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After I wrote my last blog post entitled “A leader must listen”, I asked my 21-year-old daughter to read it and comment. Her feedback compelled me to change a few words in the original post because she felt that I was too harsh in my accusations regarding some political leaders.

It was a good call. My daughter’s sentiments were similar to those expressed by Glen Pearson in a recent article where he speaks to the need for tolerance and dignity in our social and political interactions. Pearson states that “I’ve been in public life a long time and I have never seen the public space so tainted by intolerance and the loss of personal dignity.” As for me, I want my interaction in the public square to be marked by tolerance and respect for others.

Therefore, if I am going to make political comments in this blog, I need to establish some personal guidelines. Here’s a start. Please help me to remember these resolutions!

1. I will endeavour to respect everyone

2. I will honour those who offer themselves in the service of their communities and their countries

3. When I disagree with others, I will do so with a focus on the issues, policies and facts at hand, but without criticism of personal character

I had a little interaction yesterday on Twitter with Imran Ahmed about a new YouTube advertisement from the NDP which attacks the economic record of Stephen Harper. I understand that such negative “attack ads” are widely believed to be effective in changing public opinion. But we all instinctively recognize that this kind of communication does not seem fitting for a mature and dignified society.

Surely we can find ways to disagree with one another and raise alternative perspectives without tearing down others. I hope I can maintain my resolve on this!

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