Politicians Must Stop Breeding Cynicism: Justin Harper Edition

Agora - because civic discourse matters!

Old politics is all about breeding apathy and cynicism so the “leaders” can get on with their business, and the people will just shut up and get out of their way. Pretty arrogant.

New politics is all about honesty, integrity and leadership.

Justin Harper pulled the traditional Liberal tactic of campaign from some left, progressive place and governing from Stephen Harper’s playbook.

Politicians must stop breeding cynicism. What does this look like?

Real leaders who inspire integrity and real civic engagement actually listen when they’re being heckled and jeered and when citizens literally turn their back on them, a symbol criticizing how politicians turn their back on the people. See #1 and #2 below, from the Globe and Mail piece. [Pick up more of the developing story at the CBC., and this excellent analysis at Canadian Dimension!]

Political arrogance, resentment, contempt for the populace and condescension breed a desire to rebuke those who criticize. Criticizing protesters by saying they appear unwilling to listen is grandly hypocritical as Trudeau has been criticized recently for not listening to First Nations groups as he continues to ram through Harper’s pipelines. See #3 below.

Agora - because civic discourse matters!
Agora – because civic discourse matters!

Real leaders celebrate and encourage honest dissent and debate, not sheep-like, uncritical devotion to leaders. So those who are critical of leaders are not setting a bad example for others. This is a democracy; the Greeks helped develop this notion with the agora. See #4 below.

Real leaders don’t tell people to suck it up when it comes to unstable, precarious economic prospects. Why should young people, or anyone, just accept a crappy economic model that entrenches instability? What is the economy for, anyway. Is it to enrich capitalists or create a vibrant society? Any politician who says that vocational precarity is normal is no leader. We need leaders, now! See #5 and #6 below.

Real leaders go beyond minimalist, incremental, minor amendments to economic supports like a small increase to the CPP: they actually double the CPP to let seniors live with dignity instead of cat food. Condescending leaders reply to an audience at a youth labour forum that mildly increasing the CPP has anything to do with their concerns as they are just starting their careers and are decades away from retirement. Real leaders speak to the actual issues people are facing, not reminding their elderly voting base that the CPP is going up a bit.

  1. No wonder the youth are apathetic towards politicians, and
  2. Bad politicians cultivate this apathy, and
  3. Good leaders cultivate meaningful engagement!

Justin Harper is failing as a good leader. Because just as we need to practice our Systems Theory more effectively when it comes to our symbiotic relationship with our environment, society is itself a system too. Recognizing that Systems Theory affects the fabric of our culture means being a good leader who engages and empower everyone in society to build the world we want.

We need to pivot to that world. And we need to support politicians who are on this path too.

And when we don’t see those politicians, we need to MAKE them from our friends, neighbours and colleagues. For, if the current politicians aren’t pivoting with us to a better future, we need to elect people who will!

By the way, the BC elections is next May. Huge pivot opportunity there!

Justin Trudeau greeted by heckles and jeers at youth labour forum

1. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was heckled and jeered as he took questions today at a youth labour forum in Ottawa.

2. Several dozen delegates at the young workers’ summit turned their backs on Trudeau as he spoke while many others held signs reading “Keep the Promise.”

3. As the prime minister took questions, he also criticized the back turners, saying he was disappointed that they appeared unwilling to listen.

4. Trudeau said the action sends the wrong signal to the other young people in the room.

5. Many of the delegates criticized the Liberal government for considering signing onto the Trans Pacific trade deal and complained about the effects of so-called precarious work on their lives.

6. Trudeau was booed when he responded that precarious work — including jobs with no pensions — is now a fact of life.

7. The prime minister added that’s why his government pushed so hard to improve the Canada Pension Plan.

Source: Justin Trudeau greeted by heckles and jeers at youth labour forum – The Globe and Mail

About stephen elliott~buckley 94 Articles

Husband, father. Post-partisan eco-socialist. Political scientist, researcher, consultant, speaker, facilitator, editorialist. #PostCarbonEnergyInfrastructure, #ClimateHope, #Feminism.

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