Leading By Example? Sadly Yes.

“Stay at home! This means you!”

How many times have you heard those words from politicians in the past month? Self isolation, social distancing, no unnecessary travel. No exceptions.

Except it turns out there are. In Canada anyway. The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition don’t think the rules that apply to others apply to them. No wonder people have such a low opinion of politicians.

PM Selfie was missing his family so he went to visit them at a cottage half an hour’s drive from Ottawa. Andrew Scheer took his family on a government plane from Regina to Ottawa. Some published reports say there wasn’t enough room on the plane for proper social distancing.

I sympathize with both men wanting to keep their families close, but do they not understand how hypocritical it seems? The Prime Minister was telling Canadians not to go to grandma’s for Easter dinner – but then he traveled to see his family, crossing a provincial border that is closed to non-essential traffic.

After a month (or more) of restrictions I think it is safe to say that people everywhere are hoping for an end to this “crisis.” When will it be safe to go back to work, back to school, back to the theatre or arena?

“Trust us” the politicians say, “we are following expert advice. Just do what we tell you and everything will be okay.”

When they don’t follow their own rules, how can we believe them?

There are so many aspects to this global pandemic that we will only fully understand after the passage of time. It is tough to be objective when you are just trying to figure out contradictory advice on what you should do next. Many of our leaders seem a little lost.

However, there are some constants no matter the situation. One of those is that if you want people to follow whatever you are proposing, you should walk your talk. If it is “do as I say, not as I do,” people will soon find someone else to lead them.

I wonder if Canada’s politicians can figure that out?


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