Letter to the Editor – John E Milnes Endorses Mark A MacDonald Over Pat Finucan for Liberal Nomination in SD&SG in Upcoming Ontario Provincial Election – February 20, 2011

Dear Sir:

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  In fact, I have not heard a single opposition party member say they would seek to have any of the present taxes rescinded.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

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  1. It is too bad that we do not show as much respect for our elders as we should. We should listen and try to understand the concepts better.

    Seems to me the ex and retired Mayor of Ottawa, Bob Chirelli, rejoined the Ontario Provincial legislature last year. He is 70.

  2. Eric. No one is saying we should not listen to the wisdom of seniors, certainly not this communicator. The point at issue is when do we give the younger person some credibility? Do we expect them to wait until they are old and tired or get them when they are young enough to provide us with a modicum of energy and intellectual quality? Lastly I have no doubt that many older people can be very successful but as a Liberal I cannot speak out of both sides of my mouth, I never learned to be a good Conservative. We must NOT encourage the young to get involved and then ignore them.

  3. Author

    John this is the biggest factor threatening our Democracy today; the near complete apathy of our young people. I have seen many Conservative young people evolve in politics nearby. You have Eric Duncan and Stephen Clark as examples. I don’t see that regionally at least in the NDP or Liberal party. I think locally the Federal Liberals have a lot they can improve on when it comes to enticing and getting involved more young people and more people in general…

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