I have an idea for next political season, based on the following Atlantic Monthly article: http://m.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/11/the-popularity-and-irrelevance-of-our-lawn-sign-wars/264488/

So, if lawn signs are ubiquitous but useless, as this article suggests, here’s my proposal. In the future, all politicians must have supporters remove all lawn signs one week before voting. This plan has two advantages:

1. It ensures that lawn signs don’t get abandoned after the election is over. I hate driving around months, or even years, later and still seeing signs for long-resolved political races. Plus it’s litter – we fine people $103 for littering, but don’t apply this to political signs*.

2. It demonstrates which politicians follow through and can motivate supporters twice. It’s easy to say you believe in personal responsibility, but this would force aspiring public servants to actually show some responsibility.

I’m quite sure that voters wouldn’t forget the candidates’ names if the signs disappeared early. And frankly, I would be more likely to vote for the candidate who didn’t leave a bunch of useless and ugly election detritus lying around.

* There’s no way to track down the supporter who put up the sign. Instead, simply fine the politician whose name is on the sign for every lawn sign remaining after voting day. Use the money for something like maintaining green spaces or promoting transparency in politics.

Unrelated but nice:

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