Once again we are in the midst of a provincial election and we, the electorate, have front row seats in witnessing politics at its worst.
It seems that the ideal of democracy, having legitimately elected representatives guiding the way under the banner of a ruling political party – one with the highest number of sitting members – has long been lost and replaced by a completely different system.
It was always my understanding that the role of a politician is, to the best of their ability, and at all times, to make decisions and take actions that are in the best interest of those they govern be it citizens living in a municipality, province or an entire country.
Sadly those days – if they ever existed – are nothing but wishful thinking.
Today’s politicians seemed focused not on what is best but rather on what’s wrong.
It would appear that politicians take it upon themselves to find fault and criticize any and every proposal or decision put forth by those seated on the other side of the aisle.
They view their role as an adversarial one and their duty as that of a critic. What’s best for the people as a whole is no longer of interest or concern.
It seems that what is of interest to today’s politicians is simply what is best for the politician and the party he or she represents.
The thought of adopting The Habit of Seeking Win-Win Solutions is, I am sure, anathema to modern-day politicians.
The way they strive to make themselves look good is to do everything in their power to make their opponents look bad.
Regardless of the merit of any ideas or suggestions put forth by their opponents, today’s politicians seem bent on finding fault.
They assume the role of critic and being a critic is the easiest job in the world for it requires no experience, no intelligence, no ability, no skill, no talent; only a desire to look for fault.
And as we all know when we seek to find fault we will always succeed.
Their role is not about doing the right things; it’s about winning a popularity contest.
It is unfortunate that our politicians see no merit in The Habit of Seeking Win-Win Solutions for were they to do so, and were they to have the maturity required to set aside partisan politics and truly commit themselves to seeking and doing what is the very best possible for those they ostensibly serve, they would probably find themselves the beneficiaries of unparalleled support from those very voters who today shower them with contempt.
The long felt disdain that many voters have for politicians would begin to melt away and the apathy practised by so many voters may well turn, causing them to become willing participants in the democratic process.
The Habit of Seeking Win-Win Solutions would not only enhance the careers of our elected officials, it might well make them better at their jobs for when we develop a mindset of seeking good and discard the mindset of criticising and finding fault, we all benefit.
Forgive me for fantasizing out loud. I know what I am discussing is unlikely to become reality. Our politicians are far too self-serving and far too concerned with gathering votes than they are with truly making our world a better place.
If I sound cynical, I am.
That nine members of a political party, including its leader, see fit to walk away from the values they have espoused for years and sell their souls to their very opponents they have spent their careers belittling, speaks highly of the lack of character prevalent in many of those who seek a career at the public trough.
My sense is that those folks would see The Habit of Seeking Win-Win Solutions as a sucker’s game. Sadly they will never realize that seeking win-win solutions always, and I emphasize always, produces better results and benefits more people than does adopting an adversarial stance on every topic.
I am unfairly painting all politicians with the same brush as there are many whose commitment to their role as servants of the people is absolute and unquestionable.
There are far more of us than there are of them so even if they choose adversarial practice over The Habit of Seeking Win-Win Solutions, the rest of us don’t have to follow suit.
After all, most of us don’t believe we have to sell our souls in order to keep our jobs.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.