Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Where Have All The Great Leaders Gone?

Last evening the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce of which I am both a member at large as well as part of the executive, held an all-candidates meeting for the upcoming federal election.  As was expected, the Legion was packed to a standing room only crowd prompting many to ask is there somewhere larger in Town to hold this.  The simple answer is no.  Short of the Eddie Bush arena Collingwood lacks a venue to hold and event of this size.  Other observations I overhead by those in attendance was the lack of younger people in the audience.  By far the majority of those present (myself included) were 50+.  I have noted this at other community events of this type leading me to believe that perhaps the younger residents in town are simply too busy with work, family or other commitments to attend politcal or other events that involve issues pertaining to the community or in the case of a federal election, the country.  Perhaps they just don't care and that may stem from a lack of confidence in both the political process and in those individuals that choose to run for political office.
  In a prior posting I posed the question where have all the great leader's gone? Last night's meeting certainly did nothing to answer that question.  After two hours of listening to the candidates answering questions from local members of the media, there were some choices removed from the group but at the same time no out-front winners.  I must admit that Helena Guergis came off "sounding" the best, no doubt due in part to her past experience, her political savvy and the fact that she is fighting for her reputation and job.  The Liberal candidate Alex Smardenka simultaneously pulled out a gun, dropped in a bullet and shot himself with his comment about PC Candidate Kellie Lietch when he essentially said "...we don't need a rich doctor with her million dollar home being parachuted in to the riding....."  That comment drew prolific boos from the audience no doubt costing Mr. Smardenka signifiant votes in the room if he had many to begin with.  It was equally disappointing when later in the evening instead of taking the high road,  Dr. Leitch took an almost equal swipe at the Liberal candidate as payback.  And what's with the Dr. title?  Does anyone really care?  Her skills as a pediatric surgeon are admirable but for the most part are irrelevent to the political job at hand.  My father was a doctor (a dentist) and while he was proud of his profession it was a title that outside of his business dealings, he never used. 
  Election day (May 2nd) is fast approaching and like many I remain unsure as to how I will vote.  I must confess I have never aligned myself with any particular party instead, choosing to vote for the individual I feel is best suited for the position.  Different times require different measures so in my opinion there is no one party that offers a fix-all solution for everything. Last evening was helpful in ruling out some choices but came no closer to answering the question where have all the great leaders gone?    

1 comment:

Julie Card said...

Hi Rick. Interesting blog. Perhaps today's youth don't necessarily understand how their vote can have a positive impact and why their vote is important. Or perhaps the youth of today needs to be addressed in a manner of communication that they understand and receive. If they're not hearing then perhaps the people planning the media campaigns for the candidates should consider using alternate communication channels that appeal and reach the target demographic.

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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.