We live in a world where certain things are acceptable and certain things are not.
The strength of our community, our province and our nation is its diversity of opinions. We are strong because we do not all agree with each other all the time, and the free and positive exchange of ideas makes us strong.
It is the very cornerstone of democracy. Our system has been described as messy but the best system in the world.
We could not agree more. Our newspaper is built on the very foundation of freedom of expression.
Debate, the free exchange of ideas, and respectful disagreement are not only acceptable, but should be expected in a free and democratic society.
However, violence, under no circumstance is acceptable. It must be condemned at every turn, nipped in the bud when it appears, and those responsible must be rooted out and face the appropriate consequences.
What we saw last week, the signs of violence against an elected official must not be tolerated – ever.
What separates free and democratic societies from authoritarian and despotic countries is that force, personified by violence, is not an acceptable means of persuasion.
In any debate, and any disagreement, violence is never the answer. It must never be perceived as a rational and acceptable way to resolve an issue in our community.
That is why it was good to hear the incident of violence involving a sitting town councillor was condemned in all quarters by everyone.
It is important to reinforce the message that violence cannot be tolerated because it really is not an answer.
We echo the calls of the mayor for our community to band together and work together to make Claresholm the best community we can.
This is a time when, instead of showing the worst of ourselves, we show our best.
Where we protect the right of every one of us to hold our opinions, and express them, without fear of personal safety.
So, let’s all come together at this time, be supportive, and show each other, and the world, why Claresholm is a special place to live. ~RSV