Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ageing Federal Political Leaders

The federal political scene in Canada is suffering from aging political leaders that have been around for too many elections.

  • Michael Ignatieff - 62 - 0 elections
  • Gilles Duceppe - 62 - 5 elections
  • Jack Layton - 59 - 3 elections
  • Stephen Harper - 50 - 3 elections

Only Ignatieff has not been the leader in an election and only Harper is not at retirement age. This is an average age of 58.25 and an average of 2.75 elections as leader.

It has been very rare for Canada to have federal leaders this old and have run in so many elections. In 1980 it was 48.6 years old and in 1984 it was 49.3. This still under 50 years old, younger than Stephen Harper is now. The last time the leaders were this old was in the 1960s when we had three minority governments in a row.

If the next federal election is held in one year, the average will be 59.25 years old and 3.75 elections as leader. We have not seen a federal political scene this fossilized since before my birth in 1965.

If in the next election we see a majority Conservative government, I see the NDP, Liberals and Bloc quickly changing leaders to a people from Generation X and away from the retirement age baby boomers. Harper will be the sole remaining boomer as a leader, though he only missed being Generation X by a year.
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