I don’t know – by Pat Whalley

Pat Whalley

It always mystifies me that whenever an opinion poll is taken there is always a faction of the people who “don’t know”.

I agree that it is not always easy to decide the issue, for example at election time is not always easy to decide who has the better platform.  Sometimes there is no candidate that stands out as the right person for the job.  Take the recent USA election for President.  Not the easiest of decisions when there are only two names on the slate and neither seems to be right for the job.  Sometimes you really need to have a box to tick for “none of the above” but that is not usually an option.

Some people are frightened of making the wrong decision and don’t want their answer to sway the vote in what is maybe the wrong direction.  However even the simplest polls have many ditherers who cannot make up their minds. For example………   Q. do you prefer butter or margarine?  Answer  I don’t know.  Or  Q. Do you feel comfortable driving in the dark?  Answer  I don’t know.

Why don’t they know?  Are they frightened of putting the wrong answer and appearing foolish?  There is no right or wrong answer, it is simply your opinion.

You will not offend anyone if you choose butter over margarine, coffee over tea or, a real biggie, Coke over Pepsi.

I must admit that I have quite often changed my mind when I have heard both sides of the argument and all the facts are taken into account.  A one sided argument leaves you uninformed about some of the facts and it is necessary to weigh both sides of the situation to form a valid opinion.

At the moment I am really torn between  the argument for and against the oil pipeline to the coast.  Whatever promises are made by the government and the oil companies it is almost certain that there will be a big oil spill along our beautiful coast.  To me the threat of this disaster outweighs the economic reasons for this installation.  However, I am getting to the latter end of my lifespan, the economy of the province and, indeed, the country will probably not affect my way of life.  Should I then have a say in the future of the province?

Should there be legalised marijuana?  The idea of encouraging youth to start on what can be a very real downward spiral into despair really sickens me.  However, to the hundreds of people who can be relieved of pain and suffering by the use of this drug, should they be denied the benefits?  There is a little girl in Summerland who has hundreds of seizures every day.  A few drops of marijuana oil reduce her seizures to two or three.  Who would ever want a child, or an adult, to suffer like this if there is help available in the form of a drug?

Definitely two sides to every story, which is the right way to go, the correct decision to make?  Oh Lord, does that make me one of those dithering idiots,     a Don’t Know?

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