Don’t Run Me Over on the Way to the Poll

In my small part of the world (British Columbia, Canada) we are in the process of electing (May 9) a new legislative assembly that will hopefully provide leadership and governance for the next four years. I believe that we, in Canada are one of the lucky places in the world today in terms of relative freedom, security, and justice. None of this can ever be taken for granted despite the less than 60% of eligible voters who voted in the previous election. Of the 3 main parties that are vying for control of the legislature in my province, each is offering up a variety of promises based upon perceived needs, wants, and enticements for a vote.

Yesterday, one of the candidates in my riding knocked on my door and I politely suggested that she could better spend her time knocking on doors of those more interested in her political perspective. We exchanged pleasant but restrained smiles and as she walked away I realized that I did not tell her why she would not be getting my vote and why I believe there is a core moral element in any democratic society that is necessary when being given the privilege of forming a government.

The current premier of the Province of British Columbia does not appear to possess the personal moral authority to be the leader of our government. We see this the world over: look at our economy, look at our bright job picture, look at how we have protected this, or this, or that, but please do not look at the behaviour of our leadership. Is there not a long-term price we pay for behaviours that do not belong in a civil and caring society? Over time do we just suck it up and say thanks for the supposed goodies you have passed on to us and shut our eyes to the way you conduct your business? What makes you so special that you can comfortably ignore red lights (see Apr 29, 2013 CBC article) until you are caught, pocket massive amounts of cash just because you can, or callously disengage (#IamLinda) with the electorate in a fashion only a well-practiced bully might do? Do these behaviours not taint the very good things that your government does or are we all so shallow that we will continue to turn a blind eye and be thankful for the little things you throw our way, and that we have a job and a roof over our heads?

Leadership in any organization starts at the top and everything and everyone associated with that position on down is either tainted or blessed with the message and modeling of that leader. Our world today is littered with sad societies run by those with great guile – let us not be one labelled as such.

No I will not be voting for my local Liberal candidate but I will cast my vote and I will continue to try and help others come to understand that there is more to being part of a moral and caring civil society than the false image generated from behind the curtain.