Integrity in Politics

One of the things I am most thankful for in our country is our election cycles. Legally it’s only about 30 days. Can you imagine living in the United States? Some of their elections drone on publicly for years before the vote. It would be about as easy to convince me to accept years of campaign advertising as it would be to convince a pregnant woman to be in labor for 180 hours. It’s just not right… someone’s going to get hurt!

Now that the election is over, we must live with the consequences of the majority choice. We can be confident in our minds that our bureaucracy will adjust to the potentially new laws and new policies… because (in my opinion), they truly run the country.

The longer I live, the more I’m convinced that Canadians don’t elect people INTO power… they elect people OUT of office. They are not as happy to see people get in as much as they are happy to see someone get booted out. Therefore, most Canadians end up being at least somewhat political party neutral.

To be honest, I just about got into politics about 18 months ago (not Federal). I had developed an odd availability of both my time and my passion. I spent many months researching the issues and responsibilities of being a politician. I was confident I could wrestle with the issues, but I had a growing doubt about my patience level with compromising quality and efficiency (along with having to deal with the public… like dealing with two whining neighbors; one complaining about the others barking dog).

Being President of my own company has allowed me the luxury of building a great team, designing outstanding objectives and accomplishing high level goals. I am not a short term, incremental thinker; I enjoy big, long term projects. Working in the political field appears to be a lot of noise and bluster with very little real progress… unless you are into destroying something… then it seems you can go full steam ahead without much objection. Being President of my own company also allows me to weather the difficult, long term goals (those longer than 4-5 years). Progress in politics just goes too slow for me and I realized I’m too old to learn how to slow down.

During my research, I interviewed elected officials and discussed when foes outnumber friends. Being outnumbered by others with regressive, catastrophic ideas would not be fun. In that case, my primary responsibility and reaction would be to stop something bad from happening rather than implementing something good. It would suck! To use a hockey analogy, I’m much more of a forward than a goalie.

I have a few friends in that very position. They have been given the task of protecting the public from compromised representatives. I have a deep appreciation for their role in our government. They must be protected and respected for their tireless contribution. It is truly a thankless and pain-filled profession.

However, I also have a few friends who dwell in the corridors of power. Their influence in policies and laws are palpable. For some, power appears to corrupt them; for others, it has not. I’m not sure if anyone (myself included) could be sure of their own reaction if they were given great power. For elected officials, accountability must constantly be the norm. In the end, I decided to save my fellow constituent from experiencing too much of me and decided not to run.

I am convinced that for the best way for our society to thrive, government power must be minimized; not expanded. Individuals must learn NOT to depend on our government for anything but national security and a fair justice system.

This would mean the average person must be given the freedom to fail (so they can learn what works and what does not). That doesn’t mean we all have to learn our lessons in the school of hard knocks; some can learn humility and wisdom without pain. However, when people refuse to be taught by common sense and understanding, they must be left to experience failure.

The opportunity to succeed and fail is what creates a true, level playing field. It’s the equality of opportunity, not the equality of outcome that builds a great nation of freedom.

Long term speaking, I would sooner trust the collective masses NOT in power than the select few IN power… no matter which party they represent.

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: