Take into consideration the worth of the outside when voting


I take some measure of pride in the fact that with the page space given to me by Pique’s editor and publisher, I have every plausible reason (or excuse, depending on how you look at it), most of the Hot button spending to bypass our city / province

I take some measure of pride in the fact that with the page space given to me by Pique’s editor and publisher, I have every plausible reason (or excuse, depending on how you look at it), most of the Hot-button editions to bypass our city / province / society and just write about the good old days in nature. While I will not hesitate to take a stand on certain controversies – especially those affecting the outdoor recreational and tourism communities – I tend to skip the polls and let the other opinion makers on these pages take over the reins of political downfall.

But we are far from social normalcy, and the timing of this election couldn’t be more inflammatory. Our somewhat closed, liberal-minded community, which tends to choose lifestyle over money and career, which is mostly united on issues of climate change (the edge of the People’s Party of Canada supporters in Sea to Sky doesn’t have to apply), that has ( in my experience) always come together when we face adversity, has broken. A “free” society or an immunized society that is free to go on living without infecting those at risk and filling hospital beds? It’s a shame it got this far, but here we are.

In a working session last week, a colleague of mine explained why he was pushing to keep the pronoun “we” in a marketing slogan. He suspected that 2021 will be more about “me”, but for the sake of a brand that includes everyone, “we” would have to remain.

When did “I” become so much more important than your fellow human being?

My rights. My freedoms. My decision not to have a vaccination. My personal expression comparing vaccination records with serial numbers tattooed on the wrists of Holocaust victims. My decision to protest in front of a hospital and direct my frustration on exhausted health care workers.

Insanity. But here we are.

It’s not convincing, the unconvincing it seems, but what happened to get one for the team? “We’re all sticking together” and all of that? I’ll be the first to admit that there is bullshit on both sides of the vaccine debate, but the arguments that have been spreading on social media over the past few weeks have turned our Canadian common sense into a sump of culture war rhetoric more akin to what’s going on in the south of the border. Come on guys. We are smarter than that.

And so, with next week’s elections and the toxic doom scrolling available to everyone, we can only turn to the place outside for solace. Climb some mountains. Hit the trails. Camp out in the wild if you don’t mind encountering a bear or two sniffing around your tent. At least outdoors, “we” still resonate. And not “we we” against them. “We” means all of us.

And what do we need to maintain this space where we all still meet other people and feel that we are putting differences aside because we are having so much fun and enjoying all the great views? We need a climate policy that does not allow everything to burn down in future forest fires. We need to stop harvesting old trees which are literally nature in our part of the world. If we can’t agree on this, we’re really screwed.

So if you go to the polls on Monday September 20th, remember that it’s not just about “me”. We need people who rule the country – both in Ottawa and in our own equestrian sport – who recognize and respond to the greatest existential crisis of our generation (note: there are no mandatory vaccines or passports). When you weigh up all of the economic, social, health and environmental issues that are on our shoulders right now, any candidate seems like a bad choice. But we should still choose, as is our right.

Vince Shuley encourages you to vote on Monday September 20th. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for The Outsider, email [email protected] or Instagram @whis_vince.