Integrity in Politics: Words Verses Deeds

Integrity will always be more of ‘what you do’ and less ‘what you say’. However, politics tends to be much more about saying the right thing while doing something… well, different. In kindergarten, we are taught that’s lying. In the political world, it’s called spinning. Political spin is the art of turning one’s perception into another by a string of words that drag the pointed finger in a 180-degree turn. If you’ve been around long enough, you’ve witnessed some whopper spins.

Usually, ‘spins’ are not glaringly obvious. They are subtly designed as pieces of a puzzle or picture intended to present issues in a specific light (or omit critical information) contrary to the facts.

In my municipality, we have a counselor (Alvin Derksen) that has been a little difficult to listen to lately. In the last few weeks/months he has released several articles or discourses levelled against the Reeve and Deputy Reeve as well as members of our community*. These accusations are words designed to paint a picture of negligence and/or implications of corruption. However, the facts very much paint a different picture.

Both the Reeve and Deputy Reeve have been locally known as two of our most fiscally conservative members serving our municipality. I’ll provide two small examples. Instead of purchasing a brand-new grader, they successfully pushed to purchase a used grader (the deputy Reeve runs a large, 3rd generation farm and is fully knowledgeable about all things machinery/equipment). The value of the purchase saved $200,000 from the budget while keeping or even exceeding productivity. Secondly, during a very wet year, the Reeve decided to not overhaul a road that needed repair. The wet season has so saturated the ground that the cost of repair would greatly exceed the budget. They postponed the major repair to the next year. This restraint, in face of pressure to proceed ‘no matter what the cost’, saved the budget another bucket of cash. These are just two of many examples of actions that reflect prudent financial management practices. Having government officials show fiscal restraint in the management of their responsibilities provides the best picture a tax-paying citizen could ever wish for.

One of the articles complained about speeding on a freshly paved road (apparently just in front of the counselor’s house). The words droned on and on about the speed being so fast you couldn’t tell the paint color of the car. However, the critical information in this article was the fact that his street was freshly repaved. Once researched, the facts found that it was his push to repave the road in front of HIS house (an act of luxury considering the many, many other, higher priority projects). In other words, he used his elected position to further his personal gain in property value. It’s not exactly an action that reflects confidence and trust.

Soon thereafter he pushed to be sent to Halifax for a conference… on the municipality’s dime… with his wife.

Integrity in politics is not based on carefully constructed words but on what they end up DOING. Don’t listen to what politicians say, look at what politicians DO. If you’ve never seen them do anything, be wary. Look at their friends and associates; what type of characters are they? Do they operate as a team to scratch each other’s back? Do they consider ‘backscratching’ normal political behavior? Or does their behavior inspire trust and integrity? During our election cycle, let’s choose our candidates based on their character, not their charisma, words or perks… vote for policy (beliefs/values), not mere words.

One of the counselors’ written swipe accused the Deputy Reeve of not attending enough meetings (ignoring the deputy Reeve’s high-volume seasonal farm obligations). Quoting attendance numbers and whining about the procedure, he droned on with many colorful words that reminded me of a child in the cereal aisle holding his breath for a box of cocoa puffs. Deputy Reeve has a full-time job besides his obligation as Deputy Reeve… the only ‘work’ Alvin Derksen can find is this part-time political position…which gives him plenty of time to write disruptive articles.

In the real world of action and consequences, we know it will always be better to have 50% of a wise man than 100% of a fool.

*To view Counselor Alvin Derksen’s Articles:

“Councelor Distressed at Excessive Speeding on La Broquiere Roadway Aug. 30, 2019”

“LaBroquiere’s Deputy Reeve Missing Many Meetings Aug. 28, 2019”

“Fresh Blacktop for St. Joseph June 13, 2019”

“La Broquerie Reeve Fence: Mar. 29, Apr. 25, June 13, 2019”

About the Author:
Robert D. Scheper is a leading Accountant and Consultant to the Lease/Owner operator industry in Canada. His first book in the Making Your Miles Count series “taxes, taxes, taxes” was released in 2007. His firm exclusively serves Lease/Owner Operators across Canada. His second book “Choosing a Trucking company” is the most in-depth analysis of the operator industry available today. He has a Master degree (MBA) in financial management and has been serving the industry since he and his wife came off the road in 1993. His dedication, commitment and strong opinions can be read and heard in many articles and seminars.

You can find him and his books at or 1-877-987-9787. You can also e-mail him at

About Robert Scheper

Robert D Scheper operates an accounting and consulting firm in Steinbach, Manitoba. He has a Masters Degree in Business Administration and is the author of the Book “Making Your Miles Count: taxes, taxes, taxes” (now available on CD). You can find him at and or at 1-877-987-9787. You can e-mail him at: