Just a number

by Aaron Wherry

Behold, our baby-faced new Parliament.

Samara and a group of volunteers–Janet Rodriguez, Tyler Somers, and Sarah Somerton–have been compiling information on the new MPs, including their year of birth. This information has proved enlightening. For instance, the average age of an MP taking office in the 40th Parliament was 52. The average age of an MP taking office in the 41st Parliament is 51 … And our new MPs are also a year younger than their more seasoned counterparts were when they entered politics. Given this information, perhaps the media’s focus on the youth of the new Parliament is a little exaggerated.

Nonetheless, a few points of interest.

By my count, there are 19 MPs who will be under the age of 30 when this Parliament convenes: the 18 listed here, plus Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe. All of them are New Democrats. All but two represent ridings in Quebec. All but one (the returning Niki Ashton) are new to Ottawa.

For the sake of history, six of the 15 youngest people ever elected to Parliament in this country are now New Democrats elected in 2011.




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Just a number

  1. Hmm… Perrin Beatty, Lorne Nystrom and Jean Lapierre. Those three names on the list suggest to me that at least one or two of the new NDP MPs may be around in some form or another for a long time. We don’t know who, but it will be interesting looking back in twenty years.

  2. With the condescension the young MPs have faced (a fraction of it warranted), we shouldn’t continue to ask ourselves why young people are turned off of politics. This is another reason we can add to the list. The message I received from the political and media establishment is that youth are welcome in the political process, so long as they espouse the wants and desires of the more established generations that have already mortgaged their future.

    Thirty years from now, if some of these 20-something MPs are still in politics, I hope they remember the condescension that greeted them when they were elected. I hope they treat politics differently than the people who came before them.

  3. A quarter of eligible voters are in the 18-29 age category; it is newsworthy that 19 out of 308 are part of this age category. This in a “representative” democracy. I am not sure the NDP deserves so much credit for running young candidates in “hopeless” ridings (I believe the other parties also ran young candidates in hopeless ridings); it just turned out “hopeless” was a misnomer. Unfortunately the Conservative caucus will not have any voices at the table from this quarter of our population; too bad there are no talented young Conservatives.

  4. It’s amazing how the media can ridicule the young MPs, but criticizing any of the ancient ones is completely off limits. If the average age of an MP has only changed by 1 year, then who are all of the extra-extra-old-and-out-of-touch MPs? I’d like to see an article on that!

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