Armchair Mayor

By: Mel Rothenburger

Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). He continued to write columns for The Daily News until it ceased publication Jan. 11, 2014, and did regular commentary for CBC Radio.

If we’re going to insult politicians with nicknames, let’s make them good ones

April 29, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — Maybe it’s election fatigue and I’m just feeling grouchy, but could someone clue me in on what’s so funny about calling the premier of our province “Krusty” Clark?

Friends and supporters don’t call her that, so it’s safe to assume it’s not meant as a compliment. No, it shows up in anti-Liberal blogs and comments whenever somebody is feeling snarky about the premier or her party.

Acting Mayor Arjun Singh proves he has the chops for the job

April 28, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — There’s something different about Arjun Singh these days.

What’s different, of course, is that he’s the deputy mayor in the early days of Peter Milobar’s leave of absence due to the provincial election. 

Councillors take turns as deputy mayors (they used to be called “acting mayors”) on a monthly rotation. When the mayor is away, they fill in. Usually, there isn’t much to it and might involve attending a public function, signing some papers, or maybe chairing a meeting, but it’s a one- or two-day part-time proposition.

Green team puts in strong performance at forum

April 26, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: April 26, 2017 - 4:38pm

KAMLOOPS — The best thing about election forums is that voters get to see and hear how well candidates think on their feet. At last night’s media-sponsored forum, the thinking came in a range of speeds.

Liberal incumbent Todd Stone’s experience shone through as he maintained his composure throughout, even when jeered, reeling off lists of Liberal accomplishments. His preparedness was refreshing compared to some of the other stuff that was offered up.

Saga of Kamloops Daily News property wasn’t as screwed up as it seems

April 22, 2017 - 5:00am

The saga of the Kamloops Daily News building isn’t City Hall’s finest hour. One might get the impression, in fact, that MBA programs won't be including it in their curriculums as a case study in how to meld politics, business and public engagement into a result that works for all.

However, it wasn’t as big a screw-up as it seems on the surface. True, City Hall came up with craps, but it was at least as much a matter of bad luck and circumstances as anything else.

Horgan handed Clark victory in first leaders’ debate

April 21, 2017 - 11:30am

The first leaders’ debate was a doozy — full of both entertainment and information. As always, there’s the question of who won.

The answer is Christy Clark, with John Horgan second and Andrew Weaver bringing up the rear.

If you didn’t hear it — the debate was broadcast on Vancouver radio station News 1130 on Thursday morning — you will have the clear impression that Horgan came across as angry and rude throughout the hour and a half.

Ship has sailed for proportional representation in B.C.; wave goodbye

April 20, 2017 - 4:52am

KAMLOOPS — Why is it that B.C. politicians think they have to keep promising to change the electoral system in this province?

In recent days, both NDP leader John Horgan and Green Party leader Andrew Weaver, for reasons possibly known only to themselves, have dropped electoral change into their platforms. Well, to be fair, they’ve been committed to it for awhile, but now that we’re into the campaign, it’s been added onto other platform announcements like a tagline.

Bill of rights for airline passengers long overdue

April 19, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: April 19, 2017 - 5:50pm

KAMLOOPS — We all know flying economy isn’t a bed of roses at the best of times. Seats designed for short, skinny people, cramming carry-ons into the overheads, some lout beside you snoring, babies wailing. The video screen on your seatback conks out. And the food, or lack of it. We’ve all been there.

Then there’s the worst of times. That’s when the airline overbooks and tells a passenger to get off the plane, and when he doesn’t, three burly airline guys come aboard and haul him away. That’s what happened on United Airlines recently.

From coffee cups to bombs, we’re obsessed with big

April 15, 2017 - 5:00am

I was out and about one morning this week when I felt a need for caffeine. Not a lot of caffeine, just enough to say hello to the day.

Pulled into the drive thru.

“Hi, what can I get for you today?!” asked the cheery voice on the speaker.

“I’d like a small regular coffee, with cream,” I said.

“Definitely! Would you like cream in that?!”

“Yes, I would definitely like cream.”

“Anything else?!”

“No, that’s it.”

“Right, tall regular coffee with cream!”

Why candidates shouldn’t attend single-issue forums

April 14, 2017 - 5:00am

Some people are concerned about the fact B.C. Liberal candidates Peter Milobar and Tod Stone haven’t accepted invitations to attend certain forums. It came up again with respect to last night’s (April 13, 2017) forum at TRU co-sponsored by the TRU Faculty Association, CUPE 3500, CUPE 4879, and Kamloops Thompson Teachers Association. 

I’ve commented here a couple of times about the Liberal record on avoiding some of the forums, but I can see their point of view.

There are, actually, several good reasons why candidates should not attend so-called single-issue forums: