Sunday, April 12, 2009

Let's finish this -- is the practice of political libel and fraud beneficial to the community?

For the last week, Latte Republic has been posting articles on the topic of political libel and fraud. I began posting on this topic after reading an article titled "Draft McShane" by Greg Kirsch on NW Citizen. Mr. Kirsch has posted a number of articles like the one cited above during the last year.

I have worked as a legislative assistant for two different legislators in the 42nd District. Hence, I have had the opportunity to work with a number of community leaders with diverse backgrounds and opinions. Those contacts helped me grow as an individual and develop a deeper understanding of Whatcom County politics.

I am a strong believer in our political system - the two-party system. Our system presents voters with a choice and it is believed that the system promotes political moderation as the incumbent party must be able to appeal to the ‘floating voters."

Over the years, I have watched a handful of individuals publish articles and books attacking local community leaders. Eventually, the rumors and accusations found their way into the mainstream media. The personal damage to individual reputations, regardless of political affiliation or personal ideologies, has been significant.

The question before us is - do we as a community approve of negative campaigns, political libel or political fraud?

If the answer is yes. What benefits do we derive from the activity?

If the answer is no, how do we put an end to it once and for all?

I appreciate the fact that there are a number of discussions taking place in the comment section. And, I don't want to take anything away from the debate - but I believe the question is relevant. Do negative articles, like "Draft McShane" do more harm to our community than good?

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