You wanted Gandhi as Warden?

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Dispatches from the 148 by Fred Ryan

Answer “yes” if you want leadership based on asking a few hard but simple
questions of most MRC decisions: Will this benefit many, or only a few? Will this benefit those who live around it or who will live with it, or others far away? Will this benefit the least fortunate, or those already doing well?

Dispatches from the 148 by Fred Ryan

Answer “yes” if you want leadership based on asking a few hard but simple
questions of most MRC decisions: Will this benefit many, or only a few? Will this benefit those who live around it or who will live with it, or others far away? Will this benefit the least fortunate, or those already doing well?
Answer “yes” if you support Gandhi’s clear ideals, if you want someone who clearly keeps a commitment. “Yes”, for Gandhi’s lack of self-serving compromises, for no corruption, no favourtism.
Within each of these platitudes about ideals and vision and honesty are hard kernels of reality — our Pontiac reality. If Gandhi could do it; why can’t we?  Must so many leaders in our world be on the take and be empire-building?
Why aren’t their pensions sufficient for retirement, like ours!
Or do we want even more –do we need more than Gandhi provided his people?  Besides real honesty, don’t we need an initiator, an instigator?  With action needed on so many files, don’t we need a leader with an ability – and willingness — to motivate and stir people up with optimism for our region’s future?  Conversations around the election repeated the importance of ideals and vision, as if our goal is, always, to see ideals translated into reality.  Well, sure! — but given the complexities of, and stresses on, rural life and municipal economies, given all the many players and interests at stake in every single file, shouldn’t our goal be more modest: to see politics not as ideals put into practise, but leadership as the art of what’s possible?
So, yes, to Gandhi’s modesty, his lack of ego and non-pomposity. Yes, to
his avoidance of bureaucratic jargon, thinking, and caution. He was far ahead of us already!
Yes, to his lack of greed. He was not a consumer, lived modestly and asked
little for his services. This is not unheard of, although it is in our obese society. The recent President of Uruguay, one of South America’s economic success stories, lived in a small home at the edge of the capital, drove himself to work every day in his VW Beetle . . . hello? 
His jurisdiction’s billion-dollared economy did not require spending millions in governance.
And we also know we need someone not constrained by personal creeds and by a complex of moral prohibitions and exclusions – Gandhi’s problem. No sticks in the wheels, no geographic tugs-of-war.  No finger-wagging, and other wastes of energy. Pontiac is a statistical basket-case with our income, employment,
literacy, health and recreation, environmental, etc., statistics largely in
the trashcan. This demands action, not merely purity!
We have picked well. Our new warden is not only the chair of a council of municipal representatives, although that’s part of it; our Warden is our image, representing us to the province, to our nation and the world. When our Warden speaks, it is, at least in part, on behalf of you and I.
The campaign will soon be forgotten, and now it’s our turn to show some of that honesty, action and energy we insist from our Warden and our Mayors. Our own engagement must match the engagement and action we want from our MRC.  This is our region, not someone else’s, not the province’s.
One of Gandhi’s notable expressions is that we ourselves have to be the future we seek. “Our future” means it grows from our actions, something we have to create. It won’t be delivered by Uber, and certainly won’t be self-driving, no matter anyone’s campaign promises.