Editorial – All candidates are welcome

Jeff Burgar

There are organizations, like clubs, military, businesses and schools and such, where it is a real asset to know one’s way around.

Meaning, it probably is a bad idea to let a 25-year-old write specifications for a new Canadian ice breaker. Not that there are not intelligent mid-20 experts on many things out there.

It just seems, if one is drawing from the average talent pool of that age, one could get “really big engines, nuclear powered, really nice games room, really fast, able to go anywhere on water” and on.

But not thousands of pages of detailed specs drawn up by specialist maritime engineers who have spent decades learning their craft.

But wait! Youth can be good. Despite the countless textbooks, tutorials, and years of experience so many experts have, the world’s current youngest chess grandmaster is 12 years old.

Even with this, do youngsters make international policy? Could any youngsters around the world have done a better job in handling Afghanistan, as just one example?

As some observers have said, “They sure couldn’t do any worse!”

Which is countered just as quickly by, “Can you imagine how bad it would be if kids were in charge?”

Honestly, could it be worse? Chaos is happening as this is written. Canada’s prime minister and commander in chief, Justin Trudeau, claims he wants to see no harm come to Canadians stuck in Afghanistan, nor to those who helped Canada. And then last week announces he is all in favour of sanctions and retaliations against those nasty Taliban. Sort of like a bank manager telling the crooks robbing the bank, “Please hold on for a bit. We’re just installing our new direct alarm to police.”

This brings us to our upcoming Alberta municipal elections. Old and new faces are already announcing they are in the race. It is especially good to see younger candidates. We hope in coming weeks there will be more.

This isn’t to say the old guard folks haven’t done a good job. Some have. Some have not. And yes, some are still just “phoning it in.”

But over the past couple of decades, too many clubs and groups have watched their numbers dwindle. Some have actually shut down. One reason is that “old guard.” They just can’t seem to let go.

And yes, even in the worst of times, it is still “Can you imagine how worse it would be if those newbies were running things? Instead of experienced, all-knowing oldtimers?”

In many cases, this is a good point. Probably, in just as many cases, totally wrong.

A well-known Alberta government consultant, George Cuff, wrote many books and magazine columns. One main observation was that, no matter what the age, elected councillors too often think their election proves they are the smartest people in the area. He followed that up with the point, “Don’t think that for a minute. You got elected. It proves nothing. Now get to work and do good things.”

Age doesn’t matter. It’s results that count. Candidates, and voters, should always keep that in mind.

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