I read this article with some dismay and a lot of concern:
This candidate, Ala Buzreba, made some offensive tweets at age 17. At 21 she was standing for office but now has been forced to stand down due to these comments.
Now I have never tweeted anything like she did. I can safely say that by the time twitter came alongI had better judggement. Thankfully.
But let's consider this standard carefully -- becuase, going forward, much of a generation could be shut out of public life if we are to accept it.
I said some pretty offensive things when I was 17. But by the time I was 21 had something to offer.
If we are to exclude people for tweets made as teens, we will exclude a lot of passionate and very worthwhile people. And we will hold them to a standard that simply did not exist when most of us were that age.
We want to engage younger people bring them in -- not condemn them for life -- for comments they made while minors.
I think we need a damn good look at what this forced resignation means to young people getting involved. And there is no sign that this will not provide the same problem 15 years from now-- to people who are already adults today. Do not minimize the chill this could create to a whole generation.
Should we limit political participation to people who have no recorded bad comments until everyone who grew up before twitter is gone, before we recognize that a teenager saying something stupid is not unusual?
I am quite upset that this young woman was hounded from public life for comments she made at age 17. If all those who were no better than her at that age step aside -- we would have an empty parliament or one full of soulless extremely boring people. If I were her age now, I for sure would be excluded from any political future.
This story should have stopped with her apology and statement that this no longer reflected her thinking.
Who is next? Open season on every politician under 25 who grew up and made their mistakes in the internet age?
She grew up -- why can't the rest of us?