I am a middle child. And like Andrea Horwath, the second oldest of four siblings “wedged into the backseat of the family’s Ford LTD” I too travelled the busy streets of Hamilton and Stoney Creek in my father’s Ford with my three siblings. In fact, my dad’s Ford LTD was as bright a blue as a clear sky on a summer’s day!
As leader of Ontario’s NDP in a crucial political race for the Ontario Premier’s position, Ms. Horwath brings with her “steeltown” tenacity and as a middle child, “Middles just might be the best poised to succeed in life,” suggests new research by Catherine Salmon and Katrin Schumann in their new book, The Secret Power of Middle Children.
Should we take into consideration a candidate’s birth order when we mark our ballots on October 6th? “Middleborns like Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Dalai Lama are trailblazers and justice seekers with a drive and passion that set them apart from their attention-absorbing siblings,” says Ms. Salmon, a psychology teacher and researcher at the University of Redlands in California. Ms. Horwath is certainly amongst good company.
As a fellow justice seeker, Ms. Horwath graduated from McMaster University, worked in literacy training, legal advocacy and community organization. She paid her own way through school waiting tables in Hamilton bars and restaurants, a natural at connecting with people. Middleborns seem to be more sociable and “are attuned to other peoples’ perspectives and motivations,” observes Ms. Salmon. Does that translate to an open minded candidate that’s willing to listen and consider more than one perspective — other than their own?
Naturally a candidate’s political platform and how she can better our lives, the people she represents, are first and foremost. But Ontarians have been governed for 8 years by an eldest child (Dalton McGuinty) with the leader of the opposition party running in this election who is also an eldest child (Tim Hudak). Maybe it’s time we became more creative in making our decision before going to the polls this Thursday.
The middle child gets my vote.
- news.NationalPost.com, “Are middle children the best poised to succeed?”
- swo.ctv.ca, “Profile: Dalton McGuinty – Liberal”
- TheGlobeandMail.com, “For NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, it’s all about connecting”