In recent years, Manitobans have been treated to some sore losers in the political arena. The names of former MP’s Anita Neville and Raymond Simard are foremost among them.
We listened as these defeated candidates, ingrained with a feeling of a preordained right to hold public office, complained and whined rather than exit with grace.
Such cannot be said for outgoing Manitoba PC leader Hugh McFadyen.
On the heels of a second consecutive disastrous campaign that has saddled us with yet another term of a spend-happy NDP government and a near billion-dollar deficit, McFadyen stepped down as leader. Manitobans can only hope his successor has the stones to take the offensive and hit the NDP hard. Trying to outspend the NDP is not the answer.
In spite of the humiliating defeat, however, McFadyen has resisted the temptation to behave like a spoiled brat, unlike Neville and Simard. In particular, he graciously received visitors in his office at the Legislative Building last Saturday accepted best wishes from Manitobans, including myself.
However he may have dealt with his political fate privately, he put a smile on for the public and held himself to a higher standard.
As the conduct of our elected officials continues to deteriorate, McFadyen’s exemplary class under trying circumstances is a breath of fresh air.
Elsewhere from last Saturday’s annual open house at the Legislature, I noted with interest how one particular MLA handled the two-hour affair that afternoon.
A relative newcomer to Manitoba politics, this MLA tried [his/her] luck in the most recent civic election and was trounced by an incumbent ripe for the picking. In the civic election, [he/she] boasted on [his/her] campaign Web site how [he/she] always made an effort in past elections to discover what the candidates stood for, yet filled [his/her] own site with nothing but political rhetoric.
During the provincial election, [his/her] signs were significantly outnumbered in an area that does not traditionally vote for [his/her] party. [His/her] major competitor came to my door three times. [He/she] did not make one appearance. Even the candidate from the non-existent Liberal party came to my door once.
Mysteriously, [he/she] was declared the winner.
[He/she] wasted no time in plastering [his/her] mug on a major thoroughfare that passes through [his/her] constituency.
Rather than spend the two hours meeting and greeting constituents during the open house, [he/she] spent the time roaming the halls with [his/her] family showing off [his/her] new workplace to [his/her] children. One can not normally be faulted for spending time with one’s family, but there would have been plenty of time before or after the open house to roam the halls of the majestic building.
By way of comparison, countless number of [his/her] colleagues on both sides of the political spectrum were only too happy to spend time with this visitor.
The identity of this MLA is left as an exercise for the reader.