Politics of polarization not the only option

Politics of polarization not the only option I couldn't wait to open the next Yukon News. After reading Jimmy Borisenko's Sept. 25 letter ("Intolerance must be exposed and opposed") I had to see Rick Tone's reply ("One mighty mind-reader," Sept. 30). Ri

I couldn’t wait to open the next Yukon News. After reading Jimmy Borisenko’s Sept. 25 letter (“Intolerance must be exposed and opposed”) I had to see Rick Tone’s reply (“One mighty mind-reader,” Sept. 30).

Rick, your reasonable and reasoned response was great. I’ve been reading your letters in the News for the past several months, however, and I’ve found your voice to be very much like that of our current federal government. That is, heavy with ideological slogan-slinging, and light on pragmatic and compassionate ideas and policy.

Not that there aren’t elements of clarity in what you say. But, your tone Rick, (pun irresistible, sorry) left little room for debate or movement.

Now, here’s the thing; the world’s problems are no longer contained by borders or even geography. We are all affected by the plights of others. In truth, this planet is facing crisis on many fronts: humanitarian, economic and environmental.

In order for us to survive and thrive, we need to care for each other, have a vibrant economy and a healthy environment. No matter your political stripes, I think we can all agree on that, can’t we?

If the answer is yes, let’s start there and have a respectful conversation. The best solutions are always arrived at by consensus. Currently, our system is based on the politics of polarization. The parties fight each other and trumpet their differences while never giving consideration to their common ground. Statistics and stories are spun to support any position, and the public are played against one another, complicit in our acceptance of simple answers to complex issues.

Everything we do as individuals and as a society, whether it is building an LNG plant (or a wind turbine) to going through a drive-thru for dinner, to helping others in need, has human, economic and environmental costs. There are also benefits to these activities. Similarly, along with the crises that loom large, there are opportunities to re-design the things that no longer work and haven’t scaled as the world’s population has grown in size and reach.

So of course we need to help people fleeing terrible conditions in their home countries.

My guess is that most who have the courage to make incredibly dangerous travels from their homelands, leaving behind all they know, are also going to be a very resilient and resourceful people. Our duty is to be ready to accept them and include them in our society while modelling the behaviours that we value.

The good news is that our species has developed the knowledge, skills, technologies and creativity to make things right. It’s all there. But our adversarial political system must change. We need to build out a framework for decision-making based on the fundamentals that I hope we’ve agreed on: humanity, economy and environment. Sure, mistakes and misjudgements will always be made, but we are making plenty now! With a bit of luck, this planet could be a paradise for all life.

Sound utopian? You bet! But it might also be within the realm of possibility.

Adam MacCannell

Atlin Road

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