Fresh faces: That’s one media spin on the recent Canadian federal election results. Jumping from 36 MPs to 184, the Liberals, of course, are mostly fresh, but even the Dippers, dropping from 95 to 44 MPs, include 13 newbies.
Although I have what would indubitably be a new face on Parliament Hill, I’d hesitate to categorize it as “fresh,” except perhaps in the extended sense of “smart-alecky.” And so I conclude, sadly, that there seems to be no place for me in this grand adventure.
Generational change: That’s another spin.
A small digression: How many years are there in a generation? A quick scan of Google results shows that there are now 25 years but there used to be just 20, maybe even as recently as—and I quote—“a generation ago.” Using a concept to define or explain itself is Self-Referential Bad Practice, so let’s just go with a generation being somewhere between 20 and 25 years, and then treat this number as we do the line that’s supposedly on the Equator but really isn’t; that is, as being Close Enough.
Now, to return to the spin (Stay with me, folks, this is no time to quit), although the spread in ages between the outgoing and incoming Prime Ministers is only 13 years, somehow the generational-change mantra sounds right. With due respect (and how much is due in each case, I leave with you), I suggest that the one man comes across as a little older than 56, and the other as a teensy-weensy bit younger than 43. Given that he’ll clock 44 on Christmas Day—as any Canadian of my generation would remember—he’s looking younger by the minute compared to his chronological age, and how irritating is that? Oh well, just wait: High office will age him, if not exactly prematurely, then at least in better alignment with the natural order.
But never mind the Right Honourables: Me, I try never to mind them, in either sense. This is not about them, it’s about “generational change” offering me an opening. Yes, a quick check of my birth certificate confirms that I have not forgotten my age: At 63, I am, indeed, Close Enough to being a generation removed from the incoming Prime Minister.
All right then. Here I am, with a smart-alecky face (that we can spin as fresh-ish), of an age that is a generation off the current norm (no ish about it), and with a willingness to tackle a new challenge. What shall it be?
Parliament? No, I think I’ll give that a pass: It looks full up for the foreseeable. But the Senate – ah, the Senate: It has 22 vacancies.
Although partisan appointments to the Senate are a practice persisting pragmatically if not exactly proudly across many generations, apparently the soon-to-be Right Honourable has promised, instead, to appoint Qualified People. By my calculation (let’s see, 20 into 63, carry the 7) I have about three generations’ worth of qualifications. But I know Buddy is busy, so to keep things moving I’ll just, you know, hit the highlights:
- I’m not partisan, being irritated pretty much equally by all political parties. Since I expect that some of his eminently qualified appointees will also just happen to be card-carrying Liberals, a few totally totally non-partisan appointees will make the whole lot smell better.
- I have strong language skills, shown by my ability to work through my longest sentence to date (270 words!) without losing my thread: an ability that will be useful in listening to speeches and in reviewing proposed Government legislation, without losing my mind.
- I am mindful of tradition and, unlike those in any younger generation, I know the difference between “bring” and “take.”
- And, perhaps most significantly, I can complete an expense claim without ending up in court.
Wow. Put it plainly like that and I even impress myself. The question isn’t whether I’m qualified for the Senate, it’s how in the world have they done without me for so long?
I can’t imagine that the soon-to-be Right Honourable actually needs to know any more about me. But given his generation, maybe just a fillip of social media frenzy would not be out of place to carry the day. So in addition to wearing the button, like me on Facebook and join the Twitter campaign today: #IsabelForSenator.