EDITORIAL – Why would anybody want to be a politician these days?

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An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

IT’S A TERRIBLE TIME to be a politician.

Japan’s longest serving prime minister was assassinated a few days ago. A coward with a home-made gun shot Shinzo Abe as he was making a campaign speech. Japan, ironically, is known as one of the safest countries in the world.

The much-respected Abe served in the top political job for a decade before resigning two years ago for health reasons. His reward for his public service was a bullet in the back.

At this writing, both the president and prime minister of Sri Lanka — where, by the way, Kamloops forged a partnership with a small town after the 2004 tsunami — are in hiding from rampaging mobs. Their offence: a bad economy.

In the U.K., Boris Johnson will exit as PM as soon as a replacement can be found. Despite his accomplishments, Johnson was forced out by his own Conservative party after a series of seemingly minor scandals that, nevertheless, drew tabloid headlines.

In our own country, Conservative leadership candidate Patrick Brown has been booted out of the race for alleged financial irregularities.

He’s trying to appeal the decision but if his disqualification is upheld it could have a profound effect on Canada’s political landscape, depending on the ultimate winner.

And in B.C., John Horgan will step down as premier as a result of his battle with cancer, and a top contender to succeed him says he won’t be in the race because of family considerations. Ravi Kahlon says the prospect of his home being picketed by protesters, and the toxic spotlight cast on political leaders these days, was a consideration.

All of these examples confirm that politics is a nasty game with few rewards. Sometimes politicians deserve what they get, sometimes not. Whether you serve honorably or imperfectly, chances are you will be disparaged, your health will suffer, or worse.

So, who wants to be a politician? Step right up.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

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

About Mel Rothenburger (9504 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.

1 Comment on EDITORIAL – Why would anybody want to be a politician these days?

  1. There are few reasons why anyone would want to be a politician. Some do it as a hobby. Some do it as proxies for power and privilege. Very few seem to be doing it for a true altruistic calling. Then there is a certain kind of media creating all kind of obstacles to reasoned discourse…a feeding ground for cowards?

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