EDITORIAL: Speaking to the Issues

Rossland Telegraph
By Rossland Telegraph
April 29th, 2009

Whenever a storm starts brewing in our ‘Recent Comments’ box, the same pattern emerges. An legitimate issue is raised, usually because of a story we’ve posted or a letter we’ve received, and Rosslanders are quick to take an interest (how’s that for tact?). Quickly, however, things start to get personal. Sound familiar? The talk around Councillor Laurie Charlton’s recent letter to the editor is a good case in point. 

At the heart of the matter was a legitimate procedural question that Mr. Charlton was well within his rights to raise: should councillors have the right, upon demand, to see a letter of resignation from the city’s CAO?

Unfortunately, instead of debating a simple point of procedure, most (but not all) of the participants, including Mr. Charlton, began to discuss other issues. Mayor Granstrom’s leadership was questioned, as was Mr. Charlton’s performance as councillor.

Surely, so soon after an election there’s no need for any of this. Both Charlton and Granstrom have been elected by the people of Rossland more than once. Clearly Rosslanders want them both in City Hall and expect them to do their jobs properly.

So let’s all get on with it. And let’s all remember: without respect, there can be no real discussion. Without respect, no one will listen to anyone else and all sides will simply be blabbing on with nobody listening.


Another issue that got raised this week was anonymous commenting. As we’ve explained elsewhere, ‘false’ usernames are standard practice for commenting on the internet and we don’t plan on changing our policy (though we do monitor the site constantly for libellous posts). Our advice for any readers frustrated by this practice is to simply take the comments for what they’re worth in and of themselves: an intelligent, reasonable post from ‘kid rossland’ is worth consideration while a mean-spirited diatribe from someone signing their real name isn’t worth your time.

After seven months, we feel Rosslanders are playing nice, for the most part: Ilo would be proud of…most of us. To date we’ve only had to take down one comment, and that was merely because someone got called ‘stupid’ (it wasn’t really libel, but the comment itself was kind of….stupid). At any rate, we reserve the right to control commenting and will use that right to keep the discourse at a certain level.

Sometimes debate in a democracy is ugly; sometimes it is stupid. Always, however, it is much, much better than any of the alternatives out there.



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