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EDITORIAL – Election-sign vandals should pay a heavy penalty if caught

(Image: CFJC Today)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger

IT SHOULD COME AS NO SURPRISE that election signs are being vandalized. It happens pretty much every election.

Usually, signs are knocked over and even stolen. Any sign that uses plywood for backing is especially enticing, because the wood is valuable.

Or, it might be a statement of sorts against the very idea of election signs, which a lot of people regard as unsightly clutter, or a protest against the state of politics in general.

Mostly, though, it’s pure vandalism, somebody who gets a twisted kick out of it.

What’s different about the round of vandalism that started last week is that it’s clearly identifying itself with a particular political party. A lot of the signs are being tagged with PPC.

Ken Finlayson, the People’s Party of Canada candidate in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, disavows the vandalism, saying it definitely is not something he or his party is responsible for. In fact, his sign crew has been helping clean up the signs of his opponents.

Finlayson should be commended for that.

But could it be the work of some misdirected individual who subscribes to PPC policies without being otherwise active in the campaign? I doubt it very much — I suspect it’s some random blockhead using the PPC’s initials as a convenient excuse to do damage.

Like it or not, campaign signs are a part of our democratic election process and need to be respected. As such, they’re legally protected. Anyone caught vandalizing them is subject to a hefty fine and even jail time.

To my knowledge, no one has ever been caught, convicted and penalized for election-sign vandalism in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo but there’s always a first time.

If someone is apprehended for this current outbreak, they should pay a heavy penalty.

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

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About Mel Rothenburger (6934 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca 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 ArmchairMayor.ca 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.

1 Comment on EDITORIAL – Election-sign vandals should pay a heavy penalty if caught

  1. Further to the debate about election signs—the city should have some kind of policy on where election signs can be placed. There is an abundance of large signs at strategic intersections—fair enough—they get the attention of voters and get recognition for the candidates. But the proliferation of lawn signs along the highways and gravel banks of the community only downgrade the whole election process. Lawn signs are meant for folks lawns to show support for their party or candidate—they are not meant to be scattered everywhere in the neighborhood. Within a week or two of the campaign they get blown over or become skewed. Currently the blue signs of the Conservative Party are the worse—followed up by the red Liberal signs. Those erecting these signs should have some respect for the community—or is it just because folks don’t want lawn signs and they have to use them up ??? The city needs some kind of policy on where signs can be posted.

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