Smithers Interior News Editorial

Smithers Interior News Editorial

EDITORIAL: When political disagreement turns into hate

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and others have been the target of vitriolic hate

Canada’s system of democratic government means people will disagree about politics.

These differences may become passionate at times, but when they move into the realm of threats or concerns about safety, something is wrong.

That’s what happened in late May, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cancelling plans to appear in person at a Liberal fundraiser in British Columbia because of concerns about the possible escalation of an aggressive protest.

When concerns about an escalated protest reach this level, the issue is far deeper than partisan disagreements, points of policy or political direction.

Days before this fundraiser, protesters were verbally aggressive with Trudeau’s RCMP protective detail during a stop in Saskatoon.

This is not the first time Trudeau has been the target of this level of vitriol. Between Feb. 5 and March 23, 26 threats were logged against Trudeau and eight of his cabinet ministers. Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democratic Party, has also been the target of a level of hate.

Almost a year ago, a Liberal campaign in Ontario was cancelled because of the level of anger shown by protesters.

In July, 2020, a man rammed a gate at Rideau Hall in Ottawa before arming himself and making his way toward Trudeau’s home. That effort was thwarted and the man is now serving a six-year prison sentence.

Political figures in Canada will come under intense scrutiny for their words and actions. This is to be expected in a democracy, and there is nothing wrong with drawing attention to decisions made by elected officials.

However, the tone of criticism against some of Canada’s elected officials is not the same as a political disagreement.

Our elected officials at all levels are tasked with a difficult and often thankless job of making decisions on behalf of their constituents. They’re not always popular, and many people will have strong opinions about the choices made by those in government.

When the tone moves from disagreement to threats of violence, the system is broken.

Our democracy deserves better.

EditorialsFederal Politics

Be Among The First To Know

Sign up for a free account today, and receive top headlines in your inbox Monday to Saturday.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.

Don't have an account? Click here to sign up
Pop-up banner image