The recent federal election in Canada was interesting for many reasons, most of them surrounding the shellacking of the Bloc Quebecois by the NDP.
The Winnipeg Free Press , like many papers, is in on the act.
But now that these young people are there, we should give them a chance. The monikers ascribed to this group such as “the brat pack” and “the little dippers” are beyond patronizing. Are these MPs less qualified to be MPs simply because they are young? Is Parliament not supposed to reflect our society and did we not just come through an election where the effort to get young Canadians was larger than ever?
From a point of view of clarity-of-thinking I take exception to the text “Are these MPs less qualified to be MPs simply because they are young?”.
My answer to that question is a resounding “Obviously, Yes!”.
Not because they are stupid or have a low IQ or are not well-known (although that comes close), but basically because of their age.
- Think back to when you were 20 years old.
- Think back to when you were 30 years old.
- Think back to when you were 40 years old.
At 20 I was as bright as I am now. I had stored in my head all the pop songs I now sing back flawlessly to my travelling companion. I could cook and ride a bike.
- But I was not yet married, and had not yet had my first divorce.
- I had not watched my children being born.
- I had not experienced the death of close friends and colleagues.
- I had not worked for 2 ½ years overseas.
- I had not read as many books as I now have, nor had I discussed Politics, Sex and Religion with many people.
It all boils down to experience, and old-timers say this to the young, knowing that when we were young we didn’t listen to the old timers.
Experience is what helps us to make good decisions, where by “good’ I mean generally beneficial to society as a whole while respecting the needs of individuals.
Example 1: A 20-year old male with two buddies in a fast car thinks that everyone else should get off the road and let us burn rubber. A 65-year old just wants to potter along in the right-hand lane and get home without scratching the car. Who do you prefer to ride with, and why?
Example 2: A 20-year old university student, top of their class, knows that there is no God and embraces atheism, telling Grandma that going to church is a waste of time. When Grandma is in bed with a broken hip, it is the 60-year old atheist who comes around every day with soup, cakes, and today’s newspaper; the student is too busy attending classes.
Example 3: Casting the first stone: Who has experience with alcohol, drug addiction, abortion, divorce and mental and physical violence in the home? Who can better let the love shine through, riding on a wave of tolerance?
In every case, experience makes us better people in the sense that we make better long-term decisions. We have, after all, been around a long time, long enough to put things into perspective.
Confession Time: When I was sixteen, all I ever wanted out of life was endless sex.
If you’re a policeman, you get to carry a gun; a lethal weapon.
If you’re a president or prime minister, you get to influence those who decide the fate of nations.
If you drive a bus, you carry the lives of 50 passengers in your hands, or at the very least, their ability to get to work on time.
So I am amazed at a TTC customer comment published in the Toronto Star today under the heading “ Dozens of TTC drivers punished for texting, eating on job “.
The two paragraphs of text read:
Other riders, after hearing media reports about drivers being suspended from their jobs, chastised the TTC for being too hard on employees.
“They have families to feed and bills to pay,” one customer wrote the TTC, “and I think getting fired for something as stupid as texting is ridiculous.
Me, I’m Staggered!
In your mind you might NOT be convinced that in the privacy of your own 4-wheeled vehicle texting-while-driving is dangerous (in my mind I have evidence that my chatting-with-a-passenger-while-driving is dangerous).
But you ought to be convinced that if there is even the teeniest possibility of danger in texting-while-driving to an individual, that possibility of danger is multiplied when you are driving 50 other people, that is, when 50 other people put their safety in your hands.
It’s Not About You Any More
50 people want to get from Here to There safely and on time.
You have accepted a contract (in the literal sense) to do just that.
And yes, each of the 50 passengers has “families to feed and bills to pay”.
That’s why it is important for the bus driver to get them to work on time and in one piece.