EDITORIAL: Uncivil discourse

We are appalled at news West Vancouver’s mayor and council have been targeted with death threats spray-painted on a developer’s signboard in Ambleside.

While appearing to be a political statement of sorts, there’s no way to know exactly what the motivation was for the threat. It’s extremely unnerving.

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Whether or not we agree with their politics, most people who seek local public office do so in the hopes of improving their communities. They shouldn’t have to wonder if they are safe from harm because someone doesn’t like the way they voted.

It has been a contentious start to the new council but this is a new low in public discourse that was already in an ungracious freefall. Some people, utterly convinced of their own righteousness, seem to now feel completely unencumbered by common decency.

On social media, people hiding behind anonymous accounts hurl personal insults, libelous statements and conspiracy theories.

We doubt that those who have publicly disagreed with council have anything to do with the spray-painted threats. But when you create a climate where nasty personal attacks are OK, there will always be someone who decides to take it further.

We’ll remind everyone who has been on the losing side of a political struggle that even when you do not get your way, the world does not end. Governments come and they go.

Surely no grievance justifies this petty and cowardly display.

All this does is muddy the waters, making sure the next person considering putting their name forward for public office thinks about staying home instead.

What are your thoughts? Send us a letter via email by clicking here or post a comment below.

 

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