Here’s what I’m looking for in a leader

Ah, our favourite time. And I’m not referring to springtime, although that is more welcome this year than most others I remember.

No, I’m referring to the coming election. It is a time when we are almost forced to take into account the government we have just had, and whether to maintain or reject them. It’s a time when we can make an endorsement or a change through our votes.

It made me wonder what would be the best form of government to serve us. I’m not talking about a group that hands out essential services like candy to an unruly child.

Again, how would we be best served for the well-being of all the citizens of our province?

Our experiences will often come to the forefront when we consider this question.

For myself, my experience at the kitchen and in interacting with the street community tends me toward a more socialist government, while common sense tells me that I cannot expect the very people who hire me to foot the bill for a social program.

When I look around the world at the different systems, I realize that we can have both, but as in all things pertaining to our well-being, it will cost.

Some countries have been able to be both progressive and socialistic at the same time, and have done so successfully. Maybe we would do well to check them out.

With all we have seen and witnessed over the many years, we have to ask ourselves: what do we expect or desire from a government?

So I sat down to list what my desire would be for a good government. My list is as follows:

1. A party and a leader with integrity as their foundational core; not lip service, but an integrity that stands out and is recognized as such.

2. A party or a leader that stops trying to woo me with the funding of projects that are needful things that would or should happen with or without an election.

3. A government that does not make promises just to make me like them more and keeps the promises that they do make. Even one would be enough.

4. A party that actually believes that truth and honesty are not relative, but absolute; not subject to bribery or threats of job or financial reduction.

5. A party whose primary purpose is not just to garner votes and support, but desires to lead in such a way as to make all citizens feel as important as they tell us they themselves are.

I do not desire a utopia in which to live, just a fair and respected land that is governed by a group of leaders who recognize the difference between ruling and leadership.

You see, in my books, a ruler is one with a God-given responsibility to govern in all fairness and truth, while a leader is one that the people desire to follow because of that leader’s integrity and truthfulness.

Are we allowed to hold our leaders to such a high standard? For sure we are, realizing at the same time, that none are perfect and they are capable of unthoughtful speech and the occasional gaff, but they strive earnestly to stand out as a person and a party of integrity.

There has to be some forgiveness on the part of the population, because not every word that comes out of their mouths is going to be full of wisdom and authority; they are just human, after all.

I fully believe that a party that works on these premises would not need to inflate themselves; their re-election would become sure as a result.

Chris Salomons is a retired Red Deer resident with a concern for the downtrodden.

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