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Are we playing dice with our future?

Updated: Aug 19, 2023

It seems, at least history is our witness, that getting good leaders, that is, in nations with a democratic process (not dictatorial regimes), is a flip of the coin, especially in nations such as the United States, the United Kingdom and elsewhere, where a lot of money and strong backers in the billionaire club, strongly influence who actually makes it to the Oval Office or the Prime Minister's seat.

Hasn't history taught us an important lesson, that our system for selection or election of leaders is faulty?

To emphasize the point, consider this.

Would you permit someone who claimed to be a doctor, despite being a billionaire, or successful entrepreneur, or whatever, to operate on you? Would you put your life in their hands just because they claimed to be qualified to do the job without insisting on seeing their credentials?

Would you step into a plane being piloted by someone who claimed to be qualified to fly it, but who was not actually licensed to do so?

Would you consider a building safe to live in if it was built by someone who held no permits or qualifications to do so?

The question could be posed a hundred different ways - but in the end, it speaks to this; why is there no bottom line for political leaders? Anyone can run for a Presidency in a democracy, without having to meet any bottom line in terms of requirements, and yet, no one can fly commercial aircraft, or perform medical services on people, or build bridges, or whatever, without having been schooled, tested and certified to do so - and yet, someone can become the President of a nation without meeting any basic criteria besides possibly the rhetorical skills necessary to sway crowds, and the charisma necessary to get financial backers from the private sector.

Doesn't it make sense that the man or woman running for office, with the power to do great good or great destruction, should have to pass a basic criteria, just like doctors, lawyers, engineers, pilots and others? It doesn't violate democratic principles or capitalistic ideology to require that professionals in any field are required to do so, so why should it be any different for leaders? Especially considering the fact that a President can start wars, maybe even push a button that ends all wars - isn't that reason enough to ensure that candidates for such positions of power are not only demonstrably sane and competent, but are not corrupt or corruptible based on their past?

It's not difficult to set the bar for political candidates - any more than it is to set standards of education and performance for other professions. It's difficult to imagine, considering the history of terrible and destructive leaders, not only in regimes, but in democracies too, that constitutionally speaking, actions have not been taken to protect those very democracies by setting a bottom line for anyone endeavoring to take the helm of the ship.

This "cast-the-dice" approach that has been in vogue - opens the door to very nefarious types, and in the long run, it hurts the people and it strikes at the heart of democracy and freedom.

Some suggested criteria, but certainly not limited to these, could be:

  • A thorough background check for criminality and criminal associations. A standard of ethical behavior that must reveal someone who cannot be compromised, because as we all know, political power is easily corrupted in the wrong hands.

  • A demonstrable track-record of having done constructive work for the community or nation, not based on money or donations, but actual and significant hands-on contributions to making a better society for people.

  • Demonstrable ability to lead in a positive manner - meaning, inspiring leadership.

  • An electoral platform of how they will improve the nation, state or city, based on facts, what they CAN deliver and not sugar coated fluff or outright hyperbole designed to leverage the emotions of the electorate.

  • The ability to communicate, interact and negotiate with others as would be expected of a diplomat or politic servant.

  • Proof that they can campaign on their own ticket for the candidacy without being bought off with donations from vested interests and wealthy backers in the private sector. In other words, can they run a platform without being bought off.

These are not difficult criteria to meet for those who want to become a leader for the RIGHT reasons - but these criteria would certainly help to sift out those running for office for the wrong reasons and help ensure that the people elected to power have a positive influence on the nation and are working FOR THE PEOPLE and not for the party, or worse, the private sector.

It's time to reform the system to bring about better leaders. We cannot afford in our modern times, more bad leaders, especially with regimes such as Russia, China, North Korea and other nations where the populace is largely shackled by dictatorial processes which prohibit democratic process in this regard.

Réal Laplaine

Author Break Out Books

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