Douglas College mentioned in tagger’s message
By Dylan Hackett, News Editor
Last week, near the David Lam campus, a series of re-election campaign ads for Douglas Horne, BC Liberal MLA for Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, were targeted by vandals. While one ad was tagged with a graffiti artist’s name, the more prominent sign was scribbled with a subversive message
The bus bench sign, located by the Henderson Place mall at a TransLink stop, functioning as a campaign ad for Horne, was defaced with a message implying the vandals’ distaste for Douglas College’s transit ads. The graffiti comically adorned the photograph of the MLA with a horn, extra series of eyes, and a triangle across his face, likely to imply illuminati affiliation. The message accompanying the defacing offered a mock campaign promise to constituents and passersby, claiming that Horne will remove Douglas College’s “Do” campaign signs displayed across transit ads spaces in the Metro Vancouver region. The sharpie scribbling also made use of the “Using your gut” idiom, more recently popularized by Stephen Colbert, often tied to Right-wing politics.
“[Vandalism] happens from time to time. It’s a way for people to express themselves, I guess. Whether it’s my bench or one of the realtor’s benches, or one of the lawyers benches that are around [the riding], they all seem to equally be susceptible,” reflected Horne.
Even though one of the tagged signs featured a personalized message, Horne figures that his signs aren’t being targeted by his detractors for political purposes and are defaced likely because of their location.
“The bench that has tag on it right now has been targeted, regardless of what advertisement is there, for a while. Quite frankly, I should choose a different location,” Horne confided and chuckled.
Stephanie Toth, a Douglas creative writing student whose likeness is used in the “Do” ads, dismissed any artistic value in the vandalism: “I think specifically calling out the Douglas ads in particular is unwarranted—and I mean that regardless of the fact that I’m in them. What makes the Douglas ads any different from any other ad campaign?”
Commenting on the Douglas “Do” campaign mention on the Horne sign, Dave Taylor, marketing and communications director for Douglas chided, “Don’t like the candidates’ ads? Volunteer for one of them and come up with something better.”
“Having worked in politics, I can say that vandalism of campaign signs is sadly pretty common. It’s unfortunate, because if the vandals put the same effort into getting other young people out to vote, they could actually have some influence and change things,” Taylor pondered. “Why not turn that energy into something positive?”