EDITORIAL – Give high marks to candidates who’ve shown up

Forum at Desert Garden held this week. (Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

SO HOW TO DECIDE who to vote for in Saturday’s civic election?

A lot goes on behind the scenes that affects the outcome. Door knocking, for example, is one of the most effective campaigning techniques and it tends to be done quietly, almost invisibly.

But there’s much to be said for standing up and being counted for all to see. When sorting through the list, ask yourself who among the candidates has shown up, figuratively and literally.

Because not all of them have. Not every candidate has attended all the election forums or has answered all the questionnaires and interviews.

Which ones have been on the roadsides waving at traffic, on the sidewalks handing out brochures, on radio, TV and social media telling us why they deserve our vote? And, yes, planted election signs?

You might think we don’t learn much from those things, but all of them tell us something about the commitment of candidates to the process and the depth of their determination to serve us as our representatives. Some candidates can raise more money for their campaigns than others, but the ones who want it most work their butts off.

They show up. They put themselves out there. Answering questions about policies and platforms is a lot tougher than demanding answers as taxpayers, and some people are better at it than others. Those are the ones we want, the ones with ideas, yes, but also the ones who raise their hands, not the timid ones, not the ones who phone it in.

Incumbents bring experience, but what’s the quality of that experience? Has the incumbent reached out to the public between elections, listened, taken a full part in debates around the council table? Do we know what that person stands for?

One more thing: Sun Rivers, you don’t vote in Kamloops but you do have a vote for a school trustee seat. Check out the School District 73 website for details.

See you at the polls.

Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on and CFJC Today. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (7715 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.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – Give high marks to candidates who’ve shown up

  1. Thanks for your insight, Mel.
    Putting forth one’s name for public office is kind of like wanting to live inside a fish bowl. Some people will do OK and others won’t. The first part of the commitment to public life starts with the election campaign.
    Although there is no law yet to limit the number of terms a person can serve in public office, that was part of my consideration when voting this time around.
    And, as you mentioned, the voter should bear in mind the previous term(s) of the elected members. Flowery speeches don’t cover up or make amends for having been ignored.

  2. The decision to vote for a candidate is truly made months before. A few slogans just prior to Election Day means absolutely zero.

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