By Craig Funston
It takes a real man (or woman) to be a good politician. I think I laid that out quite clearly last week. And when I speak of a politician, I mean an elected official at any level, for any party, in any region.
I have never been elected to anything significant in my life, unless you consider class president in grade six worthy of note. That’s so long ago, Methuselah was a teenager. (Or for you non-biblical historians, Elizabeth Taylor was only on her third marriage.)
I was even raised in a a sincere yet misguided (in my books) tradition where we simply did not vote. That notion was I have since “seen the light,” and voted conservative/Conservative for the past 30 years.
But voting is one thing; running for office is another. Truth be told, I don’t think I would run at any level. You might say that I am not in any “shape” to run (wow, clever play on words—agree?). This is for the following reasons:
I don’t have the desire. To me, being a politician is a lose-lose proposition. Everyone is out to get you—from the constituents, to the riding association, to the members of the opposition, to fellow-politicians—and there’s always the media. It’s like being a school principal: Everyone’s out to get you, from parents, to students, to staff, to Alberta Ed. Just when you please one segment, others are put off. Or if you still haven’t got it, think of a hockey ref.
I don’t have the time. Certain things are very important to me: family, church, farm, career(s). These take up enough of my time, so what would I have to give up? Better stated: When would I have time to serve my constituents? After all, isn’t serving the people one of the primary functions of any elected official? However, based on the track record of certain politicians, you wouldn’t think so.
Politics, I suppose, would become the new career. But frankly, I like my present one(s).
I don’t have the money. It takes a lot of money to run an election. Win or lose, the money would still be out the door. I haven’t looked into it enough to know what sort of money would be spent, and how much would be reimbursed. Starting up an election campaign, then maintaining it, would be too cost prohibitive for me.
I don’t have the courage. This is likely the biggest reason for me not to run. Could I truly represent my riding here in the Deep South? Could I present my convictions on such divisive issues as private and home schools, traditional marriage, the rights of all citizens, true tolerance, and the preservation of life, from womb to tomb? Or would it be a mishmash of values and views, polarized and promoted, with no clear-cut representation?
You’re right; I didn’t think so either. We’re becoming a selfie, self-oriented culture, and people at every level would end up clashing with me..
There’s this quality called conscience, this virtue called integrity. Both are necessary to be a good elected official. In that case, I’d have a tough time going against the grain. I have no doubt there are politicians at every level who possess these characteristics. How they handle it, I don’t know.
I have enough trouble leading and serving in home, church, property, and career. And that’s with only a few responsibilities assigned to me. How could I, in good faith and work ethic, lead a broader base of people with so many diverse interests and agendas?
That would be a tough call, and I would be the first to lend my support –starting with my vote—to anyone who could do that.
So I won’t run, meaning you can’t vote for me. However, don’t forget that whoever you vote for represents you. That’s included in the “rep by pop” notion. Therefore, you need to investigate your key candidate on at least some basic points. After, all, you don’t want them misrepresenting you, do you?
Connect with them in some form—all-candidates meetings, phone calls, personal visits, text or email—to determine where they stand on issues like educational options, the quality of life, traditional and historical family units, and financial principles. Those are just for starters.
We don’t need leaders who have loose or careless morals, big mouths, or hidden agendas. We have enough of those clowns today at every level. We need men and women of integrity, character, virtue, and scruples.
Where, oh where, is Harry Strom when we need him?