Politicians’ bullying behaviour is unacceptable

Noah
Noah Richardson
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While voters everywhere probably have a bone or two to pick with their local politicians, I usually have the utmost respect for those men and women who represent us in appointed positions of power.

If there is one issue that should be addressed and not practised on the floors of our municipal council chambers, provincial legislatures and even in the House of Commons, it should be bullying.

Bullies are everywhere. They are in our schools; they haunt us in our workplaces and are even sometimes part of our own families. But should we expect them to be taunting others publicly in our government?

Thousands of young people across this country suffer from the emotional, physical and mental tolls of bullying each and every day. 

Recently, Rick Mercer, host of “Rick Mercer Report” stated a disturbing fact: 300 Canadian teens commit suicide every year due to bullying. This fact is an alarming one that depicts the harsh realities that are occurring in schools right across this country.

At my high school, bullies exist. In a school with students of different socio-economic backgrounds, sexual orientations and body size, bullying happens.

Yet the administration actively seeks to improve school climate and build community while fostering tolerance and acceptance. There is zero tolerance for bullying.

I recently participated in a two-day seminar at my high school entitled “Breaking Down the Walls”, where students gathered to better understand each other. The event proved to be life changing for many students.

My question is, should this type of seminar be only taking place in our schools? What about in our government?

How can the victims of physical violence, verbal abuse and cyber bullying have faith in a government that is clearly bullying in its own right? 

Politicians should act as role models. Instead, some choose to conduct themselves in a way that allows them to appear as bullies. 

The evidence of bullying in politics is smeared across campaign signs, attack ads and in parliamentary debates.

As someone, who could foresee a future career in politics, I find the harassment, name calling and utter disregard for the feelings of others a complete disgrace. It is shameful, unnecessary and entirely inappropriate.

In a world corrupted by violence, hurt and poverty, why is it so difficult to ask for people to be nice to one another? Do our politicians not understand the negative message they send to Canadians by the ways in which they behave?

My heart goes out to all of the victims of bullying. I admit that I too have acted as a bully, sometimes on purpose and sometimes without even noticing. It is extremely difficult not to fall into the trap that allows our words to get the best of us.

 Social networking sites makes bullying even easier. Bullying is not always something that is instigated. Sometimes through our anger towards our bullies, we become bullies ourselves.

It is time we show our politicians that bullying is not acceptable. There is no better time to act than now.

Our politicians should be leading us forward not contributing to the problem at large. Officials in all levels of government need to start rallying today to curb bullying in our country, starting in their own workplaces.

As the leaders of tomorrow, it is imperative that teens share their vision of zero tolerance for bullying with the leaders of today.

Organizations: House of Commons

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  • B MacLellan
    November 29, 2011 - 07:24

    Great article young man. I feel better knowing the upcoming generation might make changes to the unacceptable behavior of our leaders, even though they think it is what is expected. The lack of respect they show to each other is certainly not the workplace example we want to show our children. I look forward to reading your future articles Noah, and will watch for you among our future politicians.

  • George Dalton
    November 28, 2011 - 15:47

    Noah your article certainly hit the problem on the head and this subject has been front and center in the media, Everone has to be part of the solution and it is encouraging to see a student take the lead. You are a great role model for others and certainly have a great future George Dalton

  • Ed Gallant
    November 28, 2011 - 07:44

    Well said, Noah. It's certainly good to see a young man such as yourself asking these questions.And only by talking about it will you cause change.I don't know when civility left us but it was before your time,I'm afraid. I believe most of it can be related to violence in movies and TV, and later, in social media.We also see it every Saturday night on Hockey Night In Canada by certain bullies there.It is now being displayed in hockey at all levels. Other sports too. Gone is the sportsmanship,replaced by the win at any cost by so called "elite players". It can't be much fun being a kid anymore. Sad isn't it.But thank you for trying to do something about it. I hope you succeed, and you will, if you believe in it strongly enough.