Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On Why Resigning is not Usually the Honourable Thing

Recent events in the news have lead to certain people saying "She should just resign and let someone else take over," and "at least he did the honourable thing and stepped down." I've always thought that resigning is precisely the opposite of the honourable thing. This is best explained with an analogy.

Imagine a party at someone's house. Things get a little out of hand, and someone is being stupid, messing around, doing stuff that they probably shouldn't be doing, and eventually, somehow, a table with several glasses and drinks gets sent flying. Imagine that you're the host, and you're staring down the culprit. If he said, "Sorry, here's some cash to cover the cost of the glasses, and where's the mop so I can help you clean up?", would that be the honourable thing? What if he said, "I'm not saying I'm the one who knocked over the table, but I'm going home"?

Another example. Imagine you have a daughter, and she winds up pregnant, and you weren't even aware that she was even seeing anyone, but you've got a pretty good idea who the father is. If this boy says "I may or may not have gotten your daughter pregnant," and then leaves town, is that really the honourable thing?

What I'm trying to say is that we shouldn't be calling for people to resign in the face of a scandal. We should be calling for people to take responsibility, and fix whatever mess they've created.

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