I have been an unabashed Liberal for most of my life; I have been king-maker but never the king, working from within the Party for what I believe has been the common good. One of my unhappiest moments was to hear the incumbent, Jim Brownell, declare he is retiring for I surely recognized we had a good man at the helm.
Now, from my well established background I wish to make comparisons between the two declared candidates for the Liberal Party of Ontario. I hope my appraisal will be seen as a personal opinion.
As a senior, with a small income, I empathize with all those who write into the newspapers telling of their distress at the heavy tax burden the different governments have loaded on our shoulders. However, without question any political party would need a sound tax base upon which to function and it matters not which political party is in power we will have approximately the same tax burden. REMEMBER THE RAE DAYS? In fact, I have not heard a single opposition party member say they would seek to have any of the present taxes rescinded.
Getting back to the Liberal candidates. I believe we need to look at the values. First we have an older person, already retired from his professional position, and alongside we have a considerably younger person. So, what are the values we might look for? Which of these two have the most attributes that align to what we have lost? In the older person we do have more years of experience in life and a very likeable person. However, on the downside he is someone with a more limited chance of completing his mandate.
As a person rapidly closing in on 79 years of age I cannot surely be accused of being ageist.
In the younger candidate we have someone who is also likeable and he has not only the potential to serve us for a greater number of years but he also has previous experience of being an elected person, albeit at the municipal level. Any political experience has to trump no political experience. Now, to add to what I have already written, let me give an example of local knowledge since that may affect the values we seek in a candidate.
The older candidate did not know, until I provided evidence, that I had founded the Institute of Environmental Studies; even though he was and still is chairman of that Institute. The younger candidate had mentioned, to me, my role in this regard long before he threw his hat into the ring. This type of local knowledge could well serve the person elected to the provincial government.
To top off the comparison in the younger man we also have someone who has shown he has similar political attributes to Jim Brownell. I have known both candidates through the years and would have to back the younger man as a better candidate to serve the needs of this Riding through the next many years. This judgement is based upon my own political background and the personal requirement to seek out the best person to serve the needs of people in this Riding.
With a younger, more dynamic candidate we are more likely to retain this Riding for the Liberals over the many years before us. He has demonstrated that, even though he lost his run at being the Mayor of the City of Cornwall, he has not quit. I am prepared to back someone who has the experience, age and desire to fight the good fight.
Finally, what kind of message would we be sending to the young if we ignore a younger candidate and elect a retired person to our provincial legislature. To do this would demonstrate quite clearly we speak out of both sides of our mouths.
Let the best candidate win.
John E. Milnes – South Stormont
(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of the Cornwall Free News, their staff, or sponsors.)