Many politicians deserve civil farewells, especially Bob Rae
The late British politician Enoch Powell said, “All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure.” Regardless of partisan affiliations, I believe committed politicians who serve with integrity deserve to be thanked.
Tim Hudak, leader of Ontario's Progressive Party, bid former Premier Dalton McGuinty a graceless farewell from decades of public life. McGuinty served as a Member of Provincial Parliament for 23 years, including 10 years as Premier of Canada’s largest province. Hudak refused to say anything nice about McGuinty – a political moderate.
Bob Rae left the House after devoting his life to passionate service. He was a talented orator, an engaging author, and a world-class parliamentarian. He embodied ideas over ideologies, kindness over negativity, and reason over sound bites. He added a dimension of intellectual depth (to the current state of superficiality that dominates politics) through rigorous debate and principled governance that defied stereotypes of childish gamesmanship - qualities that are hard to come by these days on Parliament Hill.
As a young person intrigued by politics, I’m often disheartened by some politicians' behaviours (including those of the same stripe). Rae made his share of policy blunders, but he inspired me to be open, cerebral, and dynamic. He taught me that behind every great politician is a voracious reader and a careful thinker.