Would Paul Sr. be proud?

The Ottawa Citizen this morning discusses a recent poll in which parents expressed overwhelmingly that the office of Prime Minister is not one that they would like to see any of their children occupy.

“Honey, you can grow up to be what ever you like, one day you could even be President”

This seems to be a cliché quote from a Hollywood reflection of the American dream which states that any individual in the United States can achieve any heights given hard work and determination. Whatever your inclination to believe this ideal, the aspiration is there: the office of President is something so remarkable that almost any American parent would wish it for their son or daughter.

In Canada, the same cannot be said for the office of the Prime Minister. A full 61% of Canadians would not wish this upon their son or daughter. The current political climate is certainly indicative of this hesitation. Conservative MP Monte Solberg comments “If the perception is that you have to sell your soul, and lie, cheat and steal to become prime minister, then I can see why parents are a little reluctant to see their children enter politics”.

In a past discussion with a Conservative MP, leadership and Prime Ministerial aspirations came up. The MP commented that there was a study that revealed that 1 in 5 federal MPs wish to become Prime Minister. I remarked that about 99% of that 20% will be sorely disappointed. Would their parents feel the same?

Over the past few years, I’ve become more and more involved with federal politics in this country by contributing with my blog, working towards the formation and maintenance of Blogging Tories and by volunteering locally and nationally for the Conservative Party. In my weekly phone calls home I tell my parents about my latest exploits.

(warning shameless self-promotion ahead)
“Mom, I’m going to Montreal for the CPC Convention”

“Dad, James Moore reads my blog

“Mom, the Globe and Mail called about Jean Brault”

“Mom, CTV called about Gurmant Grewal”

“Dad, CBC Radio called”

“Mom, Warren Kinsella just called me dumb”

“Mom, Warren Kinsella just called me smart”

“Dad, Blogging Tories is now the 100th most popular blog in the world (by one measure)”

“Mom, I interviewed Monte Solberg”

The answer is always the same,

“Don’t quit your day job (finish that graduate degree)”

Politics of late has been quite dirty and I don’t blame parents for wanting to keep their children away from it. But we really ought to work towards making politics an honourable profession (no, really). Parents should be encouraging their children into public service, yet are reluctant as they perceive these servants to be serving themselves. When we move past character assassinations, bribery, fear-mongering, threats, and corruption perhaps we can then hope to recruit good people to do good work for the public good.