OUR VIEW: Here’s hoping election debate is tolerant and respectful

You now have 38 days to make up your mind about the country you want to live in.

Or, if you’ve already made up your mind, you have to wait 38 days to cast your vote. But make sure you do cast it (or sooner if you decide to take advantage of advance polls). With the federal election campaign now officially underway, it’s time to roll out the traditional urging to get out and vote, do your bit for democracy and, above, all appreciate the fact that you are free to vote for whomever you please.

It will be interesting to see how this campaign goes. It will be short and judging by commentary on social media and media websites, there are strong opinions out there about our political leaders. Not all of it has been eloquent or even intelligent and it raises the issue of whether it’s indicative of a real dissatisfaction amongst voters or just that the dissatisfied have a platform to express their discontent. One thing’s for sure, the debate on social media is rarely civil or respectful and that is something that we hope our political leaders decide not to emulate.

We need more than just real discussions about important issues, we need them to be tolerant and respectful. And we need our politicians to set the tone. Hopefully, they will.

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