On October 9, the acorncentreblog.com endorsed a political candidate for the first time. Dr. Ted Hsu, in our estimation is a "game changer" for Kingston and the Islands Liberals, to succeed Peter Milliken who is retiring, after serving the riding admirably since 1988 and retiring as the longest serving Speaker of the House of Commons in Canadian history.
No matter who wins the Liberal nomination on November 7, at the K-Rock Centre, no one will "replace" Peter Milliken. However one of the candidates will succeed him, and represent the party in the next federal election.
Why is Dr. Ted Hsu a game changer?
First, his academic credentials are platinum and unique among the candidates, with a doctorate in physics from Princeton.
Second, his perception of the need for a differen kind of politics, in which "honest accounting" replaces accounting that does not place all energy sources on an equal footing, for example, thereby enhancing the likelihood that conservation, and reduced emissions of carbon dioxide will actually occur, within our lifetime, for the benefit of our children and grandchildren.
Third, his successful role in both business and more recently as executive director of the non-profit S.W.I.T.C.H. dedicated to the achievement of a more sustainable community, position him as a leader in the field of "on-the-ground" entrepreneurial eco-leadership.
Fourth, his assiduous attention to detail, timing, the subtleties of relationships plus his integrity and his political frankness, including his own willingness to own a 'mistake' in approach when necessary, one of the learnings from his studies in physics, render both the constituency and the country, should he be elected, a change in the way politics works, for the better. He balances the many details while never losing focus of the big picture on any file.
And lastly, it is the experience of being in a room with him, for the very first time, that engenders a confidence, a trust and a hopefulness, without either high rhetoric or unachieveable goals and promises, but with modest yet meaningful expectations that are realizable, given his capacity to bring different voices together to achieve common, and very necessary goals.
The Liberal party is blessed with the largest membership in a single riding, with 2800-plus members in the Kingston and the Islands Liberal Riding Association. The leader, Michael Ignatieff, is gifted by the calibre of candidates offering their names for the Kingston nomination, at a time when the national party will likely have trouble attracting candidates of this calibre in some ridings, for the next election. The booking of the K-Rock Centre for the speeches and the preferential ballot next Sunday is a signal that at least in this area Liberals are both alive and well, and seeking a better Canada through their commitment to overturning the Harper government, something the nation desperately needs.