Now we officially have our say on how politicians served us during the pandemic

When the pandemic started, I wondered which elected officials would stick around in their job after it ended. Who would step up and demonstrate they’re a good leader and who would fail under pressure?

I’m not going to name names but I think we all have opinions on who did a good job and who did poorly.

We’re not even through the pandemic and we’ve seen which leaders can handle themselves and which don’t cut it. Now more than ever their jobs and their ability to take charge have been under the microscope and scrutinized to no end (as they should be).

With elected officials across the country bowing out of their role early or announcing they won’t seek re-election, the public — specifically voters — can’t help but wonder why these people are bailing.

There are two trains of thought: The politicians were exposed for being inept leaders and recognize they’re not cut out for the job in times of crisis, or the politicians had enough and don’t want to deal with the drama anymore.

Either way, they’ve vocalized that they don’t plan to stick around even though times are tough and potentially getting tougher.

Many were expecting Premier Brian Pallister to exit, after all he’s been wrapped up in scandal for much of his time in office. It made national news when Pallister confirmed he wouldn’t seek re-election.

Winnipeg’s mayor, Brian Bowman, is often criticized, as mayors are, and said he would step aside after his term. True, Bowman wasn’t responsible for making as many COVID-related decisions as, say, the premier or even prime minister, however he felt his share of the heat during the pandemic.

For us civilians, it’s telling when a leader bows out early and forces us to go to the polls to have an election. In some instances, it makes us think they want out of the job and they’re doing it just to be free from the responsibility. In other cases, it makes us view their actions as reckless and selfish, putting politics ahead of personal safety for communities in this country.

It’ll be interesting to see if a party leader’s actions at a national level will affect the local candidates during this campaign, seeing as we don’t directly vote for Trudeau, Singh, etc. in Manitoba.

I’m also interested to hear how the local candidates defend the actions of their leader or if they distance themselves from how things have played out. Does the candidate put first the party or the public when they’re knocking on your door asking for support?

Nevertheless, we’re about a month out from voting in a federal election and I hope my fellow Manitobans — and Canadians as a whole — reassess the work, the actions, the antics, the stumbles, the recoveries, the successes and the failures of every single person on the ballot.

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