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 ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.