I get back to America a lot, but I can't remember the last time I was there at election time. We have elections here on June 5 and one feature of Irish elections is the posters. They seem to be hung on every lamppost and on just about any other roadside feature you see. The faces on the posters are rarely attractive, but the colors make for a change - especially with the number of gray days we've been having lately.

Thanks to the Irish voting system we have here we have many parties and independent candidates in all elections. That, of course, means a whole load of posters using a wide array of color schemes. On June 5 we'll be voting in two elections - one for our representatives at the European Parliament and also our local councils. There are at least six parties contesting elections in my area along with a half dozen or so independents. And many of the parties field two or three candidates hoping to win multiple seats. That's why there are so many posters.

I heard a guy on the radio the other day complaining about one poster that had half fallen off a lamppost and was dangling upside down in front of a traffic light. They do half fall quite a bit, but I guess it's pretty rare that they fall directly in front of a traffic light.

The posters are not made of cardboard, but of a harder (maybe plastic?) material. Some of them are pretty big too. That's not as obvious when you're driving along because you only glance at them and they're often fairly high up, but if one happened to fall on your head, it would hurt. And, as my wife's friend discovered recently, it can be pretty frightening to have one blow down onto your car as you're driving.