Editorial: Time to stop treating people like they’re disposable

Adrian Dix just the latest politician to be thrown onto scrap heap

There aren’t very many cobblers still in business.

That’s the guy that fixes your shoes when you have worn a hole in the sole or to fix other signs of age. In bygone ages, they might even have made your shoes for you.

The reason why cobblers have disappeared is as close as your closet. Or your bedroom floor, if you’re a bachelor. How many pairs of shoes do you own that are repairable? Or that you just wouldn’t go out and buy another pair when they wear out?

It’s just an aspect of the disposable society we have created. Unfortunately, we treat people the same way we do worn out shoes. Just ask how long a coach whose team is on a losing streak is likely to last.

But as much as coaches and general managers have to keep winning, political party leaders are in even worse shape. All it takes is one lost election, and they are turfed as leader. Back in the 70s, Robert Stanfield managed to lose three elections as leader of the federal Progressive Conservatives before the party turned on him, but few political leaders since that time ever get a second chance.

A year ago, Adrian Dix was the hero of the B.C. NDP: popular, charismatic and destined to lead the party into power. Of course, Dix has announced he is stepping down, taking the blame for the upset that saw the B.C. Liberals unexpectedly come from behind to win the provincial election. But now the NDP is squabbling over whether he should continue to lead the party until a new leader is chosen.

Like any party leader, Dix is still the same man despite the loss, with the same qualities that saw the NDP choose him as leader in the first place. But now, he is seen as not capable of acting as interim leader for another year or so?

It’s time our society stopped treating people as if they were as disposable as a pair of shoes.

 

 

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