WEB EXTRA: Common sense to one person is nonsense to another

Dear editor,

I don't believe there is any place for common sense in politics.

Dear editor,

I don’t believe there is any place for common sense in politics.

Every political issue is debatable. The term “common sense” should be reserved for absolute truths.

To say that people must have water to live is a common sense statement. There is nothing to discuss. On the other hand, the financing and design of our water delivery infrastructure and whether we have water meters are political decisions that ought to be subject to debate.

One person’s political common sense is not necessarily the same as another’s. If we visit the Comox Valley Common Sense (CVCS) website, we are presented with many policies and positions that we are told are not open to debate. They are simply common sense.

Some of their positions I am inclined to agree with and others I am not. The point is they are all worth debating.

Even in their short vision statement there are arguable points. We are told it is common sense to want a community where we are “proud to live.” But one person can be proud of something that another is ashamed of.

Our community should be “economically vibrant” and “growing.” Did you know that there are some interesting new ideas floating around about what constitutes a healthy economy? And how much growth can we endure before we destroy our host?

What are “necessary services”? How high is an “affordable” tax?

When the founding fathers from the American colonies met at the Continental Congress in the 18th century, they arrived with some radically diverse ideas and visions. Through a series of vibrant debates, most of the delegates adjusted and even reversed their views and arrived at a consensus.

The results were the American constitution and Bill of Rights; two of the most remarkable political documents ever written.

In today’s political atmosphere, we lack this kind of intelligent constructive debate. We seldom listen to contrary ideas or seek a consensus. Instead of offering intelligent, convincing arguments, our elected officials dig in their heels and shout “common sense” at each other.

I am curious to see who appears on the CVCS slate of approved candidates but it will have no effect on my vote. In choosing how to cast my ballot I look for four qualities in a candidate.

First, they must share my values. Second, they must be able to articulate their ideas clearly. Third, they must have the intelligence and skills to work within the political system.

And finally, they must have the flexibility to grow and change when they encounter new ideas and information.

It is admirable that the CVCS wants to focus on election issues rather than personalities and they have every right to promote their positions. But they are making a mistake in claiming ownership of “common sense.”

In the political theatre, “common sense” is the last resort of the idealogue who has run out of effective arguments.

Erik Taynen,


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map shows new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 11-17. (BCCDC image)
BCCDC says fresh COVID-19 cases down in most Island Health areas

Nanaimo sees its fewest new COVID-19 cases since mid January

Col. Bryn Elliott is the new wing commander of 19 Wing Comox. Photo submitted
New wing commander at 19 Wing Comox

The ceremony was presided over virtually by the commander of 1 Canadian Air Division.

Comox council voted to change the speed limit from 50 km/hr to 30 km/hr along a stretch of Lazo Road. Photo submitted
Speed limit change coming to Lazo Road in Comox

Racing, pedestrian safety issues presented to council

The new childcare centre on Denman Island opened in April. Photo, Comox Valley Schools
New Denman Island childcare facility opens

The facility offers 20 new licensed care spaces

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Monday, April 19, 2021. Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
AstraZeneca vaccine appointments fill up fast on Vancouver Island

More pharmacies expected to be added as supply increases

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read