There’s no doubt that Caroline Mulroney would bring a lot to Ontario politics. She’s an accomplished executive and community leader and, it goes without saying, she has been around politics all her life. But despite the unique opportunity of suddenly taking over the Progressive Conservative leadership, it could make for a very difficult transition.
Increasingly in our culture, we seem to think of politics as something that draws on inherent talent, something you’re born with, as opposed to a set of career skills that are developed and honed over time. If anything, we devalue experience in politics like no other profession. We’d never turn to people with no direct experience to repair our cars or teach our kids.
The reality is that politics is like any other job: you have to spend a lot of time doing it to become an expert. The only difference is there’s much more pressure and public scrutiny. Caroline Mulroney could be a rare exception, but it would be a huge leap. She – and all of us – might be better off if she waited a few years until she has more experience and would have a greater chance of making a difference.