We can see the incompetence of the Canadian government while minions of hostile foreign interests shut down the country. The inept reaction to blockades by fauxboriginals and environmental poseurs got me thinking about competence and decision-making ability.
We seldom have the politicians we need to be making the decisions that affect us. People vote based on feelings. Politicians get elected based on feelings. Good decisions are made by logic and reason not by emotions.
Early in our marriage we ended up with a subscription to the local paper. It had minutes from the local municipal council meetings. I would read those minutes and get irate at the stupidity involved. I would get totally wound up. Then I realized there was no point in that anger. If left unchanneled it was only harmful to me and, perhaps to Juanita who had to listen to my rants. If channeled into action it could mean getting involved with local politics and maybe running for office.
In a worst case scenario, I would end up being elected. Either option, unresolved anger or political office could destroy my life.
I found a solution.
I quit reading local newspapers.
I have missed out on knowing about the odd local event, but other than that the effects have all been positive. I recommend it. It hasn’t changed the actions of town councils, but you can’t fix stupid. It is mostly better to let them blunder around in their well-meaning but inept knee-jerk responses without knowing.
Let’s contrast that with a situation where people are hired and promoted based on competence.
A couple of years ago I ran across a copy of a quality manual from the papermill where I worked as a student and then, later, for seventeen years as a full-time employee. I have no idea where I got it, probably it was laying in an abandoned office after somebody moved to a new one. There were no trade secrets. It was a vintage collection of memos duplicated with a spirit duplicator. The names on the distribution list would have held Godlike status to me in my twenties. They were people in the production and technical department management. Each memo outlined some production or quality problem or issue that had arisen, what they thought caused it, and what the procedure would be to handle it going forward.
I spent half my working life in management dealing with problems. This gave me invaluable perspective into the binder decisions. I was in awe to read page after page of logical, effective solutions with minimum wasted energy to implement. After a couple of fond hours forensically watching some master managers at work I tossed the binder. Eventually my sea can will only contain needed stuff and this was one small step in that direction. The appreciative glow of observing competence is still with me, however. These guys didn’t get their jobs by appealing to an electorate’s emotions. They got them by doing good work and making good decisions and over time getting to make bigger ones.
Don’t you wish we had somebody like that in charge of the country?
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