Sunday, December 16, 2007
TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE...
Real leaders do not fear criticism, nor do they back away from honest debate.
Real leaders walk into the lion's den knowing they are right, take the barbs and arrows, and let their conviction do the talking.
Lester Pearson, in the heat of the flag debate, stood before an angry gathering of Canadian veterans -- who all fought under the British ensign -- and spoke on why he believed it was time for Canada to fly its own colours. He was roundly booed, but he persisted.
Pierre Trudeau, prior to winning his first election as leader of the Liberal party, stood on and refused to budge after an angry gathering of Quebec separatists began to bombard the stage at a St. Jean Baptiste Day parade with rocks and bottles. His aides pleaded with the young PM to leave but instead, he stood his ground.
Stephen Harper, considered by many to be a social conservative, was invited to attend an international AIDs conference, being hosted in Toronto. While his own beliefs may clash with the large contingent of social activists in the crowd, it was expected that a new funding announcement could be presented.
Harper instead chose to go north and sent a minister instead. Upon criticism of the PMs decision, the government cancelled the announcement.
Stephen Harper, at one time having labelled the Kyoto Accord a socialistic scheme, sent his environment minister John Baird to Bali to represent Canada in what was expected to be groundbreaking work for the next global strategy to combat global warming. Instead of reaching out to other countries who wished to see progress and headway on what many consider the most dire issue facing humanity, Baird took his PM's advice and skipped a couple of key meetings, assumedly to meet a constituent at the Bali Hy's restaurant.
But he managed to emerge from hiding to say how disappointed he was in the end result.
Leadership. You get what you pay for.