COLUMN: An important decision that’s close to home

COLUMN: An important decision that’s close to home

Adventure is always thrilling, not only in its experience but in the retelling to others who were not able to share it with you.

Adventure is always thrilling, not only in its experience but in the retelling to others who were not able to share it with you. And in a way, that is what makes adventure fun … to return filled with stories of exploits, dangers or simply the good times you had.

Afflicting slide shows (remember those in the days before computers and camera phones?) on unsuspecting guests to display in excruciating detail your latest camping trip can be, said in the most charitable way, painfully boring.

Yet, the pictures and the accompanying story can often be interesting, and provide impetus for you to embark on similar adventures.

So that is why I find it so difficult to understand why, just two weeks into a campaign to attract applications from half a million people by Aug. 31, that 80,000 people (35 of them Canadian) have already signed up for a one-way trip to Mars.

One-way! No return to share the slides. No one will ever hear you, at least in person, recount your adventures.

In a perverse way, the trip sounds appealing. But who in their right mind is willing to end their life as they know it to live their remaining years dependent completely upon the interests of others who may, or may not, continue to supply you with the necessities of life.

And once you’re on Mars, there’ll be no nipping off to Costco to re-supply the toilet paper cupboard, or the hardware store to fix the plumbing system. No water but what has been, and will be, sent up to you. And no food other than at the convenience and expense of those who watch your experiment from afar (like about 35 million miles).

What if, while you are basking in the desert-like landscape of Mars awaiting your next supply shuttle, war breaks out on Earth, or the brilliant minds behind this project die, and with them the funding?

And most of all, after the thrill of the flight and the bickering of who gets to stay with whom, who are you going to tell of your great adventure? After all, you’ll be out of cell phone range. And what if you change your mind after a few weeks or months looking back at the distant dot in the sky you foolishly left so willingly; your only recourse to run screaming into the wilderness because there’s no going home.

So while I find the concept of a trip to Mars intriguing how could anyone, let alone 500,000 people, look forward to a one-way trip to an endlessly inhospitable place?

* * *

It may not be a flight to Mars, but today is the culmination of a four-year trip to the provincial ballot box. It is today we decide who and how we want our province to evolve over the next few years.

There will be, after 8 p.m. tonight, a lot of surprised people. Those who thought they’d be a shoo-in, those who many thought didn’t have much of a chance. There will be euphoria and desolation, and for some that Mars trip might appear appealing.

Regardless, if you care about where we live and how we live in this province, today is your opportunity to help decide our future, and have the ability to tell others about it afterward. Don’t let apathy squander your chance to ensure our province is the most hospitable place in the country, and in the universe.