It’s been said that the first casualty of war is truth. As the next round of tomorrow’s ideas for our community begin to move forward, it would seem the adage fits nicely here as well.
Over the last few years, a few very important topics have percolated to the top of our collective discussion, and have suffered the fate of many reasonable discussions – death by the interwebs.
I’m not sure when it happened, but this new age of information has begun looking like an age of idiocracy, and no one seems to notice.
For the Gen X and beyond readers, I’d like to throw your mind back to that 7th grade research paper. You would pick a topic, say Tornadoes. You would painfully put together your question: How do Tornadoes work? Then, the tedious task of research: Books, encyclopedias, scholarly articles in credible publications.
And the kicker for every paper, even in 7th grade? You had to cite the sources in your paper. Today, we quickly to turn to the internet, ask the almighty Google, and bam! Truth!
Just for fun, I searched Tornadoes, and my favorite reply from the ether was the one about the weather control weapon, called HAARP, that causes Tornadoes. Imagine turning that paper into your teacher…
While the government weather control weapon may seem like an extreme example, we are turning to, and producing, equally distorted information in our public discussions around the proposed LNG plant, Garibaldi at Squamish, Squamish Valley Music Festival, etcetera, etcetera. Pick any topic and you will find it.
Dogma is replacing diligence in our discourse, anecdotes are supplanting our objectivity, and it would seem the devil has moved on from details to pragmatism. Important discussions about the next 25 years for our community have turned into battlegrounds between the lobby and the special interest, and most shamefully, between neighbors.
As we are now in an election year, the crazy quotient is sure to rise in the lead up to November 2014.
As such, I’d like to propose something complete unique for our next municipal election:
Let’s have a grown up discussion about what we have, what we need, and what we can do without.
Seek compromise, and councillors with vision.
Be civil and informed.
Most importantly, ensure you and your neighbor vote! In this battleground, it may be the last thing we have.