Editorial: Hi ho, hi ho, it’s back to school we go

Trent Ernst, Editor


It’s an annual event.

You know the one. That one where you hit the end of the summer, look back and feel like there’s so many things you wanted to accomplish and so few things you actually did.

Summer in Tumbler Ridge is such a short season, and this year felt even shorter than most, what with cooler temperatures and more rain than … well, maybe not than normal, but more than last year, certainly.

Generally, we can count on a few nice weeks come fall, but the forecast, at least for now, looks a bit bleak, with highs of 14 being the best we can look forward to in the next seven days.

While it will be nice to see the kids heading back to school (nothing like government sponsored education/babysitting), I’ll miss the opportunities to go out hiking with Bree, or biking with Zoe, or camping with the whole family.

The danger is in thinking that the end of summer is the end of it all. It’s not. Just the end of another phase of life. Just the passing of another season and the start of another.

Already, my Facebook timeline is starting to fill up with posts about pumpkin spice lattes (which will again be unleashed on the world on September 8, if you’re curious) and odes to the cable knit sweater.

Some people will put down one season over another, and, while my heart belongs to summer, I can see the appeal of fall, too. As a photographer, the colours of fall are unbelievably gorgeous to shoot, and each day that passes means one more day until October 19, when campaign season will finally be done.

Alas, we shall still have to listen to stories about Trump until at least next July, barring a miracle, which is when the Republican National Convention will happen and the party will officially nominate someone. Only 320 painfully long more days to go before their election actually, really starts.

That’s one of the greatest things about Canada: an eleven week election season is considered unbelievably long. Three months is long enough for four main parties (and a handful of indies) to let every man, woman, child and dog in the country know what their platform is.

The sad thing is, Canadian politics seem to be stooping their way towards American politics. And it’s not just the politicians, but the party members and even just the people who support their favourite political parties who are getting like this.

In America, they’ve got two parties and everyone in the country belongs to one or the other. You’re either Republican or Democrat. There’s very little no man’s land where people can get together and talk and have meaningful dialogue around issues.

Instead, people stand on their side of the fence and throw bricks at the other side.

While Canadian politics have never been a model for consensus building (I had hope back when the Conservatives were elected with a minority government in 2006 and then again in 2008, but they just couldn’t figure out how to work together), it seems that in the last year, the ridicule and mocking has risen to near-American levels. With three or four parties worth notice, Canadian politics have always seemed to be more unbalanced, and therefor more negotiable, than American politics.

But the level of vitriol and rock throwing, of us or them thinking seems to be  on the rise here in Canuckistan.

Which is sad. Because Canadians have always seemed to be more willing to sit down and talk about things rather than build a straw man out of the other sides’ argument or candidate and then ignore it. All political parties have good ideas, all have bad. But when the party platform is more important than figuring which are the good ideas and moving forward with those, then we are all lesser for it.