City councillors don’t need to agree on everything, but they have to be able to govern in a civil fashion, says letter writer. NEWS BULLETIN file photo

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Put civility in civic politics

What would it mean for our city councillors to govern in a civil manner, asks letter writer

To the editor,

What would it mean for our city councillors to govern in a civil manner? To engage in a civil manner with others means to never lose sight of the humanity of those with whom you disagree and to encourage those in your employ to do the same. Civility is the ground in which divergent views thrive. If we are not civil in our political discourse, we demean and destroy those with differing views and values. The majority who hold sway on our city council wield power as a weapon, not as a sacred trust. They have used every means at their disposal to censure, chastise, demean and sue those with whom they quarrel. They see themselves as entitled not only to their own opinions, which is fair game, but to their own facts. In the behavior of the majority on city council, we are not witnessing people championing unpopular views through careful consideration and presentation of facts and underlying values, with utterances aimed at educating, persuading and empowering others. We are witnessing people attempting to curry favour and benefit from being uncivil, ego-maniacal, insulting and foul-mouthed. We are witnessing people pandering to the basest elements of society and capitalizing on anger and mistrust. Their governance does not improve anyone’s actual circumstances. They just make their supporters feel better by being angry, mistrustful and vengeful on their behalf.

We have indulged this type of behavior for too long. It has cost our city dearly, not only financially but emotionally. I ask my fellow citizens to start talking to each other about what type of person you’d like to see at the council table in the fall, and what you can do, starting now, to make that happen.

Sharon Speevak, Nanaimo

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

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