In the debate over the proposed open-pit Ajax mine, both proponents and opponents sometimes claim to have the silent majority on their side.
Of course, it would be nearly impossible to know what the silent majority is thinking about on any given subject because, by definition, this group is silent.
But this year's Daily News Readers' Choice awards may provide a window into the thoughts of people who are not actively taking part in the discussion. When asked to name the "news you're most sick of," most people chose Ajax Mine.
This is by no means a scientific poll, but it's still a little surprising to find that a lot people would just as soon not hear about Ajax. It's especially perplexing given that a recent survey by City Hall found that Ajax is the number one concern of Kamloops residents.
We're left, then, to speculate on why readers would declare themselves to be sick of news about what could potentially be one of the biggest things - for better or worse - to ever happen to Kamloops.
There may well be many residents who don't believe a massive mine straddling the city's border will have any effect on them.
Even if you don't live in a neighbourhood near the proposed mine, even if you don't think you'll get a job there, the impact will be felt by everyone. If the mine turns out to be good thing, everyone will benefit from the boost to the economy. If it turns out to be a bad thing, everyone will suffer from the environmental degradation. And those are just two examples.
We suspect, though, that Kamloops residents are well aware of these facts, but remain sick of news about Ajax for another reason. Much of the war of words surrounding the pros and cons of this development is filled with an emotional intensity that people naturally prefer to avoid.
Bringing up the subject of Ajax at a dinner party, for example, may not be considered the polite thing to do as it might spoil an otherwise pleasant evening. In fact, there have likely many regular family meals ruined by arguments over the mine.
Whatever happens with Ajax, now and in the future, we should keep in mind that as Kamloops citizens, we're better off working as a team than we are splintering into camps that can barely be civil to one another.
Remember that next time you're tempted to say something nasty to someone just because their opinion differs from yours.
© Kamloops Daily News