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Sunday, March 26, 2023
Letter: Let’s ban the word ‘promise’ from future election campaigns

Dear editor:

In light of our recent election (and elections everywhere), I have two rhetorical suggestions for election campaigns.

Any government is elected to advance national or regional interests and those of its electorate.

Those interests must be pursued in dynamic, constantly changing circumstances, and unforeseeable crises. Policies must be based on reality in light of those fluctuations.

Somewhat facetiously, I suggest that the word “promise” be eliminated, even banned, from all campaign rhetoric and reportage.

Any candidate, at most, can “promise” priorities, objectives, and, perhaps, outlines of general, related policy initiatives.

But given the ever-changing world, detailed specific “promises” may cease to make sense as situations evolve. A government must have the flexibility to adjust priorities and policies, rather than doggedly/slavishly implementing “promises.”

Sadly, the term “scandal” is far too frequently and freely used by all, especially the media. 

Often, the term is used speculatively, subjectively and/or simply for rhetorical impact, i.e. drama, and for giving a story lasting “legs” for political or journalistic advantage. The term “controversy” is accurate, and generally objective/neutral. “Scandal” is not.

Let me add, the panels of “analysts” used by most of the media too often means these forums are comprised of politically committed members (or perhaps “shills”) who are not objective, and hence, do not qualify as true analysts.

The “analysis” of such panels is of little use, because the “analysis” by the members is almost always completely predictable.

Rick Kirby 

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