While campaigns are now fully underway for the upcoming referendum, the campaign signs of major political parties are receiving attention for non-political reasons.
The Association of Optometrists Ireland (AOI) has been forced to alter their official eye test charts to include titles of political parties from current campaign hoardings for the referendum.
The association has taken action following complaints from recently-tested patients who say they can barely see the name of the party responsible for the sign, with more claiming they see no party name at all. President of the AOI, Mark Daly, expressed his surprise at the number of patients complaining:
“Patients that were certified as having 20/20 visual acuity by fellows of our association are incapable of seeing whether Fine Gael or Fianna Fail is the party name on these campaign signs. These patients were able to read through some eight rows of the standard test from a distance of 20 feet without any difficulty at all. Obviously, our standard tests need to be revised.”
Some political commentators argue that the issue is not the sight of the general public, but rather that Ireland’s political parties are beginning to realise how utterly despised they all are. However, one confidential source disagreed with this view, pointing to the extensive history of Irish politicians having no shame whatsoever.
‘Look at the campaign slogans, for instance”, the source said, “Fianna Fail are demanding reform despite having led for 13 years of national decay. On the other side, Fine Gael – a party of politicians – are promoting ‘fewer politicians’ as a positive thing. That level of hypocrisy cannot be achieved if one has any sense of shame.”
Nevertheless, the AOI are pressing ahead with revisions to the standard eye test chart. Unveiling the new scale, Mark Daly explained that ability to see the names of Fine Gael or Fianna Fail on the chart equates to 20/10 visual acuity, a standard of sight that few humans actually have – almost on par with birds of prey.