With the tragic passing of Hon. Jim Flaherty last week, it caused me to reflect upon what I have seen over the years in the “purpose” of why people run for public office.

One might surmise that, publicly, politics has become a sad state of affairs; amidst some of the “stories” that have evolved in political circles over the past few years. Some would likely suggest that the sad state of politics has been around “forever”.

What I am pointing out as purpose, specifically, is that the purpose is to serve the greater community. The purpose is to make a difference for fellow citizens. The purpose is to serve the public. The purpose is to take on the passion to make our world a better place, by being elected to office and holding a role in government where an individual can make a contribution to society.

Does it sound naive ? Does it sound too righteous ? Does it sound impossible ?

I have conversed with many people over the years who have considered running for office. They ask me about the world of politics and elected office. My first question back to them is solely “why…would you want to run for office”. To me, with those whom I have spoken to, there is a common thread in “service” to their community. Or perhaps it is to truly make a “difference”. Some speak about a compelling need to “give back”.

I think that the portrait of community service that Jim Flaherty painted is an example of the real purpose. He served his community. Not everyone would have agreed with this party stance or position on every policy. But, I am hard pressed to find anyone that would dispute that Jim Flaherty served his community with purpose. The tributes over the past couple of weeks ring loudly and so clearly of Jim’s passion for making a difference and his commitment to his community.

As I have criss crossed this country in my government affairs work, I have been inspired by many others who have indeed put their name on the ballot with this purpose. They genuinely want to make a difference in their community and for their fellow citizens.

In the memory of Jim I toast those who continue to carry this torch of making a difference, and thank them for their time, effort and sacrifice. We count on that purposeful commitment to community by our elected officials. Service to our community is truly a noble cause, one deserving respect and appreciation. All of the petty politics and nastiness aside, our elected officials are there with a purpose to make a better community for all. Enjoy the long weekend with family and friends in your community. Cheers.

@Ferg Devins