A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
Contact us at democracyunderfire@gmail.com

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Take Your Shirt Off for Democracy.

I am not sure that any of the major political parties gets it, but Harper definitely does not, attacking the leader of a party as if he and he alone is responsible for decisions of policy or as if he alone would be responsible for proposing or passing legislation is ridiculous. Effective perhaps, but totally without merit. True the Harper Regime is VERY centralized and VERY autocratic but even they must surely come to some kind of consensus within their inner caucus and thus we must criticize the “Harper Regime” not just Harper.. There are two extremes of leadership 'style' Autocratic and Democratic, Harper’s style is very much the former whist most of us would think that in a democratic society the leadership style should lean much more towards the latter. Only if the leadership is totally autocratic can we lay the blame for decisions and policies entirely in his (or her) lap, generally others with positions of influence and power must also take responsibility be they elected or appointed to the 'inner circle'.

In an autocratic leadership style, the person in charge has total authority and control over decision making. By virtue of their position and job responsibilities, they not only control the efforts of the team, but monitor them for completion –often under close scrutiny
This style is reminiscent of the earliest tribes and empires. Obviously, our historical movement toward democracy brings a negative connotation to autocracy, but in some situations, it is the most appropriate type of leadership. That, of course, doesn’t mean a blank check to ignore the wellbeing of his subordinate. “

The democratic leadership style is a very open and collegial style of running a team. Ideas move freely amongst the group and are discussed openly. Everyone is given a seat at the table, and discussion is relatively free-flowing.
This style is needed in dynamic and rapidly changing environments where very little can be taken as a constant. In these fast moving organizations, every option for improvement has to be considered to keep the group from falling out of date.
The democratic leadership style means facilitating the conversation, encouraging people to share their ideas, and then synthesizing all the available information into the best possible decision. The democratic leader must also be able to communicate that decision back to the group to bring unity the plan is chosen. “

Our Parliamentary Democracy system is meant to be much like the latter style of leadership where issues are discussed openly, various point of view considered and the best decision possible made after considering all options. Needless to say it does not actually operate that way particularly when the leader is highly autocratic AND has a majority. Although we are told we vote for individuals to form a parliament in reality we nearly always vote for a party as represented by its policy’s and its public face in the form of its leader, with a strongly autocratic leader who dictates to or ignores the majority of his “subordinates” what they can say or do how can it be otherwise.

I would hope that in the future we elect individuals whose leaders lean much further towards the democratic style of leadership for it would solve much of the parliamentary 'dysfunction' currently in evidence. Is Justin Trudeau such a leader? I have no idea but I suspect he is, his perceived “lack of leadership experience” may in fact be just a less autocratic and more democratic 'style' than we are currently used to, and if so is in my view a major asset. The power invested in the PM will not change anytime soon but the manner in which it is used can - with the right 'leader'. Let us hope that we have some better choices when next we try and decide who or what we are voting for.

This post was inspired by those attack ads from the Harper Regime upon Justin Trudeau that try and cast doubts upon his skills and style before he even has had a chance to display them. They do NOTHING for Canada except cast doubt upon the conservatives methods and judgement! With that in mind I offer this 'tag line' to those Liberals out there looking for way to respond to such things.

Justin Trudeau, He will give you the shirt off his back whilst Harper turns his back on democracy”
(or, parliament, our scientists, the environment, accountability, etc, etc, etc)

Take your shirt off Justin and fight for Canadian Democracy!

Support Democracy - Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers

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