Search This Blog

CCE in brief

My photo
Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Friday 14 August 2015

Heart-Based Leadership Vs "Who's the Boss?"

Still on the Care Bear Economics thing, but moreso - the topic of leadership:

There's a real emphasis this election on The Leader.  Harper is either a failed leader, because he's made bad choices, or a tough leader, because damnit, he's not afraid to make decisions.  Trudeau is either a visionary leader or a guy not up to the task of being a leader.  Mulcair must prove himself to be leader-like to the masses.

Step back from this frame, and what emerges is the impression of democracy as this thing that's run by one all-powerful guy at the top.  

Like a corporation.  Or a monarchy.

That's not what democracy is about, though.  In our system, decisions are supposed to be held to account and even informed by representatives of the people.  That way, regional issues aren't ignored and no one person can universally declare war against any group, internal or external.

When all the decision-making power rests in one set of hands - well it can't, can it?  Even if they want to think that's the case.  So you end up with people doing the job of being the boss besides the actual boss, but trying to make sure they don't get caught.

The Duffy affair, if the current narrative holds, is all about that.

Beyond this, when the boss is calling all the shots, people aren't particularly inspired to contribute their ideas, to fact-check or double-check the lay of the land.  Innovation isn't encouraged, because hey - that's the boss' job.

As much as centralized parties led by Tough Boss leaders running our institutions is their narrative, it's one the people to a surprising degree support.

Those for Trudeau say he's the man for the job.  Those for Harper say he's the only one to keep the country safe.  Mulcair's fans also tout him as the only one to course-correct ship Canada.

Where are the demands for increased consultation, democracy between elections, co-designed policy?

They exist among a subset of the public service and engaged citizens, but by and large, they're absent from the general discussion.

One of the big complaints elected officials will articulate (but mostly off-record) is that all they hear from constituents is complaints about what's not working and demands to do better on what's working only marginally.  Appreciation for good deeds is scant, and ideas and plans almost non=existent.

Heart-based leadership is about empowering people; picture politicians as facilitators rather than feudal lords.  The tough decisions would be joint decisions steered by Members and Ministers, because that's how democracy is supposed to work.

That's not what we're asking for, is it?

We talk a lot about the failings of democracy in Canada.  I come back to this:

You can't have an Open Government if you don't have a Responsible Society.

For that, we need a revistiation of the social contract - what we get, what we expect, but also what are responsibilities are.

If we're not proactivley looking to make that happen, then the state of affairs in Canada are as much a reflection of us as it is of them.

No comments:

Post a Comment