EDITORIAL – It’s the season of electioneering, and trashing signs

Signs in 2018 civic election. (Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An  editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

CAMPAIGN SIGNS are springing up for the fall civic election already and, if this election is like those in the past, a lot of people will be annoyed by them.

More than a few find them to be an ugly clutter. Others, like me, believe them to be an integral part of elections, providing candidates with a chance to get some name recognition and alert voters to the fact their name is going to be on the ballot.

Those who don’t like them sometimes take things to extremes. Candidates and their supporters have to constantly be on the lookout for signs that have been torn down, torn up or simply tossed into a ditch.

Sign trashing is a significant issue not just in Kamloops but in the surrounding region.

Sometimes it isn’t just that the vandals hate the signs; sometimes they hate the candidate and are trying to hurt the candidate’s campaign.

Let’s hope our civic elections don’t experience the kind of disgusting behaviour that occurred in Quebec, where Conservative Party campaign signs were vandalized and campaign workers were threatened with being stabbed.

In one incident a worker erecting signs was accosted and verbally assaulted, then threatened with a weapon.

Signs aren’t the only vehicle for election nastiness, of course. In Alberta, two candidates running for the leadership of the United Conservative Party say they’ve gotten death threats. Online abuse is a different ball of wax but certainly related to the escalating harassment and threats of violence being experienced by politicians.

And, also in Alberta, federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland was confronted by a man who hurled foul language at her and told her to get out of the province.

What to do about this increasing intimidation? Arrest people where possible, of course.

Other than that, the sad fact is, all we can do is condemn it. And hope that, in our part of the country, our civic election is civil.

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 (9657 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 EDITORIAL – It’s the season of electioneering, and trashing signs

  1. In 2018, we went the route of having a sign on our boulevard and I hiked around taking campaign brochures for a candidate to citizens in Westmount. It feels now much like a betrayal so support for that candidate just isn’t going to happen this time around.

  2. Campaign signs could well be a vehicle to highlight the candidate’s creativity. Because creativity is not only an antidote to boredom but also a much needed force to a better society. When Chris Bose run for council for example, that was cool. And even Singh with is round signs did offer a gimp of hope.

    • Mel Rothenburger // September 1, 2022 at 7:48 AM // Reply

      And stay tuned for this year’s Armchair Mayor ranking of best and worst campaign signs.

      • We are off to a bad, boring, littering start. Almost like most resumes I get…easily give me a reason not to hire you.

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