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The leaders of four federal political parties take part in the French-language debate Wednesday night.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Watching the televised federal election debate, as the four party leaders blamed each other for various national ills, Toronto-based consultant Ian Welsh began to wonder if companies would benefit from the same sort of no-holds-barred discussion.

"Does the corporate president or CEO need almost absolute power?" he asks on his Toolbox for HR Blog. "There are checks and controls, but mainly behind closed doors - we can disagree in private but publicly we commit to be of one mind."

He wonders whether companies might have two parties, the "Material Gains Party" led by the CEO and the "People's Party," the loyal Opposition, led by human resources. The CEO would present the business case for a needed decision.

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The Opposition leader would then present the people side of the issue, including aspects such as the environment, safety and community factors.

There would be debate, in which equal weight was given to the various factors, and a record to keep the CEO more accountable. HR would become keeper of the corporate conscience.

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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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