OPINION: Let’s keep the campaign debate civil

Insults rarely further a debate. They only muddy the answers.

Rejection is rarely welcomed.

But that’s what the majority of people who announced their candidacy for the various elected positions in the Comox Valley face.

It takes a lot of nerve to run for office. It takes drive and determination, vision and imagination.

But above all it takes confidence – confidence you can make a difference; that you can make a contribution to the growth, prosperity and collective health of the community.

Others will challenge that assurance.

Indeed, in this age of social media, few escape the online assaults that assail anyone who pokes their head above the cover of anonymity.

And to some degree, that’s fair. Political hopefuls on the campaign trail are essentially applying for their job. It is up to us to then assess that application and provide our verdict on voting day.

We need to study their credentials, listen to their responses to our questions, challenge their assumptions and critique their conclusions.

Democracy is an active process. It was never meant to be a spectator sport. It requires our participation as much as the candidates.

But there are rules.

And personal attacks are definitely off limits.

We’ve said this before in this space: attack the issues, not the individuals.

There is ample room for debate on most issues: Should we spend more and provide more services? Or, should we spend less and keep taxes low?

We don’t need to make it personal; insults rarely further a debate. Instead, the mud hurled usually obscures the answers.

That doesn’t mean candidates are exempt from criticisms for the opinions they hold. They should be ready to defend their stances when challenged; the electorate will grade them on election day.

It is not an easy process, nor one for the timid.

But it should remain civil. The candidates who have put their names forward have prompted discussion simply by their willingness to initiate debate.

And, regardless of who we vote for on Oct. 20, that deserves our thanks.

READ MORE: For comprehensive campaign coverage, check our election section

Just Posted

Valley filmmaker receives funds to produce web series pilot

Chukwumuobi Obasi was awarded the funds through Telus Storyhive’s Web Series Edition

Overall grade rates up for Comox Valley Schools

Most starting Grade 12 are finishing out the school year

Eight Comox Valley non-profits get government funding

The Province has announced $314,000 in funding for eight not-for-profit organizations in… Continue reading

‘Pop-up’ Christmas Craft Fair at Tsolum school

Funds from table sales and concession support school in El Granadillo, Mexico

VIDEO: Kenney lays out key demands for meeting with Trudeau

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aims for clear signs of federal action on two-day Ottawa trip

Province sues over sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after marine lift failed

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

No reports yet of Canadians affected by New Zealand volcano eruption, feds say

Missing and injured included tourists from the U.S., China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia

Vancouver Island blues musician’s mother’s home burglarized and ransacked

David Gogo’s 71-year-old mother has jewelry and artwork stolen in break-in

Most Read