There are many different kinds of cowardice and we can often see the manifestations of several types in the attitudes and behaviours of some politicians. A purposeful avoidance of conversations about important issues with concerned constituents is a form of cowardice, as is an inclination to show disrespect or contempt for those who voice their concerns and attempt to exercise their democratic rights by trying to engage their elected representatives in any kind of meaningful dialogue.
Wilfully forgetting the values and principles outlined in one’s oath of office, especially those related to attending, with equal concern, to the welfare of every citizen in a community, is another form, as is conveniently forgetting that elected officials are responsible to the people who voted them into office and pay their salary, not the reverse.
It is not hard to assess and judge the levels of cowardice demonstrated by politicians. We only need to look at who they decide to spend more or less time conversing with, which community meetings or functions they do or do not attend, to what extent they use misdirection, bafflegab, deflection, and avoidance when asked about important issues, and how much time they are willing to spend intermingling and interacting with average citizens within their constituency.
Using such criteria, how would we in Richmond rank the personal and civic levels of courage demonstrated by those we have elected to represent us at the federal, provincial, and, most particularly, civic levels?
Perhaps a glance at which local politicians did not attend the recent public forum on megahouse construction is a good starting point for conducting such an assessment.