Editorial: The Reason There’s Only A One Letter Difference Between ‘Civic’ and ‘Civil’

Rossland Telegraph
By Rossland Telegraph
October 15th, 2008

The big Canadian election is over now, but the important one is still to come. Here in Rossland, on November 15.

At least that’s how I see it.

We live in a world that’s all too often a top-down affair. Big media and big business impose their agendas on us without a thought for anything but their bottom lines. Big politics, too, feeds us caricatures and false issues in order to persuade us to follow one party or another and help them further agendas that, often enough, aren’t fully disclosed or fully understood by the voting public. And the average person? They’re left feeling powerless, divided, and–often–bitter.

In contrast to this, everything good in our lives comes from the bottom up. The networks of family and friendship that sustain us are close at hand and the nature of those relationships is egalitarian.

Democracy grows from the ground up as well. The people we elect to represent our interests at the local level closely reflect our values and these values seep upwards in the system, community by community, eventually forming the core of our national system.

In light of this, I think it’s important that we take our responsibilities as citizens in a democracy seriously. We all need to educate ourselves on the issues of the day; we need to learn what the candidates stand for, to question them and challenge them.


People who run for office in a town like Rossland are paid pennies for their time and make serious personal sacrifices in order to be a part of civic life; they are sometimes pressured and ridiculed by members of the community. That’s where civility comes in.

The Rossland Telegraph is offering candidates for council and mayor interactive space in which to post personal profiles and discuss forum topics with the public and each other. Please use this space, but use it responsibly. If you don’t like a candidate, say so—but do so by explaining what it is about their stances that makes you unwilling to support them.

Insulting people won’t get us anywhere. Engaging and challenging them, civilly, will.

Categories: Op/Ed

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