Skip to main content

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

LEONARD: It is ironic that politicians note the discipline within paramilitary bureaucracies when overseeing police and fire departments but don’t see the same rankings around politics


Protocol?  Know Your Place

So I was in this movie.   Yes, while Mayor I signed up as an extra in a movie to learn about the economic impact of the movie industry.  I spent a day of waiting for a scene and didn’t learn anything that I didn’t already know, but I satisfied my ego’s need to be able to say for the rest of my life ‘so I was in this movie.’

My scene was a parade to celebrate the dog becoming a duke.  Yes, the dog
becomes a duke.  I’ve had a great deal of experience working my way to the front of parades, so that’s how the first take went.  The director was quite upset with me as no one was to be in front of the star – the dog – so for the second and final take I was back in the crowd applauding adoringly for ‘The Duke.’  I needed to know my role; know my place.

It is ironic that politicians note the discipline within paramilitary bureaucracies when overseeing police and fire departments but don’t see the same rankings around politics.  While there are ‘Chiefs, Deputy Chiefs, Inspectors, Staff Sergeants and Sergeants’ so too are there ‘Prime Ministers, Premiers, Cabinet Ministers, Mayors and Councillors.’  Just watch the next infrastructure announcement or ribbon-cutting to see who speaks, who is on the podium, who gets introduced and who makes up the adoring crowd.

In politics, there are those who respect the hosts who set the protocol for an event and there are those who resist.  Resistance is futile if you’re invited to a royal event – two tables away from the Queen was the closest I got.  Yet I’ve cringed when the volunteer soccer parent is approached by City Councillor who wants to speak at opening ceremonies even though the Mayor is there and the program is already printed.  Quite often this boldness is rewarded because the volunteer doesn’t want a confrontation but I always felt the damage to one’s reputation will likely balance out.


The worst cases I’ve seen are at high school graduation ceremonies.  It is not that someone is added to the program but rather it is a speaker choosing the wrong content.  Too often politicians speak about their own accomplishments as a lesson or inspiration to the graduates but it just seems self-serving to me.  Then there are those who don’t recognize that they are not the guest speaker but have been asked to simply bring greetings and congratulations: I don’t think reading several written pages and too many ‘Yogi Berra’ quotes sends an 18 year old on life’s journey to success.


Resistance is futile if you’re invited to a royal event – two 
tables away from the Queen was the closest I got


A high school grad is a good example of ‘knowing your place.’  The stars of the show are the graduates; next in line are the parents and loved ones; then there are the educators; and last are the politicians – whose speeches should walk through that list with thanks and sit down.  The parade of graduates is one they should not try and get to the front of.

To me ‘political protocol’ sometimes calls for turning the campaign off to ensure others have their moment in the spotlight.  Old school perhaps, but I’d sure like to see more of it and continue to recommend so to newly elected officials.










ABOUT FRANK LEONARD:
Frank Leonard was Mayor of Saanich and Chair of the Police Board from 1996-2014 after serving as a Councillor from 1986. While in public office, Frank chaired the Municipal Finance Authority of BC, was President of the Union of BC Municipalities and a Director of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. He has also served as Chair of the Capital Regional District, the Hospital District and the region’s Housing Corporation.
Frank Leonard comes from a family business background, having managed Victoria Tire Ltd.’s three Kal Tire stores prior to their sale in 1996. While in business, Frank served as a Director of the BC Chamber of Commerce, President of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, and on the boards of local tourism and economic development groups. Frank has a B.A. (Honours) and M.A. from the University of Victoria, and has completed the Institute of Corporate Directors Program (ICD.D)
Frank Leonard is currently Chair of Parkbridge Lifestyles Communities and a Director of Coast Capital Savings. He is a business instructor at the University of Victoria and has previously served as a Director of the BC Investment Management Corporation, Chair of the Municipal Pension Plan and Chair of the BC Agricultural Land Commission.
 
Check out my website at http://frankleonard.ca/ for information on Local Government and Consulting

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

It seems the call for blood donors is being responded to, however ... “This effort is a marathon, not a sprint” says Canadian Blood Services

A week and a half ago I wrote the commentary ... “ While the national inventory is currently strong, an increase in blood donor cancellations is a warning sign of potential challenges to maintaining a health inventory of blood ” It was written as a result of talk about a potential blood shortage that would occur if people stopped donating due to the COVID-19 virus. It seems the call to Canadians was responded to, however, as I was told this afternoon ... “ T his effort is a marathon, not a sprint ”. As it now stands now, donors are able to attend clinics which are held in Vancouver (2), Victoria, Surrey, and in Kelowna, so I asked if there any plans to re-establish traveling clinics to others communities - for example in Kamloops, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Revelstoke or Cranbrook, and perhaps further north at perhaps Ft. St. John? According to Communications Lead Regional Public Affairs Specialist Marcelo Dominguez, Canadian Blood Services is still on

FEDLSTED -- Rules will have to relax-- the question is how and when

The media has created a fervour over the mathematical models that allegedly help governments predict the future of Coronavirus infections in the general population. Mathematical modelling has limited use and value. We need to understand is that the data available on Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in Canada is far too small for statistical reliability. The data available for the whole world is useless due to variables in how nations responded to Coronavirus infections. There is no commonality in steps taken to combat virus spread and no similarity in the age demographics of world nations, so the numbers you see on the daily tracking of world infections are not useful in developing a model of infection rates that can be relied on. Mathematical models of the future spread of Coronavirus are better than nothing, but not a whole lot better.  Mathematical models must include assumptions on virus spreads, and various factors involved. As they are used in projections, a small erro

WUN FEATHER -- can we just put those two names to bed for a while? You can call me an ‘Indian’ and I won't mind. And let's not call the farmers and ranchers ‘Settlers’ anymore

Hey there # TeamCanada !   I can't take it any more! Well, I guess I can, but I don't want to. I want to talk about the names we call each other. My very best friends, and all my Elderly Aunts and Uncles call me an Indian. I have walked into the most magnificent dining hall at the Air Liquide Head office, Quai D'orsay in Paris, France, surrounded by the worlds top producing Cryogenics team, and Patrick Jozon, the President of Air Liquide, has seen me enter the room, and yelled: " Bonjour! There is Warren! He is my Indian friend from Canada! He and I chased Beavers together in Northern BC!" And over 400 people turned to look at me and then they all smiled, and nodded. To most European people, an Indian is an absolute ICON!   The ultimate symbol of North America. They love us. And then, one time I had just gotten married and took vacation days off to take my new wife to meet my Grandmother; I was so proud. But as soon a

Labels

Show more