ROTHENBURGER – Coffee shop democracy is always the best kind

Democracy at the Moustache and Go. (Image: Mel Rothenburger)

IT’S 20 AFTER 4 on Thursday afternoon at the Moustache and Go coffee shop on Tranquille Road.

The Moustache and Go has only been open a couple of weeks and its sign consists of a piece of paper taped to the window so if you’re not careful you might wander into Overland Press next door by mistake.

Coun. Kathy Sinclair is chatting with proprietors Mitch Forgie and his wife Edna, and residents Barb Lundstrom and William Turnbull. Lundstrom has lived in the same house on the North Shore for almost 50 years and is active in the SHOP kitchen, Volunteer Kamloops and other community causes; Turnbull is a civic politics wonk who ran for mayor last October.

They’re here for the first “Ask a City Councillor” session, designed to take democracy to the people. It came about after another resident, Linda Kehoe, complained to Sinclair that voters see a lot of candidates on their doorsteps during election campaigns but never afterwards. Why not talk to people in a grassroots, informal setting?

This is it.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former school board chair, former editor of The Kamloops Daily News, and a current director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He was awarded the Jack Webster Foundation’s lifetime achievement award in 2011. His editorials are published Monday through Thursdays, and Saturdays on CFJC Today, CFJC Midday and CFJC Evening News. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (7625 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.

4 Comments on ROTHENBURGER – Coffee shop democracy is always the best kind

  1. John Noakes // April 7, 2019 at 7:13 AM // Reply

    This seems a bit more personable than Facebook.
    Still some diversions with electronic devices but that hurdle could be overcome provided an “off” function is available.

  2. Councillors plus citizen at about 20 in total…that’s not democracy.

    • Mel Rothenburger // April 6, 2019 at 2:24 PM // Reply

      I strongly disagree. It offers an opportunity to sit down together and actually have a good conversation, and get to know each other a little, which isn’t the case in formal meetings.

      • There weren’t very many “actively working people” in that gathering…their point of views are important, for good reasons and bad ones too!
        I also wonder how many “millennials” were at that meeting…that’s another point of view so “strongly” important.

Leave a Reply to Mel Rothenburger Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: