Integrity in Politics

Integrity in Politics

One of the things I am thankful for in our country is our election cycles. It’s legally only about 30 days. Can you imagine living in the United States? Some of their elections drone on publicly for years before the vote. It would be about as easy to convince me to accept years of campaign advertising as it would be to convince a pregnant woman to be in labor for 180 hours. It’s just not right… someone’s gonna get hurt!

Now that an election is over we must live with the consequences of the majority choice. We can be confident in our minds that our bureaucracy will adjust to the potentially new laws and policies… because (in my opinion) they truly run the country.

The longer I live the more I’m convinced Canadians don’t elect people INTO power… they elect people OUT of office. They are not as happy to see people get in as much as they are happy to see someone get booted out. Therefore, the majority of Canadians end up being at least somewhat party neutral.

To be honest I just about got into politics about 18 months ago (not Federal). I developed an odd availability of both time and passion. I spent many months researching the issues and responsibilities. I was confident I could wrestle with the issues but I had a growing doubt about my patience level with compromising quality and efficiency (along with having to deal with the public… like two whining neighbors, one complaining about the others barking dog).

Being President of my own company has allowed me the luxury of building a great team, designing outstanding objectives and accomplishing high level goals. I’m not a short term incremental thinker, I enjoy big long term projects. Working in a political field appeared to be a lot of poise and bluster with very little real progress… unless your into destroying something… then it seems you can go full steam ahead without much objection. Being President of my own company also allows me to weather the difficult long term goals (those longer than 4-5 years). Progress in politics just goes too slow for me and I realized I’m too old to learn how to slow down.

In my research I interviewed elected officials and discussed when foes outnumber the friends. Being outnumbered by others with regressive catastrophic ideas would not be fun. In that case my primary responsibility would be to stop something bad from happening rather than implementing something good. It would suck! I’m much more of a forward than a goalie.

I have a few friends in that very position. They have been given the task of protecting the public from compromised representatives. I have a deep appreciation for their role in our government. They must be protected and respected for their tireless contribution. It is truly a thankless and pain filled profession.

However, I also have a few friends who dwell in the corridors of power. Their influence in policies and laws are palpable. For some power has appeared to corrupt them, for others it has not. I’m not sure if anyone (myself included) could be sure of their own reaction if they were given great power. For elected officials accountability must constantly be the norm. In the end I decided to save my fellow constituent from experiencing too much of me and decided not to run.

I am convinced that for our society to thrive the best, government power must be minimized not expanded. Individuals must learn NOT to depend on our government for anything but national security and a fair justice system.

This would mean the average person must be given the freedom to fail (so they can learn what works and what does not). That doesn’t mean we all have to learn in the school of hard knocks, some can pay the lower tuition of humility and wisdom, learning the path without pain. However, when people refuse to be taught by common sense and understanding they must be left to experience failure.

The opportunity to succeed and fail is what creates a true level playing field. It’s the equality of opportunity, not the equality of outcome that builds a great nation of freedom.

Long term speaking, I sooner trust the collective masses NOT in power than the select few IN power… no matter which party they represent.

Robert Scheper

Robert D Scheper has a Masters Degree in Business Administration and is the author of two books, “Making Your Miles Count: Taxes, Taxes, Taxes” and "Making Your Miles Count: Choosing a Trucking Company".

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