Thursday, February 5, 2015

KNOWING WHEN TO WALK AWAY

______   ________________________
"There is, I guess, a notion, where
 people become lifers. I've always
 thought it's good to come in,
make a contribution and move on to 
something else. I did that 10 years 
ago at Queen's Park and I'm doing
 the same now,"


________ _______________________________________



Unfortunately for many, sensing the right time to leave elected politics is a skill many do not seem to posses. A select few like Danny Williams and Brian Tobin left the game while they were still very popular and in demand. 

As a student of politics and a former political staffer, I have witnesses many a politician who was unable to let go. They often were well past their best-before date but clung to their seat with a death grip. Ego, entitlement, fear of letting go or just blocking others from the opportunity of running - they often were knocked off in nominations, remembered for clinging on rather than their contributions. 


Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird's surprise retirement from politics took the Prime Minister and the rest of the country by surprise.   The 45-year-old career politician did something very few politicians seem capable of.... leaving at the top of his game.

The Mike Harris disciple and Stephen Harper loyalist resigned after twenty years of elected politics and another prior decade of party service.The "lifer" is pursue career opportunities in the private sector.


It’s exactly at times like these that Steve Paikin’s The Life  and The Dark Side  becomes essential reading.


The cynic in me thinks that we have not seen the end of this political animal. I think he has come to far, accomplished too much to not reach for the brass ring - the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. 

The job may not be up for grabs now, but it will be. A solid stint in the private sector will position this ultimate  party insider as the best  option when Harper pushes off sometime after this Falls election.

At 45, the world is Baird's oyster. 

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