Sep. 11, 2020

Election discourse has become very personal

The first U.S. presidential debate was about as low as political discourse could – rude, lying, hate, name-calling and a whole lot more. Politics has sunken to its lowest level we can remember.

Ben Domenech, wrote in The Transom: “America Got What It Wanted and It Was Terrible:

“For all the people who are upset about last night’s horrible debate, they should pause and ask themselves: wasn’t that just an accurate reflection of where we are as a nation? Two septuagenarians bashing each other with bursts of bombastic bullshittery and competing whatabouts is the content you will find on Facebook and cable news every single day. To the extent people are disappointed, remind yourself: these men both have nearly 90 percent ratings with the two largest political parties in America. They both bested huge fields of candidates to get their respective roles. This is the show you asked for, and you got it.”

It’s easy for us to sit here north of the 49th parallel and virtue signal to those uncivil Americans. Are we really that far behind?

For the past three years almost every word out of BC Liberal party has focussed on Premier John Horgan, targeting him as a villain. Horgan this, Horgan that, and Horgan everything else. What has stood out over that period of time is how little the Liberals told us what they would do for the province if they were returned to power. No, it was always nasty, bad, evil John Horgan.

We didn’t see the vilification of Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson by the NDP, and then the election was called. It was like night and day, they had kept their powder dry and now it was time to blast both barrels. NDP television advertising telling us all about the Liberals, focussing on nasty, bad, evil Andrew Wilkinson.

In any other field of discussion, this would border on hate speech. Let’s hope we don’t get the same feeling from our leaders’ coming debate that the Americans got out of theirs. We are better than that, aren't we?