An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
IT’S ELECTION DAY IN CANADA and we’re taking part in one of the most important things we can do as citizens.
On this day, let’s take a moment to thank those who are making it all possible — the candidates. Sure, we as voters are important but without the men and women who step forward to ask for our support we’d be nothing but a tin pot democracy, to borrow from an old political phrase.
For the past few weeks, we’ve been scrutinizing those candidates with a keen eye to their words, their idiosyncrasies, their strengths and their weaknesses. But let’s consider things from their perspective.
Across the country there are hundreds of candidates representing 21 political parties running in 338 electoral districts. Last night, none of them got any sleep and — win or lose — they won’t get much tonight, either.
They’ll be trying to distract themselves throughout the day today to remain calm but it won’t be easy. It’s toughest in the couple of hours before polls close and then, as the numbers come in, there’s the exhilaration or disappointment that comes with learning if they’ve been successful.
There are many reasons people decide to run for office but no matter the motivation, it’s no easy gig. There are good days and bad days on the hustings, but for every compliment or kind word there are vitriolic social media posts, rejections at the doorstep, and unfounded accusations.
Few people have the courage for it, and it doesn’t get any better for those elected to office. We continue to scorn them with the indignation of the self-righteous and self-satisfied.
So, today, as we exercise our democratic privilege, let’s be thankful for those among us willing to stand up and be counted.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.