Author: The Plaidneck (page 1 of 19)

It’s OK to say “I made a mistake”.

Recent political manoeuverings reminded me of an incident in my long career managing a front line municipal department.

I had the privilege of a position where I knew and dealt with both those who actually did the work planned in the office and the elected representatives of the people who authorized the works.

Once, while answering questions on a presentation to Council, a question concerning the approach to some problem (sorry, I don’t remember the matter nor the person asking the question). I answered the question based on the approach espoused in the report. The questioner thought a bit and questioned the answer. His questioning was based on a reasonable consideration. I thought about the councillor’s idea approach, my proposed solution to the problem and it seemed that he (I remember that it was one of the men on Council) had a very valid point.

My response (there was probably a small delay in replying) was basically. “It seems that I’ve made a mistake and will amend our approach.”

The meeting continued to other topics and my active participation in that council meeting ended.

When I returned to the staff section of Council Chambers, there was a somewhat incredulous question. “Did I just hear you admit to a mistake”? The answer was yes, and I did.

That (save for the change of approach the department would be taking for that specific item) was the end of the matter.

The ramifications of making a mistake can be serious. The ramifications of admitting the mistake and (this part is also very important) taking appropriate action to make things right seems very acceptable to those who are in position to judge.

It’s OK to admit a mistake.

The Plaidneck

People vs Person

A comment on a radio program this morning kind of triggered a thought.

Today, there are two know people retained by their opposite governments. Both are known names. Media coverage has been extensive. The comment triggering this item was “there are people involved”. Because of these identifiable persons (a conscious change) we should care. Yes we should, but why should we care about a situation because we can identify the people?

Why do some people matter more than others without any discernable difference other than one is easier to write/comment about?

These two are individuals influential in their field, commerce. It is easy to search their lives, connections, family, foibles etc. There is much discussion of why they have been retained and the machinations performed to justify particular situations.

Somehow we have been manipulated into believing that identifiable persons are worth more time and effort than people not easily identified but are in at least as much and probably more peril.

We send purposefully arm, train and send young fit able young people to far away places to further our particular aims and often just forget them. They are not in as grave a situation as many of the young men we sent on “expeditions” in the mid 20th century, but their situations are serious. Around the world, families receive notice that their son or daughter has been killed in the service of their country with very little media coverage. They too are important.

There are people living in areas where population pressures, lack of work, lack of law, lack of food has made them desperate and often seriously oppressed. There are people living in locales where humans were not meant to live; low land, unstable land, unproductive land. These people are relevant, but because it is not easy to put a face and a story to them, they don’t become the people in “there are people involved”.

It isn’t easy to expand the mind to encompass these people who are in suffering en masse but in order to actually address major problems. We must.

The Plaidneck
(with apologies for the huge gap in putting my thoughts together for you)

Judas Goat

Here in the Province where I live, we’re in the final throws of an election.

Our system is to elect a local (riding) representative to represent us in the Legislative Assembly (our MLA). In order for us to make our decision, most candidates identify with a party (group of people with similar beliefs). Here is where we start to fall apart

The party (prior to an election) gets together and selects one of their members to be their leader. It seems that in most cases, just over half of 12,000 party members selects the “leader”.

Now we have the candidates with their leaders.
• listen to the local media coverage. Do you often hear their opinions or is it the leader’s
• how many times do you hear someone say I’m voting for [name of the leader] when they are not in that leader’s riding. (Only about 120,000 people will get to vote for any of the leaders).
• our general media also feed the illusion by asking and talking about voting for the leader, not the party or the local candidate.

Watch people faun over “their” leader. All too often, the comments are party talking points without any individual thought.

We’ve become sheep. Follow the leader.

With this leadership devotion, seems to come a concentration of power in that office. Where cabinets (elected members who are chosen to oversee certain tasks) used to be the leader’s advisors, paid staff chosen by the leader now provide that advice. If the leader chooses badly, should be blindly following?

Maybe the leader is a judas goat. Look it up.

The Plaidneck (I know, it’s been a while)


Copyright © 2019 Plaidneck

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑