goldpanner is a yukon party nugget

Symbols carry a lot of weight. And that’s clearly at the heart of the ridiculous decades-old licence plate debate that has resurfaced on the…

Symbols carry a lot of weight.

And that’s clearly at the heart of the ridiculous decades-old licence plate debate that has resurfaced on the airwaves and the letters pages of the territory’s papers.

A private artist drafted an alternative to the goldpanner squatting on the territory’s licence plates.

He clearly did a professional job.

But there’s nothing official about it.

No government department suggested Bill Barnie’s raven, or endorsed it.

No politician has embraced it.

So what’s the big deal? Why are people so worked up?

Well, in some weird way, it resonates with the territory’s two solitudes — those supporting raw industry and those who value the environment.

Clearly, symbols matter.

And that’s why the goldpanner has to be purged from one of its two homes.

The icon graces car licence plates and the campaign signs of the Yukon Party.

It was a brilliant move, cribbing the licence plate symbol for political purposes.

The Yukon Party finessed free advertising on every bumper in the territory at public expense.

It’s wonderfully subtle, but it shouldn’t be allowed.

So, the territory should strike it from the licence plate in favour of something politically neutral, if such a thing exists.

Failing that, the Yukon Party should be forced to strike its creek-dwelling mascot from its campaign props because, clearly, symbols matter. (RM)