If you’re a Canadian, you know that we are now in the midst of the latest political campaign, in an attempt to influence our vote for the upcoming Federal election in May 2011.
I know that we are fortunate, especially when compared to many other countries in political turmoil right now, that we have the democratic system that we do, the very right to vote, and on and on, and I am appreciative for where I live and the liberties that I enjoy, I really am.
That said, I would like to be “inspired” by my political leaders, not driven to choose where to cast my vote based on who I dislike the least, and I know that I am not alone. I admitted to a friend recently, that, for the first time in my life, I did not vote in the last Federal election, because I was so disillusioned and disgusted with the campaigns of each of the candidates, I just couldn’t bring myself to vote for any of them, because I was not willing to use the formula that I just described – he who sucks the least wins.
And now, here we are again, being bombarded with images and messages of everything that is wrong with the “other” candidate. Here’s a thought, how about, instead, you tell me about you, move me, inspire me, by demonstrating who you are and what you are committed to on my behalf and on behalf of my country.
What I see and hear in these negative ad campaigns is everything that is wrong in the world, manifested in the words and images broadcast across the televisions and radios throughout the Nation.
I see bullying, I see discrimination, I see unnecessary fighting and arguing, I see unfounded accusations, lies and defamation, I see initiatives designed to separate us, not bring us together, messages designed to create fear amongst us. All of this from the people who want to lead us.
What is perhaps most astounding to me, is that all of this is somehow, inexplicably deemed as acceptable behavior, which hardly seems to raise an eyebrow from most people, or, people shrug it off with statements like; “it’s politics, what do you expect?”
But imagine if we ran our businesses like this, if we embraced this kind of leadership style as our own? How long would we last?
Consider you open your newspaper tomorrow and there is a full-page ad, by say Fairmont Hotels, telling you how awful Four Seasons Hotels are. It goes on to accuse Westin and Sheraton of being dirty, Marriott Hotels of having terrible service, and concludes with some negative caption under a photo-shopped photograph of Bill Marriott. Would you think to yourself, wow, I want to stay with Fairmont Hotels; I am moved and inspired by their ad. I think not.
What’s more, we would be disgusted and outraged, because it is simply unacceptable behavior, at any time, but perhaps even more so when it is seen to be spearheaded by those that would label themselves as leaders, pillars in our community.
That which was intended to drive us to one brand would instead send us running in the opposite direction. Why then is this acceptable behavior from those that would lead us at the highest level, representing our country and our values to the world.
I admit, I don’t have the answer. It is I confess one of those moments in life when I feel about as significant as a grain of sand on the beach.
But, it all starts with one voice.
Martin Luther King once said; “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
If you’d like to see a new era of politics in our country, add your voice.
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