expensive than paying media outlets far more money for 10 second exposure and that is only if you happen to be accessing that outlet at that time. Signs work for me and for candidates.

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