Monday, October 19, 2015

What Bass Fishing Has in Common with Election Promises about Space

          By Glen Strom

The winner, for today. Photo c/o Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press.
By the time you read this, the 2015 Canadian federal election will be over. We’ll know who is forming the next government (probably).

Which brings us to why bass fishing is like election promises about space.

I remember the time we went fishing when I was a kid. I was excited about catching a good-sized bass. My excitement evaporated when my father told me I had to throw it back. It was out of season.

The fish were protected because at that time of year, they’d bite on anything. It’s the same for promises made by political parties during an election.

The end of his road. Photo c/o Adrian Wyld / CP.
As outlined in the October 12th, 2015 SpaceNews article, “Editorial—Space on the Canadian Campaign Trail,” both the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party have promised more money for space, better programs, another long-term space plan...the usual. 

Yes, we really do need another space plan to build on the highly successful ones that came before, as the October 13th, 2015 article “Part 2: Abandoning the Emerson Aerospace Review?” recounts. (Sarcasm? What sarcasm?)

But those promises don’t mean much because the parties are in a feeding frenzy of their own. They’ll bite on anything to get votes. More money for space would be wonderful, and if the election winner comes through with the money, we’ll have reason to be happy. 

Collapsed. Photo c/o Graham Hughes/Canadian Press
Just don’t count on it. In the overall scheme of things, promises made to a fringe industry like space won’t be high on the list of things to do first.

Or second. Or...well, you get it.

As outlined in the June 14th, 2015 article, “Jobu Won't Save Your Space Start-up: Do it Yourself,” your best bet is still build it yourself without waiting for government money that may never come. 

The same advice holds for established companies, as the May 31, 2015 article, “Mother’s Milk is Drying Up for Space Companies,” outlines.

They don’t let you fish for bass out of season because they’ll bite on anything. That’s often how it is with political parties during an election. The only difference is the politicians will smile at you as they take the hook.

Glen Strom.
But keep this caveat in mind: Unlike fish, politicians have far more success at getting off the hook unscathed, leaving you with nothing more than another story about how the big one got away.

Glen Strom is a freelance writer and editor with a background in business and technical writing. Follow him on Twitter @stromspace for the latest on Canadian space stories.

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