OPINION: Literary bull’s-eye

The Chatham-Kent Civic Centre.

The moment someone opts to run for office, a bull’s-eye is placed on their backs.

However, it is to the extent people will go to aim at that bull’s-eye that can be concerning.

There are smear campaigns galore, verbal sparring, etc. It must stop at threats to one’s well being.

It’s one thing to have a difference of opinion with a politician – trust us when we say we have them all the time – and another to take it to extreme threats of harm or violence.

That said, getting a postcard that calls for your ouster should not provoke a response within council chambers during a meeting.

Councillors receive emails all the time critical of their voting behaviour, or lobbying them to take a particular side on an issue. It’s part of politics to receive notes, emails, have face-to-face disagreements with a ratepayer, etc.

The key is for the other party to keep it civil.

Delivering a postcard to council members who backed the integrity commissioner in her recommendation for sanctions against North Kent Coun. Rhonda Jubenville last summer sounds civil enough. The cards called on the councillors to quit.

A postcard in this fashion shows people are passionate to the point of shelling out money to have such things printed and delivered to councillors.

But that should be the end of it.

It is a piece of literature critical of a politician’s decision. We write such pieces all the time and they appear in this spot in the newspaper.

Perhaps the difference is we do so with no malice attached or intent. We truly disagree with a decision or the line of thought that led to a decision, and offer our reasoning as to why we think council, or a councillor, or a politician from the provincial or federal level, is wrong.

Chatham Coun. Marjorie Crew is one councillor to receive a postcard. She’s a veteran councillor who has likely experienced a lot during her time representing the citizens of Chatham-Kent.

We believe her cup of criticism spilled over at the Feb. 5 council meeting, prompting her to speak up.

Unfortunately, we expect that will only serve to encourage the postcard squad. We hope it remains civil-ish.


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