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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

During our recent conversation, John Nicholson showed me snapshots of his time working on the Yukon riverboats 70 years ago. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: Yukon man relives the riverboat days after seven decades

John Nicholson took summer work on Yukon steamers in the 1950s

Whitehorse City Hall at its Steele Street entrance. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Change of plans approved for city hall

Project would see 1966 city hall demolished

A city map shows the property at 107 Range Road. The zoning is now in place for developers to proceed with plans for a Dairy Queen drive-thru. If plans proceed on schedule the new restaurant is anticipated to open in October. (Cyrstal Schick/Yukon News)
October opening eyed for Dairy Queen

Will depend on everything going according to plan

NDP candidate Annie Blake, left, and Liberal incumbent Pauline Frost. (Submitted photos)
Official recount confirms tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin riding

Both candidates Pauline Frost and Annie Blake are still standing with 78 votes each

Anne Huang launched Anne’s Dumplings out of Yukon Food Provisions in December. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Yukon Food Provisions launches collaborative cooking space

Ice cream, donuts, bread, dumplings and feature items are all available in the industrial district

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: Hands of Hope, the quilt of poppies

Toilets are important Ed. note: Hands of Hope is a Whitehorse-based non-profit… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Two new cases of COVID-19 variant identified in territory

“If variants were to get out of control in the Yukon, the impact could be serious.”

Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Most Read