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In good hands


With the federal Conservatives choosing Andrew Scheer as their new leader on Saturday, another “youngster” now is at the helm of a major political party.

Despite being just 38, Mr. Scheer already is a seasoned parliamentarian, though—first getting elected to the House of Commons in 2004 at age 25. He also became the youngest-ever Speaker of the House in Canadian history, serving in that position from 2011-15.

Justin Trudeau, of course, was only 43 when he was elected prime minister in October, 2015. Before him, Stephen Harper was 46 when he became prime minister in February, 2006.

The federal NDP, also in the midst of a leadership race, currently has six candidates vying to replace Tom Mulcair, including 34-year-old Manitoba MP Niki Ashton and 38-year-old Ontario MPP Jagmeet Singh.

So the trend of young prime ministers likely is to continue whichever party wins the next election set for October, 2019.

Electing young people is nothing new. Joe Clark was just 39 when he became prime minister in 1979. But there seems to be a renewed affinity for young leaders of late.

Perhaps voters—so fed up with old-style politics—are willing to overlook relative inexperience in the hopes that fresh energy and ideas will lead to better days ahead.

Not that young people have cornered the market on new ideas, of course. Mr. Scheer, for instance, already is being described as a “dinosaur” by political opponents for his stance on social issues.

Still, it is encouraging to see young Canadians not only take an interest in running for public office but be willing to shoulder the responsibility of taking over the helm.

Whether they succeed remains to be seen, however, Canada's future is in good hands as long as there are those with the courage and conviction—regardless of their political stripe—to not let age, fear, or other obstacles prevent them from trying to make a difference.

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