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Why Don’t You Run For Office

Brian Barkley Winnipeg

WINNIPEG, MB – What do you think of politicians? Would you be a politician?

It may be my perception but I think it’s getting harder to find good smart people to run for any elected office at any level. I also wonder if this trend has reduced the quality and quantity of those who do opt to run.

I suspect it has something to do with growing levels of vitriol directed at any and all politicians. It’s easy to see and hear mindless ugly comments directed at virtually any politician of of any political stripe. Comment sections on various news sites are known for their hate and ignorance. I often think we’d all be better off without those comments sections. Radio talk shows often feature listeners who think nothing of mouthing personal ignorant attacks on their political targets.

The problem is exacerbated for women who become targets of uglier threats.

My comments should not be construed as saying all politicians are beyond criticism. That too is nonsense as politicians have to take stands on a barrage of issues. Those issues are often contentious. Critics reacting to these issues should refrain from personal attacks and should also refrain from assuming their point of view is the only “common sense” available.

Over the course of my media career I’ve met countless politicians of all levels and from a variety of political stripes. The vast majority struck me as people who genuinely wanted to make a positive impact from their vantage point. Of course they were under a variety of political systemic restraints which often reduced but didn’t eliminate their level of effectiveness. Some were very affable, others more reserved because I was a “media” guy. But none were hateful or stupid.

I’ve often wondered if those folks who have a pattern of hate infused ignorant comments would ever run for office? Maybe they assume their obvious brilliance would sway all voters to their point of view.

Brian Barkley, MyToba News

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