EDITORIAL – Can party leaders please stop treating us like idiots?

Justin Trudeau with a lot of people behind him.

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

I LOVE FEDERAL ELECTIONS because they’re the ultimate expression of our democracy. Besides, I’m a political junkie.

There are things about it that annoy me, though — especially coming from the leaders. I’ve concluded they think we’re all idiots.

For example, have you noticed that whenever one of them has an announcement to make, they set things up so there are a bunch of party members standing behind them, smiling and applauding?

It’s as if they’re afraid we’d think nobody supports them if they just stand there alone at the mike. Presumably a bit of a crowd makes them look like leaders.

To me, it looks goofy because it’s so affected.

Another thing that annoys me is when a party leader invokes all Canadians “from Coast to Coast to Coast” in support of their position. The leader will say, for example, “Canadians know what I’m saying is true.”

Or, “Canadians want a government that will take a balanced approach to the environment.”

How do they know what I know or want? Many’s the time I’ve indignantly told the TV screen, “Oh, yeah, well this Canadian doesn’t!”

And how about those seriously affected TV clips where the leader strides into a candidate’s headquarters kissing babies and shaking hands, a huge smile pasted on their face, and the faithful cheering as enthusiastically as they can?

And then the leader tries to jazz things up with exaggerated timbre, saying the local candidate is going to be the next MP and their party is going to form the next government. (Yaaaaayyy!)

It’s all so fakey, and it’s all aimed at us, the audience at home.

I really wish they’d ditch the theatre and just talk to us like we’re capable of thinking.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (7843 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.

6 Comments on EDITORIAL – Can party leaders please stop treating us like idiots?

  1. Its a three sided thing:
    – No, they dont think we are ALL idiots, but a lot of the voters are, and they need to dumb down their language and rhetoric and cater to anyone with the capacity to mark an X.
    – They know those of us who are not idiots, will happily ignore (or more likely give eyeroll to) the plethora of nonsense that they droll out, and will focus on the policy bits that are what we are voting on.
    – They need to wind up their toy monkeys with cymbals somehow, and these automatons actually react to fakery when in the room with their preferred celebrity … and that’s all parties.
    In the end, do what I do … just scroll on to the platform piece.

  2. Tracey Pointer // October 3, 2019 at 1:14 PM // Reply

    My favourite is ‘hard-working tax payers’. We’re ALL taxpayers, one way or another and 99.9% of us are hard working, or were hard working. I find it condescending.

  3. Well Said!

  4. Those ads are not aimed at you. The problem is that, in an era of the 5 second sound bite and the almost habitual FB “like”, they DO work upon those toward whom they are directed.

    Like it or not, the era of the inspirational speech is gone. What we are left with is a bunch of career politicians attempting to sell leadership capability that they themselves don’t really even understand, let alone possess.

  5. Actually this little scribble made me laugh this rainy, gloomy, morning. Thanks for that MR.
    Generally speaking out timbre ain’t jazzy…is fakey gone mainstream? Empirically I would yes and I sure wouldn’t blame the leaders as they (the leaders) are just a product of the times…

  6. Sean McGuinness // October 3, 2019 at 7:13 AM // Reply

    They should do what Kennedy did. Walk in a parade pulling a goat on leash.

Leave a 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: