How’s this for a job? You have hundreds of thousands of bosses. No matter what decision you make at least fifty percent of those bosses will think it’s a bad one. Forget about a private life because now you’re at the beck and call of those bosses.
That pretty much sums up the life of a politician. So, why does anyone sign up for the job and why do we criticize those who stay at it for more than one term?
Peter Lougheed was elected leader of the Progressive Conservatives in 1965. He eventually served as premier from 1971-1985. That’s twenty years in the public service. Was he a career politician?
Stephen Harper was elected as a Calgary MP under the Reform banner in 1993. He would later take a short break to run the National Citizens Coalition (a political lobbyist group) before heading back into true politics under the Canadian Alliance. He then became leader and eventual Prime Minister representing the Conservative Party of Canada. His party would lose to the Liberals in 2015 and Harper would step down from his Calgary riding in 2016. That’s 23 years in the public service. Was he a career politician?
Ralph Klein, or “King Ralph” as Albertans like to call him, had a great reign in politics. He started as Calgary’s mayor in 1980 and finishing as premier of our province in 2006. That’s 26 years in the public service. Was he a career politician?
During this civic election, you’ll hear candidates criticized for being a career politician. Before you’re too quick with such condemnation remember those politicians who came before them.