An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
IS THERE ANY POINT to endorsing civic-election candidates?
It doesn’t seem to make any difference in the outcome. The Kamloops and District Labour Council, for example, has been endorsing civic candidates for years and I’m not aware of anyone’s voting intentions ever being swayed by it.
But the labour council keeps doing it anyway; they’re doing it again this year, giving the seal of approval to candidates for council and school board.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees has published a list of its favourite candidates, too. And how about MLA Todd Stone? He, also, has made public his own choices.
It seems strange that organizations and provincial politicians — in view of the fact they will likely end up having to work with people they didn’t support — would openly endorse certain candidates.
It’s different with individuals. A number of prominent local citizens have made it known who will get their votes and that’s up to them, though it won’t influence the outcome.
The media used to endorse candidates. I sometimes did it when I was a newspaper editor, and did it a time or two after I was elected to public office, too. Those endorsements all had one thing in common — the people I endorsed never got elected.
My record was such that one provincial politician jokingly begged me not to endorse him. At least I think he was joking. Regardless, I didn’t endorse him and he won.
Endorsing candidates is a bit of an ego trip. An endorsement basically says, “Don’t worry about figuring out for yourself who to vote for. We (or I) have done the work for you.”
The Canadian Home Builders Association has it about right — endorsing issues and asking voters to pay attention to candidates’ positions on them rather than declaring for specific candidates.
Candidate endorsements should be left in the bottom drawer, that place you put good ideas best left to mature until they’re past due.
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.